Greetings and salutations,
For the past twenty years my routine has been to do night drives, with something like the regularity of the nesting behaviour of leatherback turtles. A regular thing, and possibly more so in the case of Zululand in this respect. Darkness is special here. Sometimes quite a sensory overload; especially regarding the sounds and smells. In this case it was all about the sounds.
Frogs and their nocturnal behaviour are always a great feature of these nightly excursions. We seldom see them - rummaging through the wetland to fish out a frog or two could potentially prove a health hazard. Apart from the threat of hippo and crocs, being sucked into the mud is also a major danger. Since chivalry is not dead in Africa, ladies are offered first option to go frogging, then the gents, and finally the guide. This usually means that all and sundry remain on board in the safety of the Unimog safari vehicle.
Back to a couple of nights ago, we were parked next to a pond of lively frogs. I was pontificating about frog communication techniques and how sound is ideal for nocturnal courtship in the reeds. In addition to this, there would be a lot of mating going on as a result of an approaching low pressure system that would inevitably bring rain. One of the guests decided to concentrate on the idea of frogs mating, and asked if they mated every night. I replied that they "ask similar questions about humans." It went down like a lead balloon! I suppose we would have not seen it fall, but the dull thud of lead hitting terra-firma would have startled any animals in the vicinity who were minding their own business.
Hasta la vista
The Knait Whrydah