We have come to respect the Texans. They work in the 35 - 40 degree Celsius heat, wearing jeans and thick long sleeved shirts with boots and cowboy hats. They have to, because the land is so inhospitable. There are fire-ants and thorn tree's, stinging nettles, poison ivy, poison oak, swarms of mosquito's and if that's not enough they have to contend with poisonous snakes too!
The mosquito's really don't play by the rules. They bite at all times of the day, unlike our civilised African mozzies which come out at dusk. The mosquito's in Texas don't give any polite buzz to warn you of their intentions, they just fly straight up to you and sink in the their monster sized proboscis' with painful accuracy. You have heard that everything is bigger and better in Texas, well the Mosquito's here are HUGE! I think there should be a Geneva Convention for mosquito's!
The stick insect is as long as a hand, much bigger than it's African cousin. This critter bit the man who saved him from being wrapped in an awning.
Not only are the Texans tough, they are generous. Look at all the lovely veggies we have been given. We were given a lot more than this pic shows.. plenty to share with friends and family. We had green mielies (corn) and sweet corn too. When we roasted the green mielies on the braai, it made all of us Africans so homesick.. just the smell and taste of those mielies. It reminds me of all the times we saw them being roasted on the side of the road, directly over coals, for sale to passing busses and taxi's. Once in Mozambique on the road to Beira, I just HAD to have a fire roasted mielie, despite dire warnings of cholera and typhoid and dysentery etc from the Dr and the Pilot... I ordered the land rover stopped and bought one for myself. The Dr capitulated and had one too. The Pilot said we were both mad. When Kirstie and I were kids the gardener would roast mielies on a shovel in the Rhodesian boiler for us.