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Three wonders of the Namib desert

By ColleenA
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

Tags: Flowers and plants Living stones Wildlife and nature Namib desert Dune ants Long legged beetles

Voters: ugly, CarolG, ddolfelin and 69 more

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Comments


CarolG Plus
9 195 18 Greece
10 Mar 2014 6:40AM
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

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10 Mar 2014 6:40AM
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.
Andysnapper 8 109 25 England
10 Mar 2014 6:47AM
Isn't it amazing how even in the most inhospitable of places life finds a way. A super series of shots Colleen.

Andy
Caziwinkles 3 3 1 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2014 6:59AM
Fascinating set and a very interesting write up Colleen. Smile

Carol
JohnoP 11 2
10 Mar 2014 7:01AM
Nature is amazing! John
User_Removed 3 4 1 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2014 7:05AM
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
SUE118 Plus
8 8 1 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2014 7:21AM
Some lovely images here my fav the beetle.Smile
Nikonuser1 Plus
4 56 13 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2014 7:22AM
Very interesting write up Colleen, a great set of images, V1 great looking flowers, lovely colour, like the beetlesSmile


Cliff
10 Mar 2014 7:25AM
What beauties Colleen and,a fascinating write up. It's always good to read, v1 my favourite Grin
Patty Grin
LynneJoyce Plus
8 20 99 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2014 7:27AM
Five excellent images and a fascinating write up.
fotobee Plus
3 4 3 South Africa
10 Mar 2014 7:29AM
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.
10 Mar 2014 7:35AM
Isn't nature wonderful.
I have never seen such growth ever.
Thanks for sharing images and knowledge
10 Mar 2014 7:51AM
Love V1 Colleen.
Lillian Plus
7 21 17 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2014 8:10AM
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
Lillian
viscostatic 10 34 5 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2014 8:51AM
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.

Phil.
10 Mar 2014 9:07AM
fine captures and narrative Colleen

Graham
Mollycat Plus
3 11 2 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2014 9:30AM
Wonderful pictures to go with your interesting narrative Colleen.
Peter.
ali63 Plus
4 747 1 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2014 10:27AM
Wonderful set of images Colleen, I love the little pink flowers,

Ali GrinGrin
SlowSong Plus
8 6.3k 29 England
10 Mar 2014 10:48AM
Love the tiny beetle. SmileSmileSmile
10 Mar 2014 11:16AM
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 2 1 Romania
10 Mar 2014 11:35AM
What a fantastic natural adaptation for the Lithops!
A great series ( photos & text). I hope to continue!
Silviu
Terrific images and write up Colleen.. V1 is amazing..love it.

Lynette Grin
TrevBatWCC Plus
8 12 10 England
10 Mar 2014 11:46AM
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
10 Mar 2014 12:14PM
amazing photos! greatwork an narrative too
10 Mar 2014 12:58PM
Interesting stuff Colleen.
L
taggart Plus
12 46 13 United States
10 Mar 2014 1:26PM
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.
WesternRed.
10 Mar 2014 1:59PM
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.
Martyn.
WhiteRose1 Plus
6 1.6k 148 England
10 Mar 2014 2:23PM
Didn't notice the length of the write up, Colleen, fascinating descriptions and images to match.

Dave
mikbee 9 3 8 Scotland
10 Mar 2014 2:30PM
Interesting shots Colleen,
and interesting write up too !!
Mick.
a very interesting set well taken



billy
saltireblue Plus
6 5.9k 33 Norway
10 Mar 2014 3:52PM
Isn't nature wonderful - how its creatures adapt in order to survive and find the most amazing solutions.


Malc
Mike_Young 9 12 9 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2014 4:21PM
Another really interesting and very well captured series Colleen
10 Mar 2014 4:47PM
I have seen a documentary on V3 by David attenbarrough . A great set
xwang 7 55 8
10 Mar 2014 5:32PM
Beautiful detail, colour, and light. Wonderful writing up...
JuBarney Plus
5 20 3 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2014 5:48PM
A fine set and love the flowers
Ju
mistere Plus
3 1 3 England
10 Mar 2014 6:21PM
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.

Dave.
capto Plus
4 3.9k 8 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2014 6:53PM
A smashing and informative set.Smile

ivor
Stunning macro set, Colleen. Great narrative.

Fred
jaktis 12 84 Sweden
10 Mar 2014 7:30PM
So interesting

Peter
Glostopcat 10 255 2 England
10 Mar 2014 8:51PM
An interesting and eclectic set of images and a fascinating narrative to accompany them.
10 Mar 2014 10:16PM
Fantastic Colleen

Such variety in your photographs

Steve
marktc Plus
5 86 14 United Kingdom
10 Mar 2014 10:43PM
Another fabulous set Colleen, beautifully rendered images all.
Chinga Plus
5 1 1 United Kingdom
11 Mar 2014 1:17AM
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.
IB

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