For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Vacation Time - Day 4 Part 3

The Rock Monitor lizard is our second largest we have reaching to 800mm (31 inches) in body length, having a tail a little longer than that. Females lays between 10-40 soft-shell eggs in a hole dug in the soil and they take about 10 months to incubate.
The park has put in many waterholes with water from boreholes so even if the rivers dry up completely, there are still places to have a drink and slack that thirst.
At this time of year, all there is to eat are innutritious leaves and many of the buck species get mange. As soon as it rains and the new leaves and grass starts coming out, their coats will slowly recover. This is a female Bushbuck and one of the lovely species of buck we have. We have no deer species in SA.
When looking for the big cats, the Impala will give you a good indication if there are any around. They will be feeding and all of a sudden run in a group to one place and stand staring. You can be sure they are looking at a lion, leopard or cheetah even if your eye cannot see it.
This is the once might Olifants (Elephants) River. You can see how broad it used to be. Now with factories and farm pumping water out of it along its course, there is very little left except for this small stream. How sad!!
In winter, although this looks like a very dry riverbed, there is still a certain amount of underground water. Elephants are very good at digging for it and will use their trunks and feet to do this. Once the hole is dug it fills with water and when they have finished drinking, other animals make good use of them too.
Kudu are one of our larger species of buck, the males having horns which reach to 180cm (70 inches). As soon as new shoots appear, they are enjoyed by them and all the other animals.
It is spring and the birds are building their nests and hatching their chicks including the ugly Lappet-faced vultures. I could not get a decent picture of them but I could see one check in the nest.

18 comments:

Sandra said...

so africa is opposite from us, spring there and winter coming om here. the elephant made me want to cry it is so beautiful and the last photo is wonderful. your photos speak with words of their own, they don't even need explanations they are so clear and sharp. you are talented and blessed to see all of this and show to us, thanks

Gaelyn said...

These images bring back strong memories Joan. The Oliphant River looks even smaller than when I was there.

More bloody impalas. ;)

Diane AZ said...

Hi Joan, The wild animals you encounter are so beautiful and amazing. Your monitor lizard looks smart. I didn't see many reptiles in my area this year.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Sandra. Yes, our season are the exact opposite of yours and it always seems wierd when one is posting of beautiful summer flowers and the other has snow on the ground. :)

This world of nature I find myself in teaches me something new every day. It is fascinating!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

It is smaller Gaelyn. We are starting to have some rain now so soon it will have the benefit of more water again.

LOL!! Poor impalas. :) You are lucky I did not show you all 128,000 of them. LOL!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Great to hear from you again Diana. I am sure you are pleased it is cooling down a bit again.

As big as these lizards are, they are preyed upon by one of our eagles so you can imagine how big it must be with a six foot wingspan.

Sreddy Yen said...

Hello Joan!! That is an impressive photo of a kudu you have there. I hope it pours with rain soon - everything is so dry!

Keep well :)
Sreddy

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Nice to see you back Sreddy. It is almost to crunch point for you now isn't it? Good luck!!

I hope it rains too, lots and lots of it. :)

Becky and Gary said...

I love to see all these animals Joan. What wonderful luck.
B

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

It was such a great day for me being back in Kruger. Thanks Becky.

Firefly said...

The first monitor I saw was a water monitor swimming in a river below a game reserve lodge's deck. For a moment I thought it was a croc.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Dont worry, I have mistaken them for crocs on my first glance too Jonker. :)

Sandra said...

here is my email address, shangey@tampabay.rr.com i would like to know how you eat with food so expensive. very unfair from what you told me.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thanks Sandra, I will send you one.

Rambling Woods said...

There was a wonderful special on PBS about elephants...what wonderous creatures they are.....

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Above all else I love he elephants and the cheetacha. Elephants are amazing to watch when they are in a herd.

JM said...

Great shots, Joan! The Kudu is my favourite.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

They are such graceful looking animals. Thanks Jose.