I love how untamed life still is around here. To some extent, at least. Though there are no longer zebras on our main roads (not in this part of Kenya, but in other parts, yes), we have our share of critters. And because of the rains today, they seemed to all have wanted to come out and party.
I was sitting outside for most of the day, trying to get through a rather dry text book. I was happy to be distracted by lots and lots of birds. A bee-eater kept stopping by, and I'd watch it dive through the sky to catch insects. Same with the malachite kingfisher, probably my favorite of small birds.
The white-browed robin-chats were all over the place, coming after the goodies that had just been dug up by the tractor in preparation for planting. And the blue flycatchers seemed everything but blue. They were bouncing all over the place. The yellow weavers were rather raucous! The males have been working very hard at weaving perfect nests from the branches hanging over the river, and they seemed intent on making sure the right females catch their eyes and they'd soon fill those nests with eggs... The cinnamon-chested bee-eater seemed to be the only solitary bird out there today. (Can you spot him in the tree?)
Colleagues stopped by for lunch and shared how they saw a dik-dik along their walk. It had been caught and slaughtered. "Those big eyes looked like they were still alive!" they said. I felt sorry for the creature. This smallest of the African antelopes are hardly bigger than a hare. And they're fiercely loyal to their partners, to the point that if one gets killed, the other would starve itself to death, or even do something as serious as jumping off a cliff. So, within a few days, there's bound to be a second dead dik-dik in the area.
Later this evening, while I was enjoying home-made sushi for dinner, I saw something in the corner of my eye. Hop. Hop-hop-hop. A frog. Just a little one, though. I carefully helped him find the way out.
Not the same for the next two critters, though. A huge, fat spider ran across the kitchen floor. Squish! Fortunately, I was wearing shoes.
The grossest of them all, though, was when I opened my eyes in the shower after rinsing my hair, and I kid you not, there was a slug no shorter than the length of my hand and at least the width of my thumb, just clinging onto the wall. I didn't want to throw him out the window since he's bound to eat my tomato plants. So he might currently be trying to find his way out of our sewage tank. Flush!
Fortunately, that was the extent of the critters around my house for tonight. The other night as I was walking home from dinner at friends' house, I saw something move in the beam of my flashlight. It was a huge snake, crossing the road in front of my friends and I. We let it pass before we continued our journey. But after I sent staff out on assignment to take photos after the workshop I presented on Tuesday, one came back with this picture... It might be the same snake we ran into. I doubt it. I cannot remember ours having markings like this. With all the plowing going on at this stage, these guys are bound to be coming out of hiding to find someplace safer.
I've closed the window for the night. Flannel will just have to stay indoors. I don't want any more critters coming into the house tonight.