father and son
We are in the midst of cold winter days. I have cold fingers and a cold nose – the end bit - and am wearing a jacket indoors. I am making coffee just to hold the mug and then nipping out into the bright sunlight to get warm again. But I am loving it too. Our winter is so short, that wearing jackets, socks, jeans, and warm jerseys – all has novelty value for me. I love to snuggle under the blankets on a cold winter night and feel the nip in the air beyond my warm cocoon.
cold frogs seek the morning sun
We have been living with lions again. Last week, three male lions strolled into the garden around sunset. The big black maned lion, was accompanied by two young adult sons – lean and muscled, they walked in as if they owned the place. Between them they scent marked every tree, bush and corner of the land around our house. They do own the place. They stalked around the house looking in the windows at us. Making direct eye contact through the glass.
Rayson came to join us in the lounge much to my relief, but he is very lion aware fortunately. He has to be. He spends a lot of time here on his own. We moved carefully, speaking in hushed tones – enjoying the excitement, feeling safe indoors.
The dominant young male, who will soon have a rich dark mane like his father, ranged closer to the glass. He tugged at the blanket that covers the wooden table under the trees. Self consciously watching us as he tried to hook it with tooth and claw. Then he walked onto the stoep and found the cushions. K opened the door a crack and said ‘hey!’ assertively. They moved off reluctantly to the edge of the grass allowing us enough time to carefully retrieve the cushions. The table cloth was just too far away.
As soon as we were back inside, he returned. Hmm – no cushions huh? OK so I will take your spade. Gripping the plastic handle he walked off triumphantly to the long grass with his prize as if hoping to provoke a reaction. Come and play? I don’t think so.
As darkness fell, soft and velvety around them, we became more intriguing subjects to watch. We stood in awe being watched. He came right to the glass looking at me. I stood stock still – less than 2 meters away from his nose. This incredible animal now felt less like a playful puppy and more like the super predator he is. The night did that I think.
He charged – bumping the glass. Twice. Well if a monkey can jump through a window, this guy would have no problem. Also our window putty in ancient. K took the spotlight and chased them away. Off they went melting into the dark. We heard them calling loudly throughout the night.
This morning before dawn, I heard that little sound the pride makes to communicate with each other over short distances, and call cubs to follow. It was outside my window. When I climbed out of the warm cocoon to look, they had gone. Oh dear, we left the cushions out last night. The house is ringed with tracks again. Cubs jumping on and off the boardwalk. One cushion gone – foam chips everywhere. Another cushion dragged to the long grass, played with by muddy paws and lain upon. Bite marks on the cane chair. There was a party here and it wasn’t us.
foam chips on the boardwalk
cub tracks in the sand