Tuesday, August 27, 2013

26 August 2013

August 22nd we were asked to drive an extra car to King Williams Town which is about a 4 hour drive east of Port Elizabeth (I haven’t gotten the kilometer stuff down yet so everything for me is measured in time). It is both fascinating and educational to observe the culture, countryside, architect, etc as one travels. As such, the following are some pictures we took as we took our journey which reflect the aforementioned items.  

As a side note, because there were two cars involved in half of the trip, Angie got to experience for the first time driving on the left side of the road. I must say she acted more confident than I did when I took my maiden drive but, her secret desire has always been to be an actress so my observation may be somewhat obscured.

            We call them “speed bumps”, The South Africans take the psychological approach.


  With a speed limit like this, who cares if you have to drive on the left side?

            Some of the impressive architecture seen in King Williams Town, South Africa.

            Whether in private schools or in government schools, we have found that the children are dress very handsomely in uniforms. We are impressed that even in areas of poverty, they take pride in how they look.

            One of the predominant grocery stores in South Africa is “Spars”. The people were particularly crowded in front of it today.

Pizza delivery motorcycle:
            This is perhaps the best looking motorcycle we have seen in South Africa. The owner, turned entrepreneur, uses it to deliver pizza.

            This represents South Africa’s answer to pilot cars. When the flagman wants to let the traffic near him go, he simply waves his flag to the other flagman down the road and rotates his sign to indicate that you can go.

Port Alfred - one of the many beautiful 
                     ocean fronts

                                                   Termite Mounds

            The upper picture is a close-up of a termite mound and the lower one shows a colony of them. I am told that some of those seen in the colony (?) may be uninhabited.   Conjecture (mine) is that a mound becomes uninhabited in the following way: the queen termite takes a stroll one cloudy and dismal day and sees a neighboring mound that looked classier than hers and went visiting. The king of the new mound found her more attractive than his current mate and gave her (his current bride) the boot. As a consequence, the original mound was not able to procreate any longer and soon became uninhabited. Of course, you could surmise that the booted queen went to the newly created bachelor for her new lodging but she more than likely would find a wannabe king and decide that was more romantic than taking up with a discard. I am sure that there may be those that would find this conjecture far fetched.

For something about termites that is somewhat more factual, below is some information that I googled about them.

Mound-building termites or just mound builders are a group of termite species that live in mounds. This group of termites live in Africa, Australia and South America. The mounds sometimes have a diameter of 30 metres. Most of the mounds are found in well drained areas.
The structure of the mounds can be very complicated. Inside the mound is an extensive system of tunnels and conduits that serves as a ventilation system for the underground nest. In order to get good ventilation, the termites will construct several shafts leading down to the cellar located beneath the nest. The mound is built above the subterranean nest. The nest itself is a spheroidal structure consisting of numerous gallery chambers.
Workers, smallest in size, are the most numerous of the castes. They are all completely blind, wingless, and sexually immature. Their job is to feed and groom all of the dependent castes. They also dig tunnels, locate food and water, maintain colony atmospheric homeostasis, and build and repair the nest.
The soldiers job is to defend the colony from any unwanted animals. When the large soldiers attack they emit a drop of brown, corrosive salivary liquid which spreads between the open mandibles. When they bite, the liquid spreads over the opponent. The secretion is commonly stated to be toxic or else undergoes coagulation with the air, which renders it glue-like.
Finally, there are the reproductives. They include the king and the queen. The queen can sometimes grow up to six centimetres long while the lower classes are generally less than one centimetre.
Ok, that is your nature class for the day. Thanks for paying attention.

On the way back home we discovered, that there were a number of “wildlife” sanctuaries that we will, as time permits, go back and visit. One of them has Angie beside herself with anticipation because it has an adult giraffe that will actually let you pet it. So she is like a little kid that is told he will get to go to  Disneyland; you know, "when can we go daddy", huh, huh. I told her that a virtue that we need to both develop is patience so cool your jets. You that are married know the resultant of that comment.

That is all for now, more after we visit the giraffe.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool and sounds like fun. Hot and smokey here enjoy.