Tuesday, March 15, 2011

African Adventures with Tammy

Tammy just sent me another small note from South Africa, along with a few pictures. This one of Anne (on the left) and Tammy (on the right) definitely shows that they're having a great time. I'm thinking that the weather and the good company are very restorative for Tammy's health and that's a good thing. Both of them look great! Here's Tammy's note:

"Anne and I have been on many adventures in the last weeks with little computer access to share in a timely manner. I do miss my friends back home, but I am happy to say I have much to share with you. I have seen so many animals and beautiful countrysides. The people are so kind and friendly, you all would be impressed to see how people treat each other despite what little they may have. I have learned to humble down some. Talk to you soon!"

Here's a face only a mother could love! The Warthog, also called "African Lens-Pig," is a wild member of the pig family in Africa. Those wart-like protrusions on the head serve as a defense when males are fighting.

Like camels, warthogs are able to conserve moisture inside their bodies to stay cool. They are tough, sturdy animals with large heads and two sets of tusks. The upper tusks form a semicircle. The lower ones have a sharp cutting edge. When they run, they carry their tail upright so that it looks like a little flag. Believe it or not, even though they look tough, they would rather flee than fight.

Warthogs are grazers of grass and plants. They are approximately 30 inches tall at the shoulder, weigh between 120 and 150 pounds, and can live up to 15 years in the wild.

When I think of Africa, I always think of elephants. Those majestic animals are the largest land animals on earth and have a life span of up to 70 years. Their ears sort of look like the continent of Africa itself and can radiate heat to help them cool down.

An elephant's trunk contains approximately 100,000 different muscles and can be used for smelling, breathing, trumpeting, drinking and grabbing things. Trunks also come in handy for taking a nice shower. African elephants use their tusks to dig for food and water. Males also use them for battle. Because their tusks are made of ivory, they attract poachers, even though this is completely illegal. As a result, some African elephant populations are endangered.

Elephants are herbivores and can eat up to 300 pounds of food a day. How's that for a big food budget? They roam great distances foraging for food with female elephants living in herds. The females give birth to one calf every two to four years and, if you can imagine it, are pregnant for 22 months. (And you thought nine was tough!) At birth, a baby elephant is approximately three feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds. In contrast, fully grown elephants are 8-13 feet tall measured at the shoulder and can weigh anywhere from 5,000 to 14,000 pounds.

Seeing Tammy's photos of warthogs and elephants reminds me that the 11th annual Quilter's Safari shop hop is just around the corner. From April 22 to May 1, you can be on your own wild adventure checking out Mid-Willamette Valley quilt shops and hunting down all those fabulous fabric deals! Click here for more details.

1 comment:

Esther said...

I enjoyed reading about your African adventure!