Tuesday, June 03, 2003


I'll write some passage of the book I'm reading... "The Masked Rider - Cycling in West Africa" by Neil Peart.

"At last we were on our way out of town. A long, crumbling causeway traversed the Wouri River wide and shallow near its delta, then led us into a low-lying coastal region. Heavy waving reeds and grasses on either side of the road gave way to tall palms and opaque deciduous trees. Occasional patches of pond and swamp opened among the greenery, and made a home for water birds like the Hamerkop, a peculiar bird I'd come to know in East Africa.

The Hamerkop is a small brown heron, named for its ice-axe-shaped head. It is known as 'The Lightning Bird', or 'The King of Birds' to Africans, and is enshrined in myth and legend. For each year a pair of Hamerkops selects a tree overhanging the water, then spend three months (a long time in birdland) building a roughly spherical mass of sticks up to six feet in diameter, with a small side entrance."

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