acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

me and my monkey

A friend sent me this photograph from some distant time in history When We Were Very Young.     I am the one holding the monkey - proving that my association with monkeys has deep roots.  A moment in time, captured with a click and brought forward into the now as if through a worm hole.  It was May Day in Knutsford and there was a parade passing by, but the monkey stole the show. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

footsteps in sand

Last weekend we had some beautiful rain. Proper rain. Where the rain hammers on the tin roof so hard that you cannot hear yourself speak or think. Where silver strings of rain pour off the roof onto the earth and collect in ruvulets and then rivers, racing down the paths and roads.  After the rain, the sandy soil is plumped up like a giant wet sponge.  Every green leaf picks up its head and shimmers with diamante beads. The air hums with ozone. You know what I mean?

Well since then we have had light showers on and off, mostly in the evenings. Last night it rained softly, discreetly – a pitter patter of raindrops to cool the air and hold down the dust.  This morning the mountains are clearly etched against a clean blue sky. Every crack and fissure, every purple shadow and lichen encrusted cliff face takes the stage in the clean air.

The ground is still wet underfoot, and below the surface when we drive out on a tour of the dams and waterholes – loving the fact that they are all full now just ahead of the winter dry season. This should be enough water to carry the animals through to the next rainy season now.  Late rains are a marvelous thing really. The waiting is anxious time – the not knowing if they will happen – but for now that tension at least is gone.

We walked around the edge of one of the dams, following a path along side one of the inlets that feeds the dam. These are basically rivers of sand that only flow after a rain storm – flash floods. The thick quartzy sand is pristine in its flowmarks from last night save for the tracks of some turtles and a wildebeest.  We follow it around its bendy course, from shade tree to shade tree – long wet grass slapping our ankles.

I am walking along the sand when suddenly I step into a waterlogged corner and my foot disappears half way up to my knee.  It might have gone further if I hadn’t transferred my weight.  I pull back on my foot, being careful not to leave my shoe down there.  We laugh at me.

On the way back I get to thinking that the hole made by my foot will now be full of water, and some small creature will probably come to drink at this new waterhole in the sand.  They may even excavate it further

Which brings me to the point that we should never underestimate our effect – as discussed in Geli’s blog  yesterday.  And there is always that famous mosquito to think of.

If we take this thought further, to a global perspective  I think mankind in general makes a huge mistake in thinking that humans and nature are two separate entities.  Perhaps if we saw ourselves as natural elements on this planet – as much as rain  or ants or elephants  - we would have more respect for  this incredible natural world we are so much a part of.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

more of mozambique

beach tree

some random sights and scenes along the way
to and from mozambique

dhow fishermen on the reef

forest cycad


old house now inhabited by owls

womens work

the main highway under reconstruction and through bug spattered windscreen!

roadside attractions: piri piri, reed mats, pottery

the Elegant Social Club

view from Quissico

Sunday, April 4, 2010

mozambique school pics

as requested by lovely  Geli from Letters from Usedom and against the techological odds
here are a few 
pictures from the Matsopane primary school in Mozamique
that we have taken into our hearts

over the years we have delivered countless boxes of lovingly compiled school boxes and educational stuff from Geli to the children of Matsopane Primary School

opening some of the boxes is always full of suprises

the head teacher, and another teacher

children sing a thank you song