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WHAT & WHERE IS KULAFUMBI?

1724670-982768-thumbnail.jpg 'Kulafumbi' is our family home in Kenya, East Africa. 'Kulafumbi' is a play on the Kiswahili words "kula vumbi", which mean "eat dust", because it was so hot and dusty building our house in this remote, wild, wonderful place. Kulafumbi borders the Tsavo National Park - with no fences between us and the Park, the wildlife comes and goes of its own free will and treats our land as its own, which is exactly how we like it. In turn, we provide a protected area for the wild animals to do as they please. This protected area also creates an important buffer for the river, which forms the boundary between us and the park.
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ON-GOING SPECIES COUNT

1829439-992202-thumbnail.jpg Look how many species of animals & birds we've spotted to date at Kulafumbi:

MAMMALS: 43+
REPTILES &
AMPHIBIANS: 18+++

BIRDS: 199+
INSECTS: Too many to count

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World-losers and world-forsakers,
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Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems..."

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« 19th October 2008 : Funny Old Stork | Main | 14th September 2008 : Making a Bee Line... »
Monday
Oct132008

13th October 2008 : Blooming Lovely

The fact that we water the flowers and plants around our house sends them slightly out of kilter, and some (like the commiphora tree up behind the kitchen, which has been a magnet for a whole swarm of bees these past few days) are flowering out of season while it’s scorching hot and dry beyond the immediate environs of our home. Another aloe is budding on the balcony and will come into flower within days, and the “four o’clock flowers” you saw in my previous post continue to burst forth in the afternoons, while below the house where we’re watering our tiny new fig trees (dug up from the riverbed where they would otherwise be washed away with the next flood), the angelic blue commelina flowers are emerging, alongside an array of other wild flowers.

But, it has to be said, the startlingly beautiful Fireball Lily (scadoxus multiflorus) has to be the cream of the crop. Normally this plant announces the imminent arrival of the rainy season, sending up its gorgeous pompom of about 150 individual flowers on a single thick stem (preceding the leaves which will come later) to signal that the rains are soon on their way. So, when the fireball lily (which my father planted in our balcony flower bed many years ago - as you know, we only have plants in and around our house which are indigenous to this area – no exotic interlopers allowed!) appeared on 1st October, we had to ask ourselves: are the rains coming soon, or is the plant merely responding to the regular watering it receives from us? The acacia tortilis trees, which normally turn green 5 weeks before the first rain falls, have been out in leaf for several weeks all over our property, the dikdiks are fighting, the fish eagles are calling and courting, and many of the other birds are shedding dull feathers in favour of superb breeding plumage, so I think it must be the former: the rains are on their way…and don’t we need them, to quench this dry and dessicated land…

According to the books I have on the subject, the fireball lilies normally bloom for 10 days…but sometimes, it would appear, the books aren’t always right…


This is the fireball lily emerging on 1st October…


By the 2nd, the ball of flowers is almost fully developed…


I just couldn’t stop photographing this incredible creation of Nature…the above picture was taken on the 4th October, with the Fireball absolutely blazing...


Lo and behold, on the 10th October, another lily sends up its thick green stalk, with promises of more glory to come…but note our first lily, still going strong after ten days!


How beautiful is this bud in its pure perfection?


11th October and the new fireball starts to unfurl (and look how much taller the plant has grown in just 24 hours)...


…the plump bud opening to reveal its captive, curled up flowers (soon to be released in all their richness of colour and form!)


What a pair! Still going strong after 12 days (though admittedly having lost some of its former lustre), our first lily is joined by the second, almost fully-open Fireball, now coming into its prime.


A picturesque balcony, indeed….




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Reader Comments (5)

What an explosion of colours ! Very very beautiful !
At the moment the trees in our little garden are getting their "fall-colours", looks beautiful also.
The internet is a great way to enjoy both worlds, thanx !

Take care, Audrey

October 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAudrey

Wow! I wish that was in my garden. It must have been amazing. I don't blame you for watching and photographing it all the time. Jane

October 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJane

That's what I miss from our life in Belize. I miss the unusual flowers and insects that you rarely (never) see in your daily life in Orange County, California.
Thanks for sharing.

October 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGutsywriter

Hello Audrey, Jane and Gutsywriter - thanks for keeping on coming back, even when I've been remiss at updating this journal...as you can see, I've been adding some new posts today, and still have lots more news to report before I'm up to date. I'm trying desperately to get everything written down before the rains start, and things start to get really frantic!

By the way, the first fireball lily finally faded but the second is still going...amazing...it's about half the size of a football.

October 19, 2008 | Registered CommenterTanya

I like it very much, perhaps I know not of these very deep, but I hope you will soon update your work!!!Thank you very much!! discount iphone 4

April 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbreaked

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