Animal Lovers' Blog

Heather Atkins' Travel Blog

Why Do I Love to Travel? Travel Inspiration: South Africa, by Heather Atkins (As originally posted on Travel Post):

This is our second winning entry for our Amateur Blogger Contest. Heather describes in rich detail why she loves to travel and why South Africa in particular, holds such a special place in her heart. Join in a discussion with her here:

North & South America, China, Egypt, Australasia, and just about every corner of Europe all evoke memories intrinsic to my collection of alluring reflections. A miscellany of ventures brought to mind bring back my first trip through South Africa and deep into the bushveld. An arid African landscape met up with a hazy golden horizon, gradually coalesce into a jewel toned sky, dotted with the occasional cumulus cloud. Sporadically placed Umbrella Thorn Trees and randomly positioned boulders break up the otherwise sweeping terrain.

The native people of South Africa…

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Living with a damaged skull




The beast which passeth all others


                                                                       in wit & mind “



                                                                         ~~ Aristotle





                              to understand them…




                      Just intellect is not enough…







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This assassin bug’s dark color made it easy to spot among the goldenrod flowers.

  I took picture after picture because of the low evening light and a breeze. The assassin bug didn’t much like that and kept moving around. Then I noticed it was feeding on prey. Assassin bugs wait patiently and ambush their prey. Its long beak then injects the victim with a lethal toxin that dissolves its insides. The assassin bug then sucks out the “juices.”

The assassin bug was feeding on a moth caterpillar, called a camouflaged looper (Snychlora aerata). These caterpillars attach small plant pieces to their body, so they blend in with their surroundings.

Since I wasn’t able to get a good picture of the caterpillar, I’m including one taken during a previous summer.

Isn’t it impressive … and convincing in its floral attire?  The caterpillars like open habitats and mostly composite flowers. Black-eyed susans and salvias are a favorite of theirs in my gardens.

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