|The strength and coordination required of a giraffe to bend this low are astounding. We could not believe what we were witnessing.|
“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
|Later in the day, close to sunset, a wide array of visitors stopped by to check out the action in our garden. There was plenty as usual.|
After six years of world travel, we often say that nothing surprises us, although many things enlighten and enrich our lives. But, on Friday, we found ourselves reeling in awe and wonder over a scene we never expected to unfold before our eyes, a massive giraffe taking a drink from the tiny cement pond in our garden.
|When we spotted these beautiful long legs in the neighbor’s driveway, we practically held our breath waiting to see what would happen.|
We say, “our” garden since over this past over nine months, this garden often filled with wondrous wildlife, has been ours in the fact that we’ve cultivated it with generous offerings, welcoming gentle conversation, and a passion that surely, in essence, has brought us so much joy.
|In the past nine and a half months, we’ve only had giraffes come to call a few times around the edges of the property and in the driveway but never specified in the garden where all the others gather when they visit.|
And for them, a casual visitor, with endless options of other gardens to visit in this wildlife paradise and wonderland, when they are here, we almost feel as if they belong with us.
|The sound of the dry sekelbos branches cracking was earsplitting as she made her way through the dense bush.|
Yes, we’ve given them names they only hold while in our garden. Yes, we talked to them in sweet voices with intense eye contact hoping for that moment when they understand our love and desire to bring them a modicum of joy, comfort, and nourishment.
|As she approached, we stayed still and quiet. Giraffes don’t interact with humans. They don’t eat pellets or any other food sources offered by humans.|
In many ways, it’s all a mystery. Do they have the mental prowess and ability to connect with us on an emotional level? Or, as some say, they come for the food and, in today’s example, a cooling drink as a respite from the hot and dry weather.
|I couldn’t help but zoom in to capture her pretty face.|
We choose to believe beyond the obvious. Wildebeest Willie surely likes the pellets, despises the apples, carrots, and pears but brings with him an ability to look deep into my eyes when I speak to him, often not even bothering to eat the pellets until our “conversation” has ended.
|She was obviously on a mission for a drink.|
This is the case with many others. I could go on and on about other examples such as this, but I’ve already mentioned them over and over again, ad nauseam. Forgive me for my redundancy. It’s entirely irresistible.
You can describe these “feelings” to those who aren’t here in this paradise-like environment, and they roll their eyes after one of our enthusiastic 60-second recitations about the magic of it all. We know we need to shut up.
|She was obviously on a mission for a drink.|
But the compelling desire to share a description of this place with others who don’t have a clue about it is literally compelling. It’s almost as if we can’t wait to get before an audience of one, 10, or 20 to tell this story, and yet, their interest wafts away in the blink of an eye, albeit a bored and disinterested eye.
|It was a long way down to our cement pond. Good thing, Tom had filled it to the brim earlier in the morning.|
We noticed this phenomenon on cruise ships. When seated at a dinner table for 10 or 12 in the main dining room, most often amid total strangers, we experience a tremendous amount of curiosity about our peculiar lifestyle. They want to know the how, the why, the what, and the when of our ongoing homeless life of travel.
Invariably, we can’t resist mentioning Africa, where fewer travelers have been. They’re often astounded by our love of the continent while their own fears and apprehension consume their thoughts.
|She garnered the strength and agility to bend for a drink.|
As soon as we mention Marloth Park, their eyes glaze over, and we realize it’s time to change the subject and let someone else share their travel adventure. We acquiesce, and the conversation continues down another path.
We’ve come to realize that only a certain fraction of the population is fascinated with wildlife. Last night, at Jabula at a table of eight with Kathy, Don, Rita and Gerhard, Janet and Steve, and us, we all shared this same passion. It was foolhardy to attempt to steer the conversation in other directions.
|We were in awe of her musculature to maintain such a pose, if only for a short time.|
Subsequently, our hearts and minds embrace each of their outstanding stories of sightings, albeit eliciting a bit of envy between one another’s sightings, often unlike any of our own.
Last night at dinner, the mention of our little story of the giraffe drinking from the cement pond raised a few eyebrows. It prompted several heartfelt wide grins, leaving us knowing that only these types of special wildlife-adoring people fully understand the depth and meaning of such experiences.
|After drinking, she turned around and headed back into the dense sekelbos (sickle bush in English) to return to the parklands and her partner awaiting her at a short distance, as shown in this photo.|
For those of you, our readers who have faithfully and diligently followed along on this long path of endless stories about Marloth Park and Kruger National Park for these many months, we commend you. A new direction is yet to come in a mere less than three months. We appreciate you, and we promise you…
Thank you for hanging in there with us while we’ve indulged ourselves in this lifelong passion. The future holds a plethora of new adventures yet to come.
Be well. Be happy. Live your dream.
|Massive homes on the channel from Fort Lauderdale on our way out to sea for the Panama Canal and South America for the 30-night cruise. For more details, please click here.|