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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

It's a bug's life! - the Botswana underbelly

I guess it is safe to say that I have always been fascinated by bugs and insects. Not to the same degree as some are, I am sure. I haven't bothered with identifying them, or joining entomology clubs, or going on bug-hunting outings and trips, though I know quite a few people who do just that. No, my interest is more cursory. I am fascinated by the vast scope of insects that exist. I love their colours, textures, the way the move, their shapes, sizes, etc. For this reason you would often find me surrounded by nieces, nephews and other children, with our noses close to the ground, in the garden, searching out interesting life forms. It was precisely this activity that inspired my first children's book, Tuinstories. Deciding to do the illustrations for the book myself, finally gave sense to all those hours studying the critters of the garden.

Whenever I travel in places that have long stretches of dirt roads, open fields and few people, I make use of every possible opportunity to take long hikes. My camera would inevitably travel along and I will happily snap every single thing I come across, including bugs. For today's blog, I do not have much to say, but I wanted to share some of these pictures with you, for I found Botswana's insect life fascinating. Not only did the insects, in general, appear larger than what I was used to at home, but they also seemed more colourful. Aside from the butterflies which, though there were plenty of them, appeared much more muted and smaller than at home.

I was especially fascinated by the dung beetles and took a few videos as well.

The grasshoppers appeared to be the biggest and brightest of the insects.

When deciding to illustrate my book, I was left with a number of line drawings and captured these in a coloring book which is also available on the market, titled Kom Kleur Tuinstories In.

It was just as important to me to give my young readers the chance to learn to draw and paint the characters in the book themselves. With this in mind, I developed an activity book to accompany the storybook, called Kom Ons Teken En Verf Tuinstories.

Having seen all of the pretty grasshoppers, I was rather saddened that one of the characters in the book wasn't a grasshopper. The cricket came close though.

A very funny encounter with a Red Roman Spider occurred to me one night in Botswana. I recounted the tale of this meeting in a previous blog, titles The Roman Invasion. Click on the link if you wish to have a good laugh.

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:
You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
Jy kan Kom Ons Teken en Verf Tuinstories hier koop.
Jy kan Kom Ons Kleur Tuinstories In hier koop.
Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
You can follow Miekie's daily Bible Study blog, Bybel Legkaart, here in English & Afrikaans.
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