Friday, November 16, 2012

Spring into action!

I had someone query my blog of yesterday, saying they had not see the statue in the courtyard, despite having been through several times. Here is Don Quixote - in all his glory, with the Reception door in the background. He was created in 1961 by Richard Green, and is very very definitely a boy..............

The amazing thing is that almost everyone inspects his pee-pee. Including you? Poor Don

This is probably going to be the last blog on the wildlife of La Rochelle for a while, because the part of Zim where we live does not have too many lions and tigers (though there is a male lion not too far away from us who has been making a nuisance of himself eating cattle and some of the local population, but I doubt he will make it to our neck of the woods) but mention must be made of the "Killing Dogs of Imbeza" - otherwise known as my sausage dogs!

They spend most of their day in pursuit of things to kill - when the Ververt monkeys come through the property they go bananas, and birds on the grass always get a token charge. The main prey, however, are the lizards.

Despite the fact that we all call them lizards, they are actually striped skinks, and because they are cold-blooded, they have to regulate their body temperature by moving to-and-fro between sunny patches and deep shade. It is during these dashes that the dogs see their chance, and they spend most of the day in frantic pursuit.

The lizards have developed a defence mechanism which, though simple, is ingenious. In the garden I have a pile of old, rusting, trampoline springs, and the lizards have found they can fit inside them with no trouble at all. The dogs see them going inside, and they can smell, and possibly hear, the pesky reptiles inside the springs. But they can't get to them, and it drives them scatty! They bite at the springs and try to dig beneath them, but to no avail. The end result is that the lizards don't get eaten, the dogs are entertained, and my grass is aerated - so everyone is happy.

Or........almost everyone. Coming home yesterday during a brief hiatus in the hunt while the dogs were inside the house, I found 3 lizards sunning themselves on the wall - each and every one of them minus their tail!

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