Balsa wood plant.
Talk of ingenuity. Or is survival? Or is it managing with what you have?
I would go with 'doing with what you have'.
Survival of the fittest here is best described in Charles Darwins metaphor of better adapted for immediate, local environment.
Many communities in Africa are known for doing or surviving with what you have.
Adapted for immediate, local environment or local use is a thing that we see everywhere in Kenya safaris. We visit many parts of the country, and each community have adapted to using something locally available.
One such community is the Njemps of Lake Baringo. The area of lake Baringo has many trees growing there, and one of such trees is Balsa.
It is a member of the mallow family but is now found in many other countries. It groups extremely rapid and the speed of growth accounts for the lightness of the wood. Balsa wood has a lower density than cork. The trees generally do not live beyond 30 to 40years.
The large flowers open in the late afternoon and remain open overnight. Each may contain a pool of nectar up to 1 inch deep. It was once thought that the main pollinators were bats. The name balsa comes from the Spanish word for boat.
The Njemps use it to make fishing canoes and they can be seen on lake going about their fishing with no worry.
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