Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wildlife in the city

Margouillat in a tree
Beyond the irksome insects and other home invaders, there are also interesting animals that live in the city, but outside homes (most of the time--sometimes a creature might get lost and enter a home by error.) The most fascinating were the big lizards, called "margouillats." The Douala margouillats were blue-greenish, about 6 inches long, and I could stay for hours just watching them (of course when I arrived in Cameroon, there wasn't much to do. No TV, and the Internet didn't even exist yet). There was something about them. Every now and then you'd see an egg, and try to find out when it would hatch.
Other lizards were the little semi-transparent ones that you also find in the Caribbean islands. They often were found crawling on the inside of the house walls, toward the ceiling.
Before living in Douala, I didn't know there existed land-based frogs: they lived in the yard. It was hard to catch a glimpse of them, but you could hear them chirping at night. Crickets were heard, but not seen, also, as in the summer in other parts of the world.