Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Chameleon hunting...

My aunt spotted an appeal for people to come and help do a chameleon count for Cape Town Nature Conservation and asked mom and I if we wanted to join her and my cousin: it sounded such a strange thing to do we of course (being the strange family that we are) jumped at the chance for an unusual family outing...

The area we were looking in is at the Kenilworth Race course and is actually the largest area of Cape sand wetlands in one place that is left intact, with two species of fynbos that are found nowhere else. It is right smack bang in the middle of the race course so we had to cross the race track to get there... On the way I dared mom to pretend to be a jockey for this photo: I think it is such a great photo as it shows not only my crazy mother, but also the racecourse with the lovely (side) view of Table Mountain that you have from the racecourse as well.

And then we got underway... There were abotu 50 people altogether and we split off into 3 groups. You have to do it in the dark because they hide away during the day and also apparently get lighter at night so they are easier to spot, especially with strong torches. Here are my mom, aunt and cousin searching diligently.
And me in the classic searching pose:
In the end none of our family actually found a chameleon, but some of the group we were in did (9 in all). See if you can spot mr chameleon below: (and see why it is pretty hard even in the dark with torches to spot them!)
All in all we got a nice lot of exercise - mostly "bundu bashing" - a South African term for just going straight through the bushes...ie with no actual path, and it was fun seeing the chameleons in the wild, but I don't think we will be doing this family activity again anytime soon!

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