Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Selected Flora and Fauna of Ghana,West Africa

These photos start and end with the Queen of the Night- an amazing flower we had the honor of seeing on three different nights. Each flower blooms for one night only. All that exquisite showiness for a few sweet hours. They certainly reign in the night!

I also caught some baboons, unidentified pink flowers, a beach path, a tiny owl (Elf Owl?) with a mouse, ostriches, an Agama agama (the brilliant lizard), a termite hill, a fresh almond and a crock! I was going to add trees to this, but decided the amazing trees of Ghana deserve a separate post!

A word on the owl. I got that shot on our last night at the beautiful, ocean-side, eco-resort Kasapa Center, outside of Accra. Proprieters Kofi and Susanne are good friends and true visionaries. They began creating this green, sustainable "village-like" resort about ten years ago. They combine traditional African architecture with the latest technologies, such as solar electricity, a bio-dynamic sewage system and modern hygienic compost toilets that work great.

The beauty of the place is only matched by the attentive and caring staff. Everyday, we ate delicious food under a big open air, thatched roof pavilion. One night when Kofi alerted me to the presence of the owl, I left the dining table to get this shot. When I  came back, I mentioned that I knew some African people were afraid of owls. My dear sister-in-law, Naadu said, "All of them are!"

At that point one of the staff looked over my shoulder at the picture. "Oh my, was that taken in our country?" she asked. "Yes, I just took it right over there." She let out a shriek and ran to the kitchen laughing. Susanne and Kofi said they are seeing their night visitor in a new way and are enjoying catching glimpses of him. So I hope I helped rehabilitate the image of the owl a little bit.

We felt blessed to spend our last few days at Kasapa, a slice of heaven, where the Queen of the Night flower presaged the emergence of the true Queen of the Night!

All photos and artwork by Barbara Upton
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Unknown said...

Lovely, lovely, what an exotic assortment of beauty!

Barbara Upton said...

Exotic assortment of beauty- I like that!