Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Yup, that's me sitting on an ostrich.  A little weird, I admit it, but I'm never one to pass up an opportunity to try something new. These birds are strong and fast.
  Ostriches are wild in South Africa, but they are also farmed, and I sent on a tour to visit a farm.

Ostriches, as you provably know, are the planet's biggest bird.  The smallest egg in the picture above is a hen's egg, the kind you eat for breakfast.  The largest one is an ostrich egg.  These eggs are very strong.  The shards I saw were at least half a centimetre thick.

  The babies that come out of these eggs are pretty big for baby birds, but tiny next to the adults.

Ostriches can't fly, but they can run very fast, and they use their clawed feet to protect themselves.  An ostrich kick can be lethal.   They are also very curious, and came to see us when we stood by the fence.
Male ostriches are black, and females are grey.  In the wild, they both help keep the eggs warm.  The female sits on the nest during the day, when her lighter plumage helps reflect the sun's heat, and provides camouflage.  The male takes over at night, when his black feathers make him harder to see, and it also helps keep him warm.
  Ostriches have very small brains, as you can probably tell, but they do not bury their heads in the sand.  When frightened, they run.  They spread out their small but feathery wings and bounce across the land.

After the tour, we returned to Capetown, and spent some time wandering around the waterfront.  This is a very pleasant area, filled with tourists and locals enjoying the many outdoor cafes.
This being a tourist area, there are of course many shops, many carrying local crafts.  Creating dolls and sculptures out of beads is popular here.  This elephant is made completely out of beads and wire.

Capetown's most famous natural formation is Table Mountain.

It is, as you can see, flat, thus the name.  There is a curious weather phenomenon here, which is that even when the sky is completely clear of clouds, there often are clouds on top of the table.  They are called the tablecloth, as often the clouds spread over the top and down the sides.
While in the area, we visited the local aquarium.  I love aquariums, especially when they have jellyfish.

These are not jellyfish.

Neither is this.  It is Melissa being a frog.

It's difficult to take pictures of tanks full of water, at least I find it so.  This isn't a good picture, but it's kind of surreal, so I like it.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Judy,

    I love the photo of you on the Ostrich! Way to go ;-) I can't believe how many things you and Melissa have seen and done - this is definitely a trip of a lifetime!!

    Hugs, Heather