So its official then. March 21st officially marks the start of Winter. A man in a suit announced on the news and right on cue, there is a cool nip in the air. The baobab trees around the house are starting to lose their leaves; grasses are dropping their seeds and turning yellow; dams and waterholes are drying up. Wide blue skies are swept clean of clouds and defy rationale with their depth of colour. Picture postcard blue.
It seems strange to me that in these days of climate change, drought and flood, and weather behaving as it wants - not as history dictates - that winter should know to start on March 21st. Perhaps Winter is still of the old school and knows when to come and go - not like these young wipper-snapper rainy seasons that stay out all night and sleep all day - missing their appointments and thumbing their noses at calendar schedules.
Lions have moved closer to the house. They seem to be following the wildebeest. There is a pride of fifteen, including three small cubs, one older cub, all the way through to a magnificent dark maned male lion. Their ability to disappear in the tawny grasses never ceases to amaze. Black tips of tails, black ears, eyes, mouths - the only clues to the presence of someone you do not want to step on while walking.
Scorpio is rising in the night sky too. It is such a fabulous constellation and dominates the night skies of winter. It makes me think of wonderful places where I have looked at Scorpio emblazoned in the night sky.
Yesterday there was a spitting cobra in the laundry store room. The room is a chaos of boxes bags stretched canvases - it needs a spring clean. I was working in the office next door and heard munching sounds like a big rat chewing on something. I tiptoed in to try and trace the noise just in time to see the tip of a brown tail disappearing from view. We left him there to do his job hunting rats, making sure to close off his access to the house.
I love the change of seasons, its like the change from day to night - a changing of the guard as different species come to the fore. Time to move, travel and explore. Winter - when the sun is golden warm and the shadows are cold and blue. A time to cluster around the open fire and share tall tales with pals of old. A time when the thick blanket of torpid heat is lifted, and the air blows fresh and clean. Safari season.