I enjoyed my early morning coffee in the company of white browed sparrow weavers, red winged starlings, red eyed bulbuls, Cape turtle doves, red eyed doves, rock pigeons (yes, I know they’re called speckled pigeons now), laughing doves and pied starlings picking over the area where we’d had supper the previous evening. Not a crumb was missed.

Sadly, it was time to leave the Mountain Zebra National Park. Reluctantly, I began pulling the plastic storage containers from the tent to resort and pack them. As I was doing so, I noticed a large, fleshy-looking spider tucked under the rim of one of them.


It didn’t move and so I tipped the container on its side in order to photograph this torpid creature: first in the shade and then in the sunlight. It barely budged (which suited me, I have to admit).

Wishing to photograph it in a more natural setting, I flicked it to the ground. There it blended in so well that I had to note carefully where it was in order not to squash it inadvertently while I got on with the packing.

While I was busy, some pied starlings moved in to sweep the ground of any other tasty morsels that may have floated down while I emptied the containers. To my immense surprise – and shock in a way, for I had had a brief relationship with it – one of them pounced on the spider and made short work of eating it!



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