Sunday, September 9, 2012

Simandou Moths (and a beetle)!

One of the things that suprised me about Simandou is the huge variety of moths, varying greatly in pattern and in size from itty bitty tiny ones to some bigger than your hand!  Right now there aren't so many about in the rainy season but earlier on in the year they were everywhere.

Drilling here continues through the nights so when we go up to visit the rigs there are huge numbers of them to be seen attracted to the lights of the drilling rigs.

Of course moths aren't the only small beasties about (they are just the easiest to photograph, we had ants stealing bits of pringles that had fallen on the ground outside the bar a few evenings ago) and noise they make, especially in the evenings, is spectacular as is the sound of all the birds that feed on them!

One of the sad things here, for me anyway, is the lack of big wild animals.  They were here in the past there but they have been hunted out (one of the passes over the mountain is called elephant pass and one of the geologists here found an elephant's tooth not so long ago).  Of course compares to many other places there is still a fair bit of wildlife, dik-diks (tiny deer), monkeys of various types and chimps in the protected forest as well as lots of snakes and lizards!  One of the good things about the operations here that I've mentioned before is the amount of effort being put in to protect the environment from both the operations setting up and running the mine as well as from the local population through education  (bush meat is a big problem here.

On the dinner table!  I wonder what it's fuzzy rear is for?

Love the patterns on the big one.

By the door to my room, the corridor to my room is open to the air so we often have large numbers of moths attracted by the lights.
This photo was taken by my another geologist at night at one of the rigs.
And the promised beetle, for variety!

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