Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

A Walk in the Garden

Our first morning in the bush, we ended up in a garden area…but probably NOT the kind of garden that you are imagining!!

In previous years, the villagers were not in a centralized area but lived in small family groups.  The village consisted of a few huts and maybe a pen for chickens or animals.  Each small village would create a “garden” area near their houses.   This garden would have a few acres for millet or sorghum and maybe a few banana or cassava trees.

Unfortunately, they would clear large sections of the forest for these gardens using a technique called slash and burn……

After the field was used for a few years and its agricultural effectiveness had passed, they would move on to another spot and do it all again!!!

NOW….the villagers have moved (with the help of Zambeze Delta Safaris) to a central area where they have agricultural fields that are well maintained and can produce two crops a year.

That is a long backstory, but here we go…..

The garden that we were strolling thru had been slashed and burned but the villagers had moved on before it could be developed.  It was a sad sight…..

BUT, there were a lot of things to see in this area.

I have always loved fungi and these orange ones just lit up in the sunlight….

These rice-looking granules appeared on many of the burnt-out logs…..

….and this green one was really cool……

We passed tobacco plants…..

….and Dylan (our guide) told us that the seeds would drop from the villager’s cigarettes while they were clearing the area!!

I kept seeing this weed……

….being careful to avoid it at all costs!!!

There was evidence that the area was well visited by the local large animals…..

 ….and the insects were out in force.

Dylan told us that this is a biscuit spider…..

It was interesting to look at and we figure that all of the other spiders make fun of him!!

I know that I am weird, but I love to watch dung beetles……

….and especially as this one attempted to move a ball of Wart Hog dung that was FAR bigger than he was!!!

There was also some other interesting flora.   

I loved this flower…..

…..and these leaves were cool……

It was a good start to our time in the bush!!!

Come back next week for the next two installments!!

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