acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Monday, May 11, 2009

Blase? no not yet

Are we ever blase about  these wildlife encounters ?   I have been thinking of this today and my immediate response is no, how could I - its always feels like such priveledge to be here and see these amazing dramas of the natural world unfold; to learn the rhythms and interplays of feline socialising; where the elephants are and when the buffalo will enter the scene.

Perhaps i have given the impression that this play is enacted around us all day every day. Which  it really isnt. We have been incredibly lucky recently to see some amazing things. That wild dog and lion interraction was all in the timing - we happened along at precisely the right moment - ten minutes either way and we would have missed everything.  Those leopard sightings....

For sure though there are many hours, and  days, when very little happens to pique our imagination; when we settle down and get on with work in the studio. Some nights are filled with predator calls - some are so quiet it feels like a vaccuum and the silence keeps us awake.

There is a rhythm to the animal movements but there is no routine as such. So much depends on the weather, hot, cold, windy, calm; so much depends on where the super predators are and whether the wild dogs have scattered the herds around; so much depends on availability of waterholes - as inland ones dry up, more come to the floodplains; there are so many variables - thats what keeps it interesting. And then the visuals - the quality of light - the seasonal changes - cloudscapes, colours, reflections - there is always something fabulous to catch your attention. The learning process is ongoing.

I suppose if the same giraffe were standing around every day in the same place - i could start to ignore them. Like driving through a field of cows every day. I am sure you stop looking at the cows in the same way. Last night the lions called all night long. this morning we were out before sunrise thinking it would be easy to find them. We drove and drove. They kept quiet and the only tracks we saw were always heading the wrong way. So no - its always a gift to see something amazing or unusual or powerful or threatening or passive or beautiful and fine.  Each encounter challenges a different aspect of our natures i guess?

This morning the clouds rolled in. It is overcast and cold. That still desert cold that takes you unawares and seeps into your bones. Tomorrow we head back to town to pick up a bank of telephone messages, and catch up on all the dramas we have happily been hiding from these past weeks. But hopefully we will return to Selinda soon.


Angela said...

I`m sure if I passed a meadow full of giraffe every day I would STILL stop and marvel at them! But you are right, maybe it is good to make this point clear, that it is a wonderful gift for you, too, to witness a leopard kill or find yourself close to a herd of elephants. But then, who of us has even the CHANCE? So we all wait for new stories and descriptions from you, Val, and you know, even when nothing exciting happens, and you only let us have a look out of your window, or your car, and we hear what you hear, and see the rain clouds or the stars, we are fascinated anyway!

Lori ann said...

I know what you mean, I have thought about this too. Having lived at the beach all my life I've seen a millionbillion dolphin and whales, different sea creatures, but it's almost always the same, each time the situation a bit different and captures my attention with brand new eyes. I see the ocean everyday, some days though i'll pass it with other things on my mind, but sometimes i have to stop either my bike,car or if i'm walking and just stop and watch it. Nature is magnetic.
Happy Almost Birthday dear friend,

Anonymous said...

you'll never get blase. I want to keep this post and would like to use it in my book oneday (with credits to you of course!)


Kristin said...

Some of us always wonder at the world around us; others never see it at all. I like that you wonder and you write and you share it with all of us. Thank you for that!

Rosaria Williams said...

I second what Angela and Lori Ann said. Thank you for giving us yet another sober perspective. You realize that most of the world has not been to Africa, nor seen any of the animals you encounter.

We get so much pleasure from your writing that we never feel full.

Unknown said...

I am glad that the encounters you describe aren't daily occurrences. I think that would be a little too intense. However often they occur, thank you for describing them so vividly.

Tessa said...

You are absolutely right, Val, and you put it so eloquently and clearly and lyrically - as always.

When my parents lived in Kenya, there was a waterhole just on the boundry of their property beyond the swimming pool. They used to down there with their gin and tonics in the early evenings for years and years and never ever grew tired or got blase about those wild animal visitors who came down to drink each night.

Siobhán said...

Think you're right Val, but it makes no less of your wonderful stories.

Angela said...

Happy birthday, dearest Vallie!
Enjoy your day and all to come! I`m hugging you, my friend!!

Reya Mellicker said...

I think it depends on who you are, what's important. Even here in urban Washington DC there's plenty of wildlife to notice. Some of us stop and take note, others rush past, oblivious.

As always, thank you!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

A German songbird landed in my yard today and sang the prettiest was a HAPPY BIRTHDAY, VAL song.

Your descriptions, your writing is like music.

Here's wishing you a birthday as calming, soothing and beautiful as your writing.

karen said...

Hi Val, just catching up on zillions of blogs! I always love your Selinda stories.. what a magic place. I can never become blase about where we live - always a sense of wonder about it! xx

Unknown said...

You are privileged indeed! And the stories that flow from that remain wonderful, amazing and awesome.

There's a little something for you over at my place :-)