Saturday, September 20, 2008

"We Stop for Cats!"

Night Drive, 8/28

So much tonight! A serval bounding through the grass-showing off his springy, spotted coat. The African wild cat--gleaming green eyes staring back at us. He walks in the grass so patiently, finally sleeking off, hidden away in the brush. A tiny, gray slender owl, curiously open-eyed at our appearance on his stage. He waits atop a very high commiphora branch, ready to snack on another bug for dinner.

An old, male giraffe--graceful beauty though the trees. More elephants than we can count! A tiny baby, wobbles, slipping in and out of his mama's legs. Its amazing to see the grace and efficiency of the adult members of the elephant herd. The young are always protected, always corralled to the center of the circle--in the middle of their huddle. It is a constant reminder of love and nurturing, the pure instinct. I do miss Nova (and my dogs for that matter!) slipping in and out of my legs. And I miss the sweet gentle hugs of both Dan and Grayson. A longing still present in a surreal place so *far* away.

As a surprise, another elie mama and her baby right on the road! Lucky for all of us, they did not spook and fled quickly. Bat eared foxes leaping through the grass, their sleek tails outstretched, big ears always listening. Four spotted hyena in the bush, an unusual number we hear from Bruce. Hyenas are truly a gift to see. They are beautiful in a way I never thought possible.

The air and sun and wind on my cheeks. The stars--Milkyway--Jupiter. Red earth. An African rose--another bright spot in the earthen tones of Tsavo. Musky air. Animal scents. The pureness. The open space.

I feel like I truly breathed for the very first time.

Thank you Bruce for photos: African cat, bat-eared fox, African scops owl

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