Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Madagascar's Spiny Desert and Lemurs

My trip continued into Madagascar, truly one of the most unique places on earth. I learned in previous visits that most people here practice a form of ancestor worship. On this trip it was told that in some tribes all material possessions upon death are placed within the hut and burned! There is no descendency of wealth to the children. This was a completely foreign concept to some of my fellow travelers, who saw it only as a waste of resources. It did make some sense to me since I commonly witness people in my culture who's experiences cause them to have a complete lack of appreciation for money won with hard work. The Malagasy culture never ceases to surprise me. The lemurs were great too. Here's a few pictures of the unique desert and the lemurs.

Madagascar's Spiny Desert

One of the dominant plants is Didera, something akin to our ocotillo but different.

Madagascar has received a lot rain recently and the Didera was leafed out big time.

The ringtail lemur!

Here's another one with its young nearby.

This ringtail lemur loved eating the pads of the prickly pear cactus (introduced).

This lemur is called a Sifaka and truly is a gem to watch on the trees. However.....

They do come down to the ground to cross an open patch in the forest and they do this lovely little waltz on only two legs!

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