Thursday, September 15, 2016

Bug eyes at the botanical gardens

JT clearly likes movies that scare him just a little bit, like the cartoon Hobbit and Willow. He asks to watch them, but then later tells us he is scared of the bad guys. Or as he puts it, "Cared bug eyes!"

This was a prominent topic of conversation while we wandered the Dassie Trail of the Pretoria National Botanical Garden.

"Cared bug eyes!"
What bad guys are you scared of?
"In a movie. Gandaf."
Are you scared of the dragon? "Dagon say Raaaaar!"
Are you scared of the goblins? "Yes." Are you scared of the spiders? "Piders, yes!"
Do you want to watch The Hobbit again? "Yes!"

Well, JT has found a new bug eye, er, bad guy. This bad guy has bug eyes: ants.

A tree suitable for nesting
We loved wandering through the Botanical Gardens. They were beautiful. The day was exceptionally pleasant. We hope to go back again just before we go back home to see what new flowers have blossomed.

But going to the arboretum was a mistake. The arboretum is not a building or a covered structure - it's just a place where the trees are particularly good for building nests so you can hear the birds sing. It's also a place where the dirt has gathered into ant hills on the road.

My hero!
Ants COVER the ground. It's not quite an eat-Indiana-Jones level ant invasion, but there are a lot of em. JT sat down for a moment to examine the ants. He was suddenly covered in ants biting him. He held up his hand to us and you couldn't see his thumb for how thickly the ants were crawling. We brushed and batted them off, but more were climbing onto him (and us, I suppose).

We picked him up and made a run for it. We couldn't run far enough to get away from them because they were everywhere.

We did finally find a place where we hoped the ants were different and hadn't been alerted to eat him, set him down, took of his most of his clothing, and brushed the remaining ants off. He was grateful.

JT spent the rest of the walk telling us he was scared of bad guys and ants. Princess was also feeling ... antsy. I couldn't blame either one. When we sat down for a second, I kept my feet off the ground too to make sure more didn't join us. Joy was fascinated by the sideways-growing tree, so we got a picture of that.

I suppose we should have taken this as a warning
JT does still want to go back to the botanical gardens for another Dassie Trail walk. That was nice. But we won't be visiting the arboretum again!


This morning he pointed at a decorative statue of an Irish soldier in the breakfast room.
"Is it bug eye?"
No. He's a good guy.
"Oh. Fun joke."