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Thursday, 14 April 2011


As Europe begins to finally be able to feel its toes again after the cold of Winter, here in the Southern hemisphere things are also beginning to change. As I have walked home at night recently, along the moonlit path as it winds through the bush, I have felt a distinct chill in the air. This has been accompanied by an even bigger chill in the morning when I have breakfast on the back step of my house. I find myself clutching my glass of hot lemongrass tea and thinking, do I really want to wear shorts today? Despite this, the temperatures during the day are still high and I still feel more comfortable in shorts and tee shirt. Walking home though, I’ve been very glad that the tee shirt is long sleeved! It feels like typical desert weather as the sky is mostly clear now resulting in high temperatures during the day and then all the heat escapes through the atmosphere at night making things cool. I fear that I may be packing away my shorts at the end of April.

This change also signals the end of rain season. No more rain now until November. This seems like a very odd prospect for me given that I grew up in Ireland where it rains almost every week regardless of season and London where it remains dry for at most four weeks at a time. I have already packed away my umbrella and haven’t seen any rain since the beginning of last week. The rains this year where not as heavy as previously apparently and therefore the maize crop will not be quite so good. It’s nothing to worry about but it just means people won’t be as well off.

The other fun noticeable change is the arrival of great big swarms of bees. I attempted to have breakfast outside Saturday morning only to discover that bees were swarming the outside of my house. After a while, a queen bee will be ejected from a beehive and when she is thrown out, bees loyal to her will follow her to a new location. This is why the bees are now looking for new homes. One assumes it also has something to do with finding somewhere warm to pass away the short cold season. It’s very cool to hear a swarm go by over-head and to think that it’s the sound of a thousand wings all beating together. Gian 'persuading' the tree to no longer be thereThankfully the bee’s decided that our house wasn’t quite suitable (maybe the giant rats scared them off) and so they didn’t stick around. Yesterday though, after work as I was heading past the church, I heard and then saw a big swarm just above the main entrance. There where hundreds of them and scared looking people where gathering around a little distance from the swarm to watch. This has happened a number of times over the years apparently but it’s bad enough chasing flies during mass without also having the prospect of being stung by a disgruntled bee that thinks you pose a threat. I have yet to pass by the church today to further investigate but if they do decided to settle then they won’t be left there for long. I just hope I don’t get the job of ‘persuading’ them to leave…

Your cold reporter in the middle of the nowhere


  1. Riddle me this Frozo. Do bees fly around in a swarm and when they decide to sting you, form into an arrow and chase you?


  2. How did you guess? That's exactly what they do, just like those fish in "Finding Nemo"!