acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

elephant games matinee

There are elephants all around our house this morning, eating our island of trees.  Awake before sunrise, i stumble over to the kettle and light the gas. Staring out the window into the middle distance I realise those are not trees I am looking at  but elephants legs. There is an elephant standing next to the track feeding on small bunches of leaves and sticks.  They are so quiet when they are here.

The sun tips the horizon flooding golden beams through what is left of the island forest. The elephant moves slowly towards the house, munching along the way.  We hear - or feel - a deep rumbling sound.  A small breeding herd emerges from the forest on the left to join up with the first elephant.  Some stay and browse, others move out onto the sunlit floodplain.

The wooden house creaks and pops with the wind that follows the sun.  We move around inside from window to window as the elephant feeds directly below us. I can see how neatly her ears fit together on top of her head.  Her trunk curls up to strip some leaves near our window. We could reach out and touch her - but then the moment would be gone and so would she.

Clutching cups of coffee to warm our hands we move out onto the deck and watch the herd spread out on the floodplain among the hebaclada bushes.  A young calf - maybe two years old - spreads his ears and charges at shadows.  He has tufts of hair inside his ears.  He comes our way to join with his mother, forcing his way under her chin into that special zone that is his alone, for now. His mother keeps on feeding but the touch is there.

A buffalo wanders in from the west.  The elephants turn to face him, ears spread- curious, alert, defensive?  The buffalo lumbers along  a steady path right through the nest of elephants.  They follow him to the water hole. He doesn't look back but quickens his pace a tad.  The elephants are on the point of chasing when he turns suddenly and they back off. It looks like a game. 

Successive elephants arrive at the waterhole. Each one spreads its ears and faces the buffalo who has turned to stone - sunlight glancing off the tips of his horns.  They hurry past.  A youngster trumpets loudly and then hurries back to his mothers side.

Golden sunlight floods the scene, and then vanishes behind a cloud leaving the world a sadder place.  The ambient temperature drops with the disappearance of the sun. The world has turned grey and cold.  Not a moment too soon light bursts through the clouds again dazzling us with its star quality. 

A deep sonorous rumble from the matriarch calls the herd, and one by one they join ranks and head back into the distant forest for the day.  The buffalo stands alone. Next time i look, he too has gone and there is only the wind through the sunlit grass.


Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Truly sounds like heaven to me. What a blessed visitation.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous, as always. For a marvellous few moments, I'm right there...heavenly!

Amanda Summer said...

how can it be that you live in such a magical place? and you do it justice with your words so well, val — you really do.....i am entranced by the image of the calf with fuzzy ears sticking close to mom. simply lovely.

Lyn said...

Val - I am trying to wake up from the lull in which your dreamy descriptions pulled me into. Ellies are my absolute favourite animals and when I finally realized my dream of witnessing them on their own turf, it did not disappoint. I so thoroughly enjoy your blog Val. Keep it coming girl!
A grateful Canuck!

mermaid gallery said...

It's hard not to feel spiritual in moments like those...the universe allowed you to see the herd so close....It must have been so amazing....the tender moments, the power of the were blessed!...really special!

Margaret said...

Magical. Really enjoy the flow of your words.

Lori ann said...

i want to be there!!

beautiful description val, as always, if i close my eyes, i am there in a way...

Val said...

Bonnie - such visits never cease to amaze us

Rob G - where have you been? hope all ok?

Amanda - magic is all around us - but it seems especially here. That calf was definitely a scene stealer :)

Lyn - thank you; elephants are incredible creatures - they teach us so much all the time

Mermaid - yes it did feel like an amazing gift!

Margaret - thanks

Lori Ann - yay - keep making plans and hope to see you here again soon x

Thanks for all your kind words, comments, and for visiting and reading - its fun to share these sightings with you xxxV

The Solitary Walker said...

Lovely writing, Val - both this and the last post. Really enjoyed reading them!

Anonymous said...

It's almost like a dream - love your reality

karen said...

Ah, it's beautiful Val.. so hard to describe the magic of elephants, and you always do it so well! wow - all that water!!

Val said...

Solitary Walker - thanks!

Janet - or maybe these are dreams?

Karen - elephants are a highlight for sure!


Pooch Purple Reign said...

i would love to see elephants while enjoying my morning coffee. i did see a little golden fox by the barn yesterday tho :)
~laura x

Val said...

Laura - a golden fox!! wow!!!

Charl said...

I am so jealous. Enjoy every moment and thanks so much for sharing it with us. Best wishes

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I can't imagine having such a view just outside. Thank you for sharing it.

Friko said...

What else is there to say but "magic" ?
And it's all yours.

DDAVP said...

beautiful description val, as always!