Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Coypu. An alien in East Africa

Who has ever heard of a Coypu? I certainly haven’t. This water dwelling rodent originates from South America. It was introduced to Kenya for the fur trade in the 1050’s and, guess what, they escaped. Now they are digging up river bank and dams and eating away reedbeds and other aquatic vegetation. It is also thought that they may have been responsible for the periodic collapse of Lake Naivasha’s waterplants. It’s not only in Africa where feral populations exist but also in many other parts of the world. This is a habituated animal which I was able to get close enough to photograph with a wide angle. I wanted to capture, without sounding overly emotional or anthropomorphic, the essence of what so often happens. An almost sad looking creature just doing what it’s intended to do, yet with man’s influence it became unwanted in a foreign country far from its native home.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Make hay while the sun isn't shining

Intricate patterns in a tree frogs eye.

Here are a few pics from around my local patch, Mariepskop, in the Lowveld Drakensberg. Over the past few weeks it has been raining heavily, normally a time to put the camera away and, well, wait for better weather. But its also a time when numerous other creatures make an appearance. So I got out the camera to see what I could can find in the garden.

An excuisite Leaf Mantis in the forest undergrowth.

A painted Reed-Frog clambering about.

Perched on a branch, a Grey Tree-frog or Foam-nest frog.