Always looking for animals

Sam, Katy, and Noggs in Africa

Our house, their habitat

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There are a lot of big animals living outside our house.

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Nogg’s little footprint next to a giraffe’s big footprint

The inside of our house is home to a lot of animals as well. Not all of them are as cute as Nogg’s cuddly toys.

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Noggs has recently started putting his teddies to bed. He tucks them in, gives them some storybooks, turns on the nightlight, and kisses them good night. It’s too cute.

Insects:

The dreaded flatties – There are super fast, super big spiders in South Africa called flatties because they sit flat on the walls. They aren’t harmful but they seriously freak Sam out! He thinks they are gross. Katy is in charge of catching and releasing them outside upon request. These requests are fairly regular but they are not always successful due to the quickness and shrewdness of the flattie.

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Flatties – they are as big as a horse…sticker!

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Flatties – they are so fast, they blur photos!

Shongololos – Millipedes are  affectionately called shongololos here. The name shongololo comes from an African word “ukushonga” which means ‘to roll up’ because when they feel threatened they roll up into a ball. Noggs likes to touch them and watch them. He can’t quite say shongololo so he calls the shokos.

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Shoko!

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Petting a millipede

Dung beetles – After the rains a lot of dung beetles come out. They find poo, roll it into giant balls, push the balls long distances, and then have babies in the poo. Nice. Sometimes they fight over poo or females will lazily hitch a ride on their mate’s poo ball while he pushes it.

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Get off my poo!

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Rolling poo into a perfect ball

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Watching poo roll by the front door. Bye bye poo.

Scorpions – Scorpions are not our favourite house guests but they are part of life in the bush. We sometimes find scorpions stuck in the bathtub in the mornings and scuttling around on the floor at night. The ones with the big pinchers and slim tails are not very venomous and the ones with the skinny pinchers and fat tails are the dangerous ones. We get both. Lucky us.

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Scorpion in the bathtub.

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Catching a scorpion to release outside

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Fat tailed nasty scorpion upon release

Geckos and lizards:

Because we have such a plethora of insect life, we have geckos and lizards that eat them which is jolly good despite their poo getting everywhere. One of Nogg’s first words was gecko and he loves seeing them, although he freaks out a bit if one touches him.

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Munching some insects

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Lizard basking in the sun on the sofa

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Gecko

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We often find gecko tails on the porch in the morning and try to grab them quick so Noggs doesn’t put them in his mouth. Just to gross Chloe out, we here is Wam’s toe.

Snakes:

So far (pounding on wood) we haven’t had a snake in this house. This does happen fairly often in the area where we stay though so we are always keeping an eye out, especially as there are a fair few venomous ones. We did have a snake lay her eggs near our house which hatched everywhere. We found the fresh shells soon afterwards. That grossed Katy out. Sam took photos.

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Snake hole with eggs

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Snakey eggs

Small mammals:

BatsOur house is also a bat hotel. We like bats but they are getting a bit much. They poo and wee all over our porch all the time. They sometimes get caught inside our bedroom and fly around our bed while we are trying to sleep. When we came back from holiday, we found a petrified bat in our mosquito net. One decided to make a home in Nogg’s schoolbag and then flew out when Katy opened it. We had to catch it with a mixing bowl to release it. We do like bats but we wouldn’t mind it they spent more time outside and less time inside. Here is my poem about bats: Fly bats, be free, and roost in trees rather than schoolbags please.

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One of the two species of bats that live on and in our house

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Morning bat poo shower to sweep up

Birds – There are active five birds nests hanging off the edge of our roof. Now we’re not bird experts but I think they are occupied by cut throat finches (what a cool name like little avian pirates!). They don’t come inside but they do dive bomb towards your head if you walk under their nests (kamikaze pirates, even cooler!!).

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Nest

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Kamikaze pirates resting before their next attack

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