By: Blonde One

You must remember by now that my alternative hobby to leading groups of teenagers on expeditions is going to be ladybird spotting? I intend to hang up my walking boots one day and immerse myself in the ladybirds of Devon. I will only read books connected to ladybirds, I will not venture out of Devon and I will take huge quantities of photos of the different varieties that I see! My life will be very simple; complexity will not be tolerated.

Whilst in Morocco I found myself wondering which species I would ‘spot’ if I lived there, as an alternative to ladybirds. Here are the nominations:

1. Scorpions. I saw brown ones and white ones. Both were fascinating but I couldn’t feel any affection for them. The white one that snuck out from behind my rucksack in my bedroom was particularly unpleasant. Luckily I didn’t get stung by any of them.

2. Frogs. On our campsite beside the river it was unusual and mesmerising being sung to sleep by the frog chorus. It was one of my best sounds of all time. We saw a good range of frogs, all shapes and sizes. I was put off frog spotting by the presence of poisonous ones.


3. Cockroaches. Although I did see a lot of these, they are instantly out of the running for a new hobby as they all look the same: nasty and dirty!

4. Ants. The size of Moroccan ants is astounding. The giant ones are giant and the tiny ones are so tiny they are almost invisible. The giant ones carried impressive loads and the team were often fascinated by them. However, they must be rejected as they bit me so much I looked like I had a severe case of chicken pox.

5. Hedgehogs. These are quite common in the town of Goulmima apparently. They are no good for spotting though as they are hunted and used as a tasty tagine filling!


All in all, the wildlife in Morocco is nowhere near as pleasing as Dartmoor wildlife. I think I will stick to ladybirds!