Birds and Flowers – for grandma

Dear Grandma,

Since I know you love the birds and the flowers, I have compiled a few (or more than a few) that I would like to share! I hope your garden is coming together!

So there is a mouse bird. Its a big grey bird (bigger than a crow) with a long tail and lots of feathers. (MJ it looks like Uncle John’s Snowwhite but grey). And this big guy is a black headed heron. He was just strolling across the hill right in front of our camp, when Solomon calmly called me over to say look, and I preceded to freak out because a heron was on my list to see!

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Below here are morning glories and a beautiful yellow flower that Ive been trying to catch a sun bird eating nectar from but they are so fast and seem to know when I am coming!! DSCN0279DSCN0779

DSCN0769   This bird with the black head and white belly is called a common fiscal. He has a very loud sound that you can hear but because he is small it is hard to find him.

DSCN0788 This flower comes out of an ugly looking tree, called a Flame Tree with spikes all over it so most mammals dont come near it, except birds that can land on the flower.

Grandma you will be happy to know that they are trying to grow some roses around the camp dining area but they are not in bloom yet. Solomon wants them to grow along the railing and when they bloom it will look very pretty.

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These are the bananas and their big flower at the bottom. The long stalk used to have bananas up the whole length but loses each layer as the big flower peels off. They also have their own Matoke – which is like a banana but more starchy and when they cook them it actually tastes like potatoes!! Its steam cooked first, then mashed apparently. Here is a picture of my lunch with Matoke and beans. It was very good.

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For those in Ireland, Uganda has its own magpie!!! Shes a bit smaller and they call her an african pied wagtail but looks the same. There is also a beautiful little yellow bird called a weaver here that I cant seem to get a good picture of. As for the animals, you will be happy to know we have two resident agamma lizards!! One of which lives under my tent and likes to sun bath outside my tent on the rocks. I jump a little every time because these guys are fast but otherwise harmless. They have pretty colors as well, blue heads with green bodies. I have also seen two different types of monkeys: the black and white colobus and the L’Hoest monkey. The black and white colobus is the monkey that likes to wander through our camp and sit down next to you for a moment 🙂 The L’Hoest monkey is also called the mountain monkey so he doesnt come out as often. He also happens to be blessed with a blue tinge to his fur near his genital area.

As for my research – I HOPE to start this week to collect samples. This is definitely a trying experience for my patience because the organization and communication is quite different but I have to tell myself this experience isnt just about research, its the whole package with more to come!!

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