A big thanks to Carol (CarolG), Jukka (Kuvailija) and Darryl (Carper123) for their UA's, much appreciated
There are no minutes in the Namib desert more important than the minutes comprising dawn. In the time the night fades away and the sun creeps towards the horizon, warm air from the Atlantic ocean sweeps over the cold waters of the Benguela current. This combination of opposites creates a thick coastal fog that can penetrate 100km into the desert.
These fogs and the fresh water they contain are the life essence of the Namib. Moisture condenses on the desert grasses and on the bodies of small creatures. These sparse drops of dew must sustain them until the next dawn.
V1...At dawn, these ants can be found sipping dew that has condensed on the grasses. In order to limit water loss, they breath in short rapid bursts.They build their colonies in the soft sand under the grasses. These pink flowers are the size of a ladies finger nail so the ants are minute and hard to spot. V2 shows you how small the flowers are
V3.. The long legged beetle uniquely adapted to the use of fog. They have short front legs and long back legs.They climb to the crest of a dune or high spot in the desert and they collect water by facing the wind and raise their backsides to intercept the fog. This behaviour is known as "head standing" or "fog basking". Once the fog condenses onto droplets on their backs, it trickles down the beetles back towards the mouth. In a morning they can take in 40% of their body weight in water. During the day the beetle forages on the sandy surface and stays cool by running-creating its own wind these beetles were running so fast, hence my not getting a good shot , they disappeared so quickly.
V4.. Lithops commonly known as "Living stones" are probably the most well known member of the large succulent family of plants and are unique to this desert. These living stones consist of two lobed obconical (upside down cone shaped) body that is in fact a fused and thickened pair of opposite leaves. The stem is very short and not visible. They are referred to as living stones because of their close resemblance to the pebbles around them. They also rely on the daily fog for survival. Each pair will produce one solitary flower in Autumn. This flower is usually white or yellow or orange. You can see the flowers are starting to form. They open late in the day and close again at dusk. They are pollinated by bees, wasps and bugs that frequent the area.
Sorry for the long write up....have a nice Monday
Tags: Flowers and plants
Wildlife and nature
Long legged beetles
ugly, CarolG, ddolfelin and 69 more