acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Thursday, September 10, 2009

airstrip

We drove to the airstrip yesterday afternoon. We left early and followed the edge of the water, breathing heady scents of new blossoms on the acacia trees and enjoying the active bird life on the flooded grasslands.  We were early at the airstrip so we parked in the shade on a small rise and stood on a fallen tree.
All around us were golden grasslands and tree islands of acacias, sausage trees and llala palms.  The horizon a tree line in shades of hazy blue.  The airstrip is a cleared strip of land in this sea of golden grass.  The first impression of people who arrive here by plane is the warmth of the sun, and the scent of wild sage.
Elephants move slowly between tree islands reminding me of distant sailing ships. Their ears the billowing sails. Their course set along well used paths.  Some more are wallowing in mud pools, sloshing and splashing the cool mud over their warm backs. Still more have crossed the water and are grazing on lush green grasses on the other side.  Further across a herd of buffalo have moved into a palm island. Their presence heralds lion activity, as the lions follow the buffalo herds and prey on them nightly.
We wait and listen for the small plane, turning and turning on our lookout log, taking in the view. Each time we turn something has changed, emerged, vanished. We know there are lions there somewhere but they are hidden from our view - probably lying flat in island shade, or deep in the yellow grass.
This is how the world made itself - meant itself to be - without all the rattle and clatter of cities and traffic.  Bird calls fill the air. The anthill we stand on is a living thing - a hive of industry. Everything in its niche fulfilling its role which we humans have vigorously tried to separated ourselves from.
We strain our ears for the sound of the plane. It comes into view, glinting in the late afternoon sun like an evening star.  It looks so small and vulnerable as it circles overhead turning to land.  A flying machine - always an awesome thought.
They land neatly, and taxi up the strip - the wind whisking their dust far and away.
People unfold and emerge chattering. The pilot opens the luggage pod and bags are pulled out and retrieved by several hands.  We are here to collect a parcel - a food order from town - for ourselves. We are handed the mail bag for Selinda and another parcel for camp.  
Guests for the lodge are settled into their awaiting vehicle. We let them leave first to save them riding in our dust.  They take the floodplain road and we head straight home to watch the big red sun setting in the purple haze; and the amber moon take up its post in the eastern sky.

19 comments:

Lori ann said...

Oh man.

Gosh Val, you had me holding my breath all through this. I could smell the smells and see the ellis. I was in the plane too, but i wasn't chattering, i always get tears instead.

i am so glad you are there.so i can be too.

and the photos are brilliant.

thank you.
Big hugs and lots love,
lori

Lorac said...

When I read a blog and it makes me "see" the land and the way of life, it is truly enjoyable and educational. I love to learn! Thank you.

Lauri Kubuitsile said...

Fantastic red sunset picture. We had a blowing, dusty day today and had a similar sunset this evening. Lovely.

Rob Inukshuk said...

Oh to join you with a G&T and watch that awesome sunset while recounting another day in Africa!

Well done for the making a supply run sound so exciting.

e said...

I was on the edge of my chair with this...thanks and I love the red sun in the purple haze.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Val:

Your writing is breathtaking!! And I so agree with the sentiments and insights about the unfolding and "meant-to-be-ness" of the unspoiled wild.

I am so jealous that you get to see elephants in the wild. They truly enthrall me . . .

Cheers!

Verily I go. said...

Thank you Val. So much. I love to be here, with all this that you share. 'to save them riding in our dust' is as lovely consideration as your pics are breath taking. I also feel and smell and hear. So envious too. xoxo.

karen said...

Great, Val - I can just imagine it! Just heavenly... so good to be back here after driving around in SA, but Kasane feels to civilised compared to where you are! x

Janet said...

...and I have to go out into the traffic and interact with masses and masses of people today!

Luckily I can close my eyes and be there - your writing is so descriptive

xx

Janelle said...

ahhhh makes me homesick for luangwa kabisa! beautiful. love love xxx j

NanU said...

I just want to say thank you for all the beautiful images, written and photographed, that you share with us. can I give you this award-thing? it's at: http://sciencegirltraveler.blogspot.com/

Val said...

dear all - its not easy to dowload this comment form at the moment but as always i really appreciate your messages -THANKS xx

LORI - hope you will be back here soon !

LORAC- thanks for this and your comment on previous; we have a double fuel tank on our vehicle so dont really need to carry more than that. its nice not to have to worry about fuel running out. Wow you saw a huge black bear on a logging track - sheesh!

Lauri - real early summer weather hey? yesterday was sweltering

Rob - what a lovely thought!

Val said...

e - that sunset was a classic. actually there is a herd of buffalo in the grass there but you cant really see them.

Bonnie - thanks! and i really enjoyed yours about the weekend interrupter - your garden looks so beautiful

Verily - i love you being here too :-)

karen - welcome home!!

janet - do take care and dont close your eyes while driving please! x

janelle - oh yes - and happy birthday to Danu Pops - what a cool present!! xx

NanU - thanks so much xx


have a great weekend everyone xxxV

Kerry said...

Beautiful, really beautiful and evocative.

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Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

The writing is as picturesque as the photos. Fabulous.

Reya Mellicker said...

I felt so peaceful, reading this post. Made me breathe more deeply, I felt my face relax.

Thank you!

Val said...

Hi Kerry - thanks for your kind words. I am off to visit you now.

Evelyn - thanks but i am not really sure why i would need one of those? my emal is val.baker1@gmail.com

CBW - thanks :-)

Reya - it was a calm moment in time standing there on that log - so beautiful. glad you felt it

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