Friday, September 12, 2008

Mars and the Upside-down Moon

Sept. 1, 2008, First 3-8:00 am drive

A red sliver of la luna tonight. Highlighted underneath by the coral fire of the sun. And the planet Mars. Dusty. Rusty. Together, Mars and the upside-down moon make up a massive lion's eye shine in the sky.

It's funny when you think about being on the other side of the planet. The Southern Hemisphere--an upside-down crescent moon (just imagine a very thin, red smile.) Things are flipped here. Physically. Metaphorically. Emotionally. Time moves different. Focus changes. Almost an alternate reality. And it sweeps you away.

Tonight's 1st highlight: We spot a mating pair of lions. A golden/blond male pursuing a female. He follows her. Paws her back. And she GROWLS. (I can still feel the low, guttural sound in my chest as I write this today.) She is NOT interested! Later, we find the "prince" (as I start to call him in my mind.) The stunning, dark-brown male seen yesterday. His mane is blond and chocolate. Gentle eyes and a darker blond body. Is he the female's mate? Or the first golden boy?

2nd highlight: Cheetah! First a female and two cubs speed through the bush. Then two, sleek males cruise along the road as we watch. Their slender, solid bodies. Elongated back legs built for speed. Long, spotted tails. They're magic. Untouchable. The excitement wells inside me and I can barely get words out. To be a part of their world is truly a gift. And I am grateful.

3rd highlight: Warthogs scrambling through the brush. Drinking from a water hole. Then rushing away, their skinny tails erect at all times. What a joy to watch these comical, yet hardy creatures so at home on the Tsavo landscape. And two honey badgers! Are rare spot. their low, black bodies slink across the land, highlighted by the white stripe on their backs.

Another remarkable drive.

(Thank you Bruce Patterson, for photos of the warthog and cheetah.)

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