So now my really fabulous part of the day began. I was done with the photography for the drumming and canoing and free to be alone. This is something I truly value because it isn't something I get a lot of. My home has been turned into a type of "family commune" due to my families financial reversal and so there is almost always someone around.
Days like this are wonderful and put back all the serenity the soul MUST HAVE.
My plan was to walk up the lake with my shoes off and pants rolled up to the knees.
The water was cool and the sun warm which made a pleasant combination. I walked to where the child had seen the tiny crabs to see them for myself and this is what look like. This is zoomed in, it is unbelievably tiny, could fit in a teaspoon.
I picked one up and put it on my thumb to show you how tiny. It was so scary and somewhat gross, LOL, it made my hair stand up like alert soldiers, but I so badly wanted you to see how tiny these creatures really were.
After that I got out of there like a bullet out a gun, because there were what looked like hundreds of those tiny crabs all running around. Little as they were, its a bit daunting having them run over my feet to wherever they were going to.
These tiny crabs are called Scylla serrata otherwise known as mud crabs, which makes sense since they live and burrow into the mud on the edges of rivers and lakes. "These crabs are highly cannibalistic in nature and when another crab undergoes moulting the hard shelled ones attack the moulting crabs and devour them. The females can give birth to 1 million offspring which can grow up to 3.5 kilograms (7.7 lb) in size and have a shell width of up to 24 centimeters (9.4 in) wide." YIKES I did well to get out of there in one piece it seems.
As I walked along the lake, the water was clear despite its name being swartvlei...swart meaning black. So clear was the water, that I was able to look down and photograph stuff through it....like these larger crabs. Fortunately they appeared to just be floating along with no special interest in me.
This crab crept into the underwater grass to get away from me. I don't know who was more nervous of the other...crab or me? In the long run..me, because he at least was in his environment.
That grass is amazing stuff. It floats in lonnnnnng tendrils under the water facing downward, so it doesn't look that long till it emerges from the water. This is the grass under and above the water.
This grass is called Zostera capensis and is usually found in muddy areas and is a fast growing species. It can be dried and eaten...game as I am, I didn't try that. Its other use is in fertilizer. This is proof that swartvllei IS a muddy area and who knows where the name comes from....swart means black....maybe the black mud is where!
There were tons of little darting fish also which kept bumping into my ankles. I would have thought they had some kind of radars to keep them from bumping into things...unless, like sharks they were testing if I was edible.
I couldn't capture them because they were simply too fast, but they kept me amused for quite a while watching them dart away in their little black schools.
I finally reached the end of where I could go without getting thoroughly wet, so I left the cool water for land. I was feeling 10 tons lighter as all the days, weeks and months of "stuff" just slid off me in this magnificent wonder world of Jehovah's creations.
On my way back to the camp, I saw a strange looking creature on the ground. Once I lay flat on my tummy and zoomed in, it was actually two strange creatures.....mating.
I left them too it and went on my merry way till a lizard scurried up some nearby rocks and stood almost as if to say "what about me, take my photograph too" so I did.
In a split second it took off. They are lightning fast.
There is always an array of moths and butterflies too. I was able to snap these two moths resting between flights. I have absolutely no idea what kind they are, except the pretty kind.
And of course, where there are moths, there are spiders hoping to trap them. This one was very busy putting its trap together. I walked a wide berth around this big fellow.
This was another twosome I kept far away from, a pair of hornets busy with their nest.
Fortunately I'm not allergic should one have stung me, but its a nasty burn which I had as a young girl and had no wish to repeat. Hornets are at the bottom of the picture.
I had walked 7.2kms (7.47miles) and needed to get back to the camp and check in or my son would worry about my "disappearance" but its so easy to get "lost" in this incredible world.
Once again, how can anyone not believe all this was created with intention not a mere fluke of exploding molecules?
Its late here and I'm tired, so I will get the birds section done tomorrow. There was just SO MUCH to see and photograph in this piece of paradise.