The Bemba term for “natural resources” is ifilengua na lesa. Literally, “God’s resources.” Zambia’s Northern Province, where I live, may not boast amazing topography (it’s mainly one big plateau), but it has a beauty all its own.
Slow, meandering rivers still overflow each season into their natural floodplains. Interesting insects, birds, lizards, and small wildlife abound – even if the big animals are virtually extinct outside a few game reserves and national parks. Forests still cover most of the landscape. Extensive wetlands provide sweeping views. Even the slashed-and-burned fields have their own eerie beauty – especially at dawn and dusk.
In short, we are blessed.
Mfuba’s wetland, about 2K from my house. A peaceful getaway.
Inyense. An (apparently delicious) edible insect.
Spider webs on my garden fence, covered in morning dew.
First rain storm of the season, pouring down on my yard and garden (right).
Ants devouring a bug. Not sure if they killed it, or found it dead.
Dragonfly on my brick wall.
Fishing boats along a canal in Nsombo, on the marshy eastern edge of Lake Bangweulu.
Mumpa caterpillars devouring the tree leaves in my yard.
Lizard hiding in a tree trunk.
My favorite tree: the big landmark mpundu, halfway between Mfuba and Lubushi. Fresh fruit bonus on the bike ride!
Unusually hilly dambo area near fellow PCV Evan’s village of Malonda.
River near Erica’s village, Ipusukilo.
Big, black locust.
Beautiful dried flower in Mfuba’s wetland.
Sunset at the dambo.
A cool bug that landed on my shirt.
Cool, green-headed lizards that can be found all over Mfuba – if you look fast.
Vine-covered tree trunk outside Luwingu.
September colors from the front porch, with my favorite tree (Mpasa) at left.
My first scorpion sighting in Zambia – in my house, of course.
Moth on the reed mat in my nsaka.
One of the crazy-long millipedes that I love and the kids regard with horror.
Gaboon viper, and the machete that did it in.
Sunrise from the road out to the tarmac, taken in late October (dry season). That time of year, I had to leave for Kasama VERY early in the morning to avoid the searing heat.
Seed pod of an mpasa tree. They’re bigger than my hand.
Ba Bernardi and Ba Evans atop Mfuba’s “mountain.”
Flame-colored flowers emerging after a fire.
Amasuku fruits on a low-hanging branch.
Winged termites emerging from one of the many holes in my walls and hard-packed dirt yard.
Rocks! Such outcroppings are NOT common in NoPro, so Adam & I were stoked when we found out about these, right outside Kasama. Fun scrambling ensued.
Sunrise over a slashed-and-burned field on an early-morning bike ride out of Mfuba.
These beautiful flowers have popped up all over the burned patches of forest around Mfuba.
Sunset behind an abandoned building in the village of Nsombo.
Can’t remember the name of the fuzzy caterpillars at left, but next to it are two mumpa and one cinamunkakankaka (say that one three times fast.)
Rock outcrops outside Kasama.
Storm rolling in over my front yard.
Mutondo tree flowers smell amazing, too.
Path down to Mfuba’s dambo.
Cinsamba caterpillars are NOT edible. The kids won’t even touch them.
Very cool locust.
Rocks outside Kasama.
This fire was set to flush out a snake found in the area.
Storm clouds behind my nsaka.
Crescent moon seen through the branches of a dead tree in my yard.
Lukulu River and wetlands in flood. My favorite spot along the ride from Mfuba to Kasama.
A creek along the Mfuba-Luena road.
Locust in the doorway of the NoPro house. This guy was at least 10 cm long, and his wings looked exactly like leaves.
A branch of the “Mfuba River.” I’d call it a creek.
Girls of Mfuba, playing on a recently chopped-down tree. (I was told it was shading out a small orange tree, so it just had to go.)