acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

evening elephants

Evening. The sun is sending honey pink streamers across the sky. The impala herd flows in procession from left to right and back again. They are like a school of fish swimming through a jungle of green leaves and grass – filing past windows in the view. The ground birds are calling – proclaiming their territories. The light is soft – diffused.




From the forest the crack of a branch breaking, then another signals elephants. We sit waiting for them to emerge from the forest, watching the curtain of green for glimpses of elephant shapes. The moon is high, waxing gibbious on its way to full moon. A blue moon to mark the start of 2010. Once in a blue moon – perhaps this time the new years resolutions will hold?



The birds settle and the bush goes quiet as the day shift knock off, and the night shift are starting to wake. The elephants wait as light fades, until it is the same colour as their dusty grey hides. Pieces of grey appear amongst the green. A glint of a tusk gleams whitely. It all happens fast now. Elephants are morphing out of the forest right left and centre. Suddenly our view is full of mighty Jurassic creatures.



Matriarchs walk purposefully to the waterhole, tiny calves in tow. The bulls rush to join them in the delicious reed beds, but soon the cows and calves are pushed on as the waterhole fills up with bulls young and old. They fan out. Browsing on new mopane leaves, pulling up tufts of lush green grass, checking everything for palatability – they haven’t been here in a while and the summer growth is enticing.



The small waterhole nearest the house, is a favourite drinking spot of the warthogs who mud bath on the edges. A young elephant discovers this emerald jewel, and is followed by his bigger siblings. They crowd in, and the air is full of munching slurping noises. A push and shove of silent beasts in grey light, their presence told by their noisy eating habits only.



Light fades to monochrome moonlight. Grey shapes and shadows move all around amid the bushes and trees. One elephant lifts its trunk high. The wind is swirling and she has caught out scent. The group pauses for a second or two, and then turn as one, moving steadily away. Withdrawing from the cool water and luscious salad feast. They melt into the twilight – moving fast but not running. Here and there a flash of ivory, giant legs like tree trunks make negative shapes, ears flap dark shadows. The stragglers follow the herd on into the mopane. A bat swoops low overhead and the elephants are gone like a memory of a dream.


23 comments:

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Oh Val....how blessed you are to have such a 'visitation'!! You describe their arrival and habits so beautifully. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Kristin said...

How incredible. The photo. The story. The way you word it. Gorgeous.

normana53 said...

Thank you Val! I enjoy reading your posts, they bring me back to Africa and remind me of the things I love about Her. I can't wait to return next October. I can almost hear and smell the Ellies!

Janet said...

I died and went to heaven!!!
Blue moon or no blue moon this is A W E S O M E
xxxx

Val said...

dear all - thanks so much! the elephants that are incredible - so big so silent so humble...

happy new year wishes to you all xxV

smiles4u said...

Wow! How beautiful and amazing. I am awe struck! :)

Lyn said...

Thank you Val. You just made my day!

Lauri Kubuitsile said...

Val you can't believe my fear of elephants- just looking at that photo at the bottom made me shiver. I know they're lovely and all but I'm so scared of them! :(

Angela said...

Beautiful Val, but NOW I am waiting for your night flight report!! Under the blue moon. What a life you are leading!! When are you making a film of it?

Rob Inukshuk said...

Oh what a wonderful place you live, with such incredible entertainment and you describe it so perfectly.

Happy New Year to you and K.

Word vari = herdin

Fire Byrd said...

The elephants sound amazing, but what blew me away here, were your words, so beautifully written a treat for the senses.
Have a very Happy New Year dear Val.
xx

Lori ann said...

Oh Val, you could write about flys on the wall and still keep us in suspense and awe, but elephants? your life is a movie. It is sO much fun to hear you tell it.
I love the elephants.

Happy New Year to you and K and every living thing!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Wonderful, vivid imagery - and such a treat to have the ellies so close!

And here's also wishing you a very happy and wonderful 2010 - I hope it's filled with all and only very good things! xxx

Vagabonde said...

Your pictures of the elephants and your accompanying words are like a great New Year present. Thank you – it was nice. Now I wish you a lot of happiness in 2010 with much joy, great animal pictures and that all your wishes may be granted.

pink dogwood said...

Wow - your writing made me feel like I was there myself (wish I was )

Wishing you the very best for 2010 - looking forward to hear more of your wonderful life there :)

Val said...

sorry i couldnt get in here to respond sooner to your lovely comments but thanks for leaving them here - i loved reading all xx

Lauri - yeah eles can be scarey for sure. a vet friend said they are the most scared of all animals - more than you. but they ARE bigger, and when they scream in your ear and put their heads down the message is all too clear......:-)


thanks also for the new year wishes - I feel sure this will be a good one for one and all xxx

karen said...

Hi Val, what a lovely post about the elephants... I also loved the marula tree (of course) and your amazing Christmas tree! Hope to see you soon, perhaps? Once again, Happy Happy 2010 to you!!

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Good new year to you Val. Do you think I subconsciously thought of your blog when I posted about my "turkeys on the roof"?
It was so nice to hear from you. Your posts are so exotic for us in the northern hemisphere & such a delight to read. Thanks for stopping by my place. Lizzy Frizzfrock

Val said...

ah thanks Karen!x

Lizzy - amazing how different things on your roof can be! and i love reading about your world too :-)

thanks for the visits! xxxV

Marlene said...

Wonderful blog!!! Hello from sunny central coast in California! found from Bonnie will be definately following you and your adventures..Beautiful photography and writing..makes me want to visit Africa!

staceyjwarner said...

Val, truly a gift from the heavens.

much love

Jason said...

You have a great blog here. I like checking out travel blogs much like yours at times. I have a blog myself which I hope will be a great resource for those looking to go on vacation. I want everyone to get that "vacation feeling" every time they come to my site. You know what I'm talking about.

I'd like to exchange links with you to help spread some traffic around between each other. Please let me know if this is possible. Until then, keep up the good work.

Jason
ThatVACATIONfeeling.com

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