I’ve always been fascinated with animals, ever since I can remember. I believe it has to do with me watching the National Geographic from really early on in life. You see, back then, we didn’t have television programming 24/7. TV started at 4.05pm; at this time, we would all have finished out homework and waiting eagerly for our favourite shows to start and they ended quickly for us about 6pm. But as all children know, there was a snag. Before Fantastic 4, Godzilla and other cool Hanna & Barbera productions started at 4.35pm, we had to endure 25 minutes or so of a forced National Geographic episode. I always felt well, since I had sat in front of the tv set from watching the coloured banded lines at 4.05pm, I might as well watch all I could within the limited time I had, so National Geographic it was.
As time went by, I actually started looking forward to watching mammals, insects, snakes, crocodiles and other wonderful creatures which I eagerly wished I could actually see. I loved hearing Sir David Attenborough and others speak of these exotic animals, ecosystems and the like. There began my fascination for animals seen and hitherto unseen.
I had the good fortune this month to visit the Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden in Johannesburg and what luck I was having! One of my childhood favourite creepies, the locust was in full bloom! My memories of locusts are very vivid; during the harmattan season in Nigeria, they would come south in their swarms and devour every single leaf that had survived the dryness. These were of a yellow and green speckled variety and smelt terrible! Now I know they are desert locusts. Even then as children, we enjoyed crushing them to emit the foul smell (we were such inquisitive brats!)
The locusts I found here were a beautiful green and much larger than the ones I had seen as a child and equally fascinating (which reminds me, I can’t remember seeing those desert locusts since growing up).
Of course, I whipped out my trusty macro lens and I was in locust heaven! These locusts were even more beautiful in flight, so colourful! I had a hard time capturing them but even being still, they were magnificent. . What memories do you have as a child and still cherish as an adult? Please do share…
- http://www.nationalgeographic.com should you want to explore and expand your mind even further and of course about the desert locust: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/bugs/locust/