Selinda skies are a soft dappled grey. Delicate clouds are spread like threadbare silk admitting bars of light. An elephant bull stands quietly at the waterhole amid the leadwood trees blending perfectly with the scene. Leadwood are ancient hardwood trees where spirits dwell. Their wood is so dense it doesnt float but sinks like lead. They take forever to grow. Yet in their sculptural forms that are shaped by aeons of elephant browse, lightening strikes, fire and flood, there are folds and nooks where birds and tiny creatures live. Their leaves are small and clustered along branches bearing tough woody spikes - famous for puncturing tyres. I wouldn't want one of these spikes in my finger let alone my mouth; yet this elephant is in the mood for a spiky meal. He has been kicking at the roots of a small thorn bush whose spikes gleam white, lifting trunkfuls of the prickly prize into his mouth. He now moves slowly towards the leadwood tree - briefly casting a golden brown eye our way with a flash of dark amber.
He walks around the leadwood tree. The branches with leaves are high overhead. He tries to reach from the side nearest us. stretching up with trunk extended; climbing onto the roots, lifting one leg - the leaves barely tickle the end of his trunk. He steps back. On the other side of the tree the leaves are lower, but the ground is also lower. He moves around we see his trunk waving high on the other side, but leaves remaining tantalisingly out of reach. He tries from all angles and returns to the first. He stretches again, this time he manages to get a hold on a small branch and down comes a mouthful of spikes and leaves. He chews on this for a while. It is a calm scene. Obviously all this roughage is working on his stomach. He leaves some steaming compost on the leadwood's roots.
Moving around the tree again, stretching up, he tries but fails this time, coming to rest his head against the warm tree trunk for a minute or two. For the moment he looks like part of the tree; they match fissured bark to fissured hide, colour for colour, shape for shape. The elephant breaks away, runs an amber gaze our way again, and then turns to follow the leadwood trail into the gathering dusk.