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Three wonders of the Namib desert

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Good morning....
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

Camera:Nikon D5300 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 G VR
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:23 Feb 2014 - 3:15 PM
Focal Length:170mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/6.3
Shutter Speed:1/1600sec
Exposure Mode:Aperture-priority AE
Metering Mode:Center-weighted average
Flash:No Flash
White Balance:Auto
Title:Three wonders of the Namib desert
Username:ColleenA ColleenA
Uploaded:10 Mar 2014 - 6:32 AM
Tags:Dune ants, Flowers & plants, Living stones, Long legged beetles, Namib desert, Wildlife / nature
VS Mode Rating 100 (42.86% won)
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Have you just re-uploaded these, Colleen, I'm sure I commented and voted a while back Smile Love the little pink flower, and I'm sure that those beetles run so fast because the hot sand is burning their feet Grin Carol


Enjoyed the write-up, Colleen.
Some interesting pictures - I've seen the living stones on SA postage stamps but not in life.
You managed to find quite a bit of interest among the sand.

10 Mar 2014 - 6:47 AM

Isn't it amazing how even in the most inhospitable of places life finds a way. A super series of shots Colleen.


10 Mar 2014 - 6:59 AM

Fascinating set and a very interesting write up Colleen. Smile


JohnoP  10
10 Mar 2014 - 7:01 AM

Nature is amazing! John

10 Mar 2014 - 7:05 AM

Nice to learn about the Namib desert and its so interesting about how wildlife lives even in these conditions. Out of all the pictures I do like the Lithops best. Bob


Some lovely images here my fav the beetle.Smile


Very interesting write up Colleen, a great set of images, V1 great looking flowers, lovely colour, like the beetlesSmile



What beauties Colleen and,a fascinating write up. It's always good to read, v1 my favourite Grin
Patty Grin


Five excellent images and a fascinating write up.


GrinGrinGrinGrin Four votes for four photo`s! I dont know which is better, maybe the ant. The beetles are maybe technically the best, extremely difficult to photograph! Regards Martin.


Isn't nature wonderful.
I have never seen such growth ever.
Thanks for sharing images and knowledge


Love V1 Colleen.


Very informative Colleen, strange and beautiful world we live in and your array of images
just proves another point about how we and they survive, lovely set

10 Mar 2014 - 8:51 AM

No need to apologise for such an interesting write-up Colleen. These are fascinating images. V5 clearly shows why people are restricted to certain areas. These plants are so difficult to see and would be easily trampled.


10 Mar 2014 - 9:07 AM

fine captures and narrative Colleen



Wonderful pictures to go with your interesting narrative Colleen.


Wonderful set of images Colleen, I love the little pink flowers,

Ali GrinGrin


Love the tiny beetle. SmileSmileSmile


Beautiful desert images ! --- V3 is very funny ,and i like it ,but V2 is my favourite though. Very beautifu red flowers in a green background!- Beautiful photography , Colleen! --- Jukka .

gss  1 Romania1 Constructive Critique Points
10 Mar 2014 - 11:35 AM

What a fantastic natural adaptation for the Lithops!
A great series ( photos & text). I hope to continue!


Terrific images and write up Colleen.. V1 is amazing..love it.

Lynette Grin


A fine collection of close-ups - those Lithops certainly do look like stones Smile You must have good eyesight to spot these, Colleen! Wink A very informative write-up too Smile
Trev Smile


amazing photos! greatwork an narrative too

lblythe  2 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2014 - 12:58 PM

Interesting stuff Colleen.


This is a very interesting set of images and an interesting insight into how the dessert environment makes its way!
Excellent reportage!


Five lovely captures. I like V1 a beauty. Well done Colleen.


Great images and interesting write up Colleen.

Jenny Smile


A lovely write up describing your pictures.I will be sorry when your Namib Desert photographs come to an end.I am particularly taken with the colours in V1&V2,though the details in the remainder are terrific.Well done Collen.


Didn't notice the length of the write up, Colleen, fascinating descriptions and images to match.


mikbee  8 Scotland8 Constructive Critique Points
10 Mar 2014 - 2:30 PM

Interesting shots Colleen,
and interesting write up too !!


a very interesting set well taken


saltireblue Site Moderator 55130 forum postssaltireblue vcard Norway31 Constructive Critique Points
10 Mar 2014 - 3:52 PM

Isn't nature wonderful - how its creatures adapt in order to survive and find the most amazing solutions.



Another really interesting and very well captured series Colleen


I have seen a documentary on V3 by David attenbarrough . A great set

xwang  632 forum posts7 Constructive Critique Points
10 Mar 2014 - 5:32 PM

Beautiful detail, colour, and light. Wonderful writing up...


A fine set and love the flowers


Excellent Colleen, Points for spotting the subjects, more points for the super photography
and extra points for the very informative write up. A grand total of 10/10.
Very nice work indeed.



A smashing and informative set.Smile



Stunning macro set, Colleen. Great narrative.



So interesting



An interesting and eclectic set of images and a fascinating narrative to accompany them.


Fantastic Colleen

Such variety in your photographs



Another fabulous set Colleen, beautifully rendered images all.


Hi Colleen! Thank you for the write up, it explained a lot about the fascinating life in the desert... Wonderful shots:
V1/2 - Magical macro beauty on show... Love those tiny little flowers...
V3 - Superb beetles - amazing how they survice the desert. Natures adaptibility at best...
V4/5 - Good shots of those Living Stones, in Portugal we call them "Pigs Trotters" and they are rather interesting shapes! Grin
They grow in the south in the garden if you plant thembut they don't grow wild.

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