acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Friday, July 15, 2011

midwinter musings

Its evening now and the little wooden house is flooded with golden light from the evening sun. I am about to make supper. The candles are lit for when the power goes off and its all looking rather festive.

Earlier this evening we heard the mournful death cries of a large animal - possibly a buffalo - being taken down by a predator.  We couldn't see what or where this was happening but the cries carried far and wide across the grassy floodplains. There were some splashing sounds as if this was all taking place at the edge of the water or one of the pools.

I raced to the office to let the game drivers know over the radio.  The path to the office is full of tracks. At this time of day there are human tracks interwoven with animal and bird spoor - wild dogs, hyena, elephant, impala, squirrels, partridges. Sometimes i walk along here looking at tracks and forget to look to see if the actual animal is standing there.

We have strung up a cammo net infront of the house to help it disappear into the forest. It looks pretty cool dark and shady inside now, and more like a bedouin tent. Unfortunately when the baboons find it they will probably tear it to shreds just by playing on it but until then it feels even more like a hide as we peep out onto the waterhole at passing herds.

The last two nights we have had hot water for showers.  This is such a luxury and really appreciated. The elephants had leant on our hot water system while we were away so we had to do some running repairs - but now - yeehah - boiling hot water out of the tap!! Cold showers on winter days are no fun at all.

Overall though these winter nights have been strangely quiet. I cant think that the animals have found somewhere warm to hide in this desert country of sand and water.  However, this morning early we heard lions calling, and elephants screaming in the forest so that feels a bit more normal.


Angela said...

Normal, haha! Yeah, lion and elephant calls, just an everyday experience - well, NOT TO ME! I follow your casual chat with bated breath, Val. What a life! Those poor dying animals, is what I would think, but how stupid. The predators need to kill to live. I only don`t hear the sounds of our slaughterhouses. What a weakened life here, so "civilized", not even CLOSE to true nature, and you are all in it, part of it. Scary, somehow, but wonderful. Thank you for your blog, Val!

Lori ann said...

I still think i would never get anything done if our house was so close to even be a blind. When Chuck and I talk about the homes right on the sand here, I think the same thing, so distracting. In the best way of course. But still.

I'm so glad you have had hot water again. A cold shower would make me cry. Lovely post Val, thank you for bringing us there.

p.s. word veri: wated
that would be me, waiting by the window!

Friko said...

Wonderful, certainly from where I am sitting. For me this is an adventure story somebody else is living.

I hope your water supply doesn't run dry too soon and that supper by candlelight is as romantic as it sounds.

Cheryl Cato said...

I am always amazed at your animal stories. Bone chilling comes to mind when I think of hearing the death cries of an animal. It's part of nature but it seems so cruel.

As for my wildlife... I saw a family of Black-bellied whistling ducks waddling across the street as I drove to the grocery today. There was a mom & dad & 5 ducklings. Traffic stopped to watch the procession.

I love your blog!

Anonymous said...

Oh Val you make me feel like I'm almost there ** SIGH **

Love the camo idea :-)

Unknown said...

I'm looking forward to hearing some lions and elephants calling this week! :-) (My mother, however, is quite convinced I'm going to be eaten by a lion - but as D said to her, "Mom, the lion's probably in greater danger..." ;-)

Lyn said...

Val, from where I sit, your life seems like a nature lovers fantasy; a surreal existence in an exotic, mystical land on the other side of the world. We are steeped in the high thirties (C) and brilliant sunshine of summer (finally) and it hard to conceive that you are experiencing winter. Thanks for your lovely descriptive posts.

Vagabonde said...

I really like you two photos. It must be quite something to hear the cries of these animals so close to you home – it must take a while to get used to that.

Amanda Summer said...

i agree with lori. i don't think i could ever get anything done if my home was so close to all this wildlife. to hear the lions and elephants must be an astounding thing. do you ever get used to it? i think, probably not.

thank you again for a peek into your extraordinary life.


Reya Mellicker said...

What is normal for you is practically inconceivable to me which is one of the many reasons I love hearing about your life. Hail to the fallen animal at the edge of the water, hail to the elephants and lions and to all the quiet animals too.

Hail especially to you, Val. Wow.

Val said...

thanks for your great comments. I havent been able to leave a reply for some time - despite many attempts! but as always i have loved hearing from you

Pooch Purple Reign said...

it all sounds so very romantic from this part of the world... except the death of course :)
~laura xx

karen said...

I'm so late here.. and have seen you in the meantime! I absolutely love the last photo!!

mermaid gallery said...

Beside our river we hear the calls of coyotes and their is so sobering to know that raw life and death is just beyond us....but my predators are not so big and numerous as yours....and with the dawn comes the calm amongst nature is wonderful.....i love being part of it....that cammo screen sounds cool...hope those baboons have not ruined it yet!