A wet season wonderland awaits in the sandforest of Mahenye…life in the raw, strange and wonderful, beautiful and fierce…from the gorgeous wild hibiscus in the sand forest near Chilo, admired by Rich Thornycroft….
to the frantic millipede desperately trying to escape the vicious attack of fierce little red beetles, minute predatory Davids overcoming the Goliath…
The great Nyala Berry tree is King here, looming inscrutably over all, the largest in Southern Africa we think, circumference about 15 meters at chest height…
it scatters sticky fruit on a carpet of deep humus
as Clive and Rich squat beneath its venerable branches
what are they thinking, I wonder, (sucking up some of its ancient wisdom I hope…)
My dear dad, exploring the soft-footfall forest path,
overhung by a trellised network of the most delicate greens
beauty galore…a purple-tip butterfly
Then beetles get my attention, with the motto “eat, or be eaten!”
Thinking food, here is the pockmarked Honey Gatherer’s baobab, a landmark in this special place, where the local Changana people still harvest a pot of wild honey regularly..
back to life in the raw …
an ichumenid wasp drugs a hapless spider….
and hauls it to a hole, ready to lay eggs on the living abdomen of the spider; a ready-made and helplessly living larder to supply nutrition to a new generation of baby wasps once they hatch!