acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

there be dragons

The day was extreme - the heat building for first rains, topped all records.  It pressed down like a heavy wool blanket - the old fashioned kind, before down duvets and thermal hiking gear.  The breeze skittered and died, shifting from east to west, as though unsure of its own footing.  

Sweat coasted down my brow in rivulets, finding the corners of my eyes, burning them awake. Had I sprung a thousand leaks, that the more water i drank, the more poured out of my very skin, soaking my clothes?  I sought the breeze but it wasn't always there.

I wanted to lie down and sleep, but everything i touched was too hot - the sofa, the bed, the floor, the chair - I didnt want to touch any of them as they compounded my own body temperature. This is not funny hey? My thermostat is sticking now. The wooden house smells like a nordic sauna. 

We jump in the car and drive onto the floodplain. The air is like a hairdryer, or oven door, blasting at us.  Nothing moves in the heat.  We head for the big sausage tree on the island near the waters edge. There is an elephant heading there too, but we get there first. it is nearest pool of shade and we are happy to share, but he carries on to the next island.   

Relief, here at least a breeze off the water catches our sweaty brows and steadily imperceptibly body temperatures start to fall to manageable levels.  A purple roller flies out over the water, swoops to drink and returns to a branch over our heads.  Red billed wood hoopoe's have a nest in a hole in the sausage tree.  The parents return to feed their fledgling young. A racket ensues as the youngster, already in adult plumage, emerges to be fed, The parents are working hard in the soupy air. The youngster retreats back into the nest to await the next treat. No flying lessons today then.

Slowly our shadow pool grows as the sun dips to the west.  Dragonflies fill the air around our heads.  Lacy winged bi-planes swarm around coming to rest on leaves and twigs.  I turn the camera onto them. Their black wings seen from above show gold and bronze, purple and royal blue - who would have known? We find another - rich royal red, with a ginger abdomen, and fine transparent wings; whoa there is another - much more camouflaged in black and yellow, barely discernible in the leaf litter. Then another in royal blue.  They hover and land, flying around our heads, nviting us to cross over into a fantasy world of dragonflies and nymphs that the ridiculously hot day has allowed us  to see at last.  Were they always there? 


Diane said...

So beautifully written, I wish I could write like that. Brilliant description. I hope the rains did arrive. Meanwhile I sit here freezing in the UK !!! Diane

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

your words woo me across the distance between us and for a brief moment i am with you, feeling everything you so beautifully describe. that heat felt positively oppressive ...

karen said...

Gorgeous dragons, Val! How could I have missed 2 of your blogposts - those fires are too horrible.

I can completely relate to the heat, the waiting, the hairdryer air!!

Lori ann said...

Beautiful beautiful, photos and words. I hope you get relief soon, the waiting is like time suspended in the heat.

I missed your previous post too, thank you for sharing, SO interesting (and scary) those fires.
xx L

Angela said...

Tonight we expect frost, can I invite you over for a cool-down? Your heat seems unbearable to me! But oh, those dragon-flies! In Rade there were masses of dark blue ones. I love them all. Shall I do my rain dance tonight for you? Only I DON`T want it to come here!

Anonymous said...

Geez I can FEEL that heat you describe it so well!

Love the dragonflies. I don't know how to tell them from damselflies (didn't listen attentively for that lecture. . . )

Hope there is some relief soon (oh yes I expect spectacular pics to be posted here of the storm, lightning)


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

(typo corrected)

Thank you. I've just been complaining about the cool, damp weather we're having here on Vancouver Island. I feel much better now -- grateful for the fact that I can just put a sweater on, and I'll be comfortable again. i don't envy you the oppressive heat.

mermaid gallery said...

I love the image of racing to the sausage tree and beating the elephant there. That the animals are all so visible and part of the very landscape....incredible ....the heat would be tough...hope it breaks soon and you get relief...dragonflies are so universal....I think we all must have them....and be fascinated by them.....

Val said...

Diane - who would have thought it couild be so different in two places at the same time?

Bonnie - good to have you here :)

karen - no rain your side yet then? these dragons are so etherial and cool to look at - wow;

Lori - its an exciting time waiting for rain, all these extreme temps and how everything reacts; rather be here than in town tho!

Angela - frost - is this your first this winter? how beautiful. pics please :)

Janet - damselflies fols their wings back when resting; dragons and damsels - the stuff of fairy tales!

Sandra - enjoy the cool and think of us. sorry my text is full of typos at the moment too :)

Susan - it was just us and the one elephant and the one tree - we wouldnt have minded sharing but i think he thought we didnt smell good :) rude hey?

i hear rumours of rain in places far and around, but today the skies are wide and blue again. blog on and enjoy everyone xxxV

Friko said...

Wonderful! Not the heat, but the description of it and the treasures to be found.

Kristin said...

Gorgeous, Val. I think I appreciate it even more with a bit of a chill in the air.

Unknown said...

So beautifully written, Val!
Saw my first dragon fly yesterday - a good sign for summer!

Rosaria Williams said...

I'm there; your words have painted the scene and I'm hot too for the few seconds that it took to read through. Wish you could feel the cool in my world today, dripping with seeping rain and misty fog.

Margaret said...

Fabulous photos and I learn so much! My almost 3 year old gets so excited when he sees your photos and even my teenage daughter finds it fascinating here. Just wanted to let you know we appreciate you!