“Pic of the Week”, May 1, 2015: Paw-prints in the sand, Botswana

Chobe-2011-096-Lion prints

There’s something about the presence of a lion that tickles the primitive warning centers of our brain.  I guess it’s the old “prey” warning in us, because the hair began to rise on the back of my neck when I saw these paw-prints in the sand.

We were up for an early morning game drive and not far from our cabin I encountered these paw-prints. They were huge — the diameter of a small grapefruit!  They clearly had been made by a big cat, likely a lion (possibly a leopard, I suppose).  No one had seen or heard the animal during the night and we had no idea where it was, although I imagine it was well on its way by …

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“Pic of the Week”. May 9, 2014. Baobob Trees, Botswana

2014 19a May 9b  Baobob tree, Botswana

One of the iconic symbols of Africa is the baobob tree (although a species of it also grows in Australia).   Shaped somewhat like a bottle, with a broad trunk and sharply narrowed top, the trees can reach up to 30 meters (100′) in height and can hold lots of water — a distinctive advantage in the dry season.  They are said to be long-lived, perhaps even thousands of years old if left undisturbed (although they are not that well studied and rarely survive to old age in continental Africa).  Baobob trees have a short leaf season and most often you’ll see the trees without any leaves.

It’s a bit of a thrill to see these trees, not unlike seeing a …

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