8 09 2008

There are insects here, really quite a lot of bugs, creepy crawlies and multi-legged beasties of different types, sizes and colours. The sheer range of ants alone is incredible; from tiny ants less than a millimetre long to great big ones of almost a centimetre. Ants the colour of Demerara sugar and jet black ants, even a few scarlet and black ants in Accra, there must be hundreds of varieties of ants. And they get everywhere, throwing up heaps of dirt at the base of walls in the house where they build nests and crawling on food. I have no idea how many I’ve eaten over the last 12 months, nor how much of my sugar etc has been stolen by them and I would curious to see how many dead ants there are in my computer.

The sheer beauty of some of the flying bugs can be incredible, huge dragonflies, translucent shimmers in the air, darting around then hovering motionless, different colours catching the sun like oil on water. Not that all the flying critters are beautiful or dainty – nor indeed agile; one type of flying beetle seems to have no way of seeing where it’s going and regularly flies into walls quite hard, drops out the air stunned and spends a few seconds recovering before it heads off in another random direction. And less popular, although sometimes almost as beautiful, are the ubiquitous flies. These are a real pain at the moment and many spots provide coasters, not to protect the table but to put over your glass. Despite that I regularly have to rescue the poor wee things from drowning in my beer. The butterflies, whilst not actually insects, are stunning here, oranges and reds abound with various sizes, though sadly no giant ones, while delicate restrained moths flutter by too.

Also technically not insects spiders are definitely “multi-legged beasties”, and are plentiful here; fortunately no really big bird eating types, or any poisonous ones at all as far as I’m led to believe, but occasionally pretty ones with interesting patterns on their bodies. My ceilings are covered with cobwebs and abandoned exoskeletons.

Crickets and cicadas provide night time choruses (competing with the toads at the moment) and sometimes venture into the house. For a while last year (October and November) there was the occasional flash of a firefly at night to complement the wonderful starry skies.

Overall Ghana is great if you’re an entomologist (or an etymologist – 70+ languages) but not so brill for the squeamish.





One response

9 09 2008

In Nigeria they used to judge how long you had been in the country by your reaction to a fly in your beer. Just arrived – you ask for a new beer, been there a while – you fish the fly out and drink the beer, many years – you drink beer, fly and all!

Take care over the elections; the people have long memories and, as you showed, violence can flare quickly and dangerously. Having said that I was there for the first democratic elections when Rawlings was elected, and Tumu was as peaceful as ever.

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