A Walk in the Country

Every walk is a bit of an adventure, and this morning’s was no exception. I headed out before breakfast but got a later start than planned so it was hotter than I’d have liked. Some of the friends I was going with were running late and I was on a schedule so I just went on my own. I’m glad I did. It meant I could explore anywhere I wanted and stop as often as I liked to take photos.

I’m sure glad I decided to take a bottle of water, even though it was a quick hike. Much of the time I was stopped taking pictures, but the up and down terrain got me huffing and puffing, breaking a sweat and I was a little light-headed at one point, so it was good to rehydrate.

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The trail is a lot steeper than it looks here.

The first cool thing I spotted were what looked like red beans. Identical to a black bean, but a vibrant shade of red or orange. They are actually seeds from a tree, but then again, aren’t all beans just seeds? I did wonder if they can be cooked and eaten, as they look so much like regular beans. The pods are pretty cool, curved and spiky. They open as they dry out, and I found ones in various stages of progress.

The next cool thing I found was a giant leaf cutter ant colony. Leaf cutter ants can strip an entire tree in a few hours. In other words, they can wreak great havoc. The colony I found was quite large, with several interconnected openings. Bob said he’d give me some poison to take with me next time. If I do, you can bet I’ll be dropping it in and running. I’d hate to have all the ants I saw today heading in my direction.

Leaf cutter ant colony.

Leaf cutter ant colony.

Once I got down to river–after carefully avoiding several other, smaller ant nests–I found a cow horn that had apparently been shed (see image above). Either it’s the tip of a horn or there’s a very miniature, hornless cow wandering around somewhere.

I also saw some rather large fungi down at the river and on my way back up to the farm I happened to notice an interesting bit of fungus growing atop a fence post. Fungi are cool; there are all manner of them around here, in all shapes and colours, though they are most prevalent during the rainy season.

So much to see, so little time…

 

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