Skip to main content

Storks Bring More Than Babies

There is a large stork that arrives in Niger, usually sometime in May, before the rainy season really begins.  And what do the storks bring?  Babies?  Nope, they bring rain or at least the promise of rain.

Local farmers have told us that when they see the Abdim's Stork....or waliya in Songhai....that they know it is time to prepare their fields for the rainy season.  

I asked once if people eat the storks and the person looked at me like I'd grown two heads.  The answer was, "No.  They bring the rainy season.  We would never kill something that brings us a blessing."

I love watching them soaring in the sky, riding the heat waves, looking for insects, frogs, and other delectable creatures to eat.

(Sorry, it's kind of blurry!)
 The insect population increases rapidly in the rainy season and the storks are helpful in consuming massive amounts of them.  One thing they especially like are locusts, so they are natural helpers in keeping away one of the farmer's biggest pests.  (Though when there is a locust plague, even the storks can't keep up with the numbers.)

Twice somebody has brought us a young one to show us.  They'll keep them until they're ready to fly.  I suppose these particular ones fell out of the nest or were injured in some way. 
Our guard brought this one into our compound.  I don't think he looks too happy all hunkered
down like that.  
 The Abdim's Stork breeds in West Africa.  When the rains are over and the little ones are big enough to fly, they head east into eastern Africa and eventually make their way as far south as Namibia, Botswana, and even South Africa where they stay throughout our dry season.

If you're interested in reading more here are two links to help you out:
http://seaworld.org/animal-info/animal-bytes/birds/abdims-stork/
http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=3831

Comments

Heather said…
Hi there! I'm Heather and I wanted to know if you would be willing to answer a quick question about your blog! Please email me whenever you get a free moment at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)

Popular posts from this blog

Practice Hospitality

My mother-in-law, Jean, is an amazing person with many gifts.  One of the first things I noticed about her when I was but a young bride, was her gift of hospitality.  It was nothing for her to invite a large group of people over, make each one feel welcome, cook a big meal,and seemingly do it without stressing herself out.  I don't know if hospitality just came naturally to her or if she learned it.  In this picture you can see Jean throwing a party for a class she taught in Nigeria.  




I believe that for me it has been a learned skill.  My parents were hospitable and it wasn't unusual for us to have guests over (though usually not as many at a time as my mother-in-law would do!).  But when I started living on my own, I had to learn hospitality.  The first time I invited somebody over for a meal, the lid got stuck on the pot of vegetables, I put too much salt or soda or something in the muffins, and I forgot to serve milk and sugar with the hot drinks.  I've gotten much bett…

Meat Roll-ups

Tonight I made meat roll-ups.  And I got to use some ingredients that made food prep much easier than normal!  I did make two batches of rolls so that John could have a lactose-free meal.

The first thing to do is to brown some hamburger.  With the main batch I stirred a tin of mushroom soup into the browned meat.  For John's batch, I stirred in flour, some almond milk, and seasonings just enough to moisten it, but not to make it really runny.  In Niger, I would make it the second way since we don't have tinned soup.

Next I made a batch of biscuit dough using Bisquick.  Of course, in Niger, I have to make the biscuit dough from scratch.  I mixed it up with the almond milk.  Once the dough is rolled out in a strip, spread the meat mixture on it.  Roll it up like you would cinnamon rolls and cut into slices.  Lay the slices on a cookie sheet and cook in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes.



While they're baking, I browned fresh mushrooms in butter (in Niger I would use tinned mushroo…

Happenings in November

Well, here we are, more than half way through December, and I'm just now getting around to telling you about November.  It was a fun, busy, and eventful month.  We were still on vacation and we got in a lot of good family time during the month.

We were still in Ohio with Suz and Theo at the beginning of the month.  Suz and Theo were working hard to get Hezekiah to gain weight.  He kept losing weight for the first few weeks of his life, but he's doing great now.  We tried to spend as much time as possible with Tera so Suzanne could concentrate on adjusting to the new baby ... but mostly just because we wanted to and we enjoy her so much.  





We also tried to get in as many baby snuggles as we could.



Whenever we are in the area, my dad's cousin, Jeanne, invites us for a meal. She is actually closer to me in age than to my dad, so I've always just considered her a cousin and don't try to figure out if she's a second cousin or a first cousin once removed.  Whatever the …