I slept in until I was woken by Wren, thrilled by a fully charged iPad. Baboons barked, a gecko clicked like a switch and I saw large black monkeys in a fever tree. The weather has changed completely from the day before. Instead of blue skies and baking heat, we are under light cloud with a strong breeze and the bush feels restless. Rubbing boughs of the fig tree moaned and creaked together in the wind and Wren kept asking “what is that sound?” for every creak, trill and crackle.
I rinsed the bat poop from the bath and had a hand-shower wash in the tub. It was kind of cold because the wind comes through the bamboo-slat walls and the on-demand water heater only engaged when hot-only was turned on. This made it impossible to get warm water for more than a few seconds - in the transition from hot-only to cold-only. Wren remained cocooned in his mosquito net until absolutely necessary to emerge but found his hot-cold hand shower engaging.
Thank god, Wren and my hut seems relatively uninhabited. Our moths, geckos and bats are pretty chill by comparison with the others:
- David had a green Spotted Bush Snake fall from the roof of his hut while doing yoga. It landed 1m from where he was lying doing yoga.
- Lanny had a cockroach on her pillow. (Whatever)
- Pete and Lanny had a baboon spider on their ceiling and a wolf spider on their wall. They also have extra bats roosting in their bathroom.
- Pete nearly trod on a scorpion.
It is either that or I am unobservant.
On the morning hike yesterday, Dad noticed a mushroom growing from rhino dung. He took a photograph. I have not received it from him yet because he is hiking the trail without connectivity but I bought a local mushroom guide and am interested in the mix between familiar species and African endemic varieties. The guide makes mention of a number of medicinal uses of the local mushrooms and explains more about the termatomyces than I knew previously. Our ranger also explained that there are at least 3 types of common termite here and each has mushrooms which grow, and he believes that mushrooms grow in the site of lightening strikes where there is nitrogen in the soil.
We drove out to Hluhluwe town to draw cash for tips. Tufty brown cattle with poking ribs grazed the nearly flat grass strip by the roadside. The fields are all bare dirt but for a thin band of grass that grows by the bitumen, probably from water runoff after the recent rain. Goats standing on their hind legs ate the leaves from the low thorn trees and acacia.