Wednesday, September 16, 2009

3rd Post from Africa

Photography has taken a backseat to academics in the last few days as we have commenced our first Faculty Field Projects (FFPS). To provide a bit of background, I am spending my last semester of college in South Afica particpating in a field studies program. It is a hands-on biology/ecology program conducted in Kruger National Park and other reserves and parks throughout South Africa.
We are currently working in an arid savanna ecosystem. Winter has just ended here and it is chilly at night but up to 90 degrees Farenheit in the day. My project focuses on mopane worm pupae abundance. Mopane worms are worms that primarily feed on the tree Colophospermum mopane and they are also quite tasty. The Venda communities in South Africa along with other cultural groups use the Mopane worm as a source of protein. The worms are harvested in the spring and summer but very little is known about their biology and how harvesting affects their distribution. We are basically digging holes at the base of mopane trees to check the distribution and abudance of pupae. This turns out to be back-breaking work in the hot South African sun. We dug 10 holes this morning about 1 meter long x 70 cm wide x 40 cm deep.
The nice thing about doing field work is that I can pull out my camera on the way to our work sites and our drivers are very nice about stopping as oryx, giraffe, and zebra run across the road or pause to watch our vehicle. This image of klip springer (I need to check that spelling) was taken on the way to a site).
I will write more soon and I do have email access, so feel free to email with any magazine related questions or photography questions – gabby@naturesbestphotography.com.
Best,
Gabby

6 comments:

caitlin said...

such lovely photos, gabs! i miss you and i hope you're having a wonderful time.

love, your favorite roommate,
caitlin

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