Are we ever blase about these wildlife encounters ? I have been thinking of this today and my immediate response is no, how could I - its always feels like such priveledge to be here and see these amazing dramas of the natural world unfold; to learn the rhythms and interplays of feline socialising; where the elephants are and when the buffalo will enter the scene.
Perhaps i have given the impression that this play is enacted around us all day every day. Which it really isnt. We have been incredibly lucky recently to see some amazing things. That wild dog and lion interraction was all in the timing - we happened along at precisely the right moment - ten minutes either way and we would have missed everything. Those leopard sightings....
For sure though there are many hours, and days, when very little happens to pique our imagination; when we settle down and get on with work in the studio. Some nights are filled with predator calls - some are so quiet it feels like a vaccuum and the silence keeps us awake.
There is a rhythm to the animal movements but there is no routine as such. So much depends on the weather, hot, cold, windy, calm; so much depends on where the super predators are and whether the wild dogs have scattered the herds around; so much depends on availability of waterholes - as inland ones dry up, more come to the floodplains; there are so many variables - thats what keeps it interesting. And then the visuals - the quality of light - the seasonal changes - cloudscapes, colours, reflections - there is always something fabulous to catch your attention. The learning process is ongoing.
I suppose if the same giraffe were standing around every day in the same place - i could start to ignore them. Like driving through a field of cows every day. I am sure you stop looking at the cows in the same way. Last night the lions called all night long. this morning we were out before sunrise thinking it would be easy to find them. We drove and drove. They kept quiet and the only tracks we saw were always heading the wrong way. So no - its always a gift to see something amazing or unusual or powerful or threatening or passive or beautiful and fine. Each encounter challenges a different aspect of our natures i guess?
This morning the clouds rolled in. It is overcast and cold. That still desert cold that takes you unawares and seeps into your bones. Tomorrow we head back to town to pick up a bank of telephone messages, and catch up on all the dramas we have happily been hiding from these past weeks. But hopefully we will return to Selinda soon.