Third February Blog

Third February Blog.

Dawn of Day.

Frosty morning,
Just before dawn,
Temporal changes
As black night
Turns to simmering grey.

Comes the sun,
From its night sojourn,
Though not for a while.
Ethereal time brings
Silver streamers,
Dawn rises higher,
Enough to wake the birds,

Enough to stir insects,
Mammals, but not yet.
Lizards and snakes
Need the sun on their backs
Before they can stir.
Heat to warm cold blood.

But those with coats,
Warm, after a night
Of hunting, feasting,
Now sleeping soundly.
Silent, the roars of lions,
Snoring the only noise.

Jackels snarl over last
Portions. Hyenas yipping,
Growling. Soon the sky
Blooms lilac, then pink.
The red ball rises,
Scorching the early day.

Peeyip, peeyip,
Bat-eared foxes calling
To one another.
Mariboo storks wheel above,
Egyptian vultures circle,
Crows ride thermals,
Their turn will come.

Africa awakes. Dawn
Is over. Coolness
Is gone and the searing sun
Beats down on living things.
Hot dry air parches throats,
Hippos honk in the river.

Lazy crocodiles wait
For fat pigs on the bank.
Baboons scour the ground,
Hunting for insects, fruits.
Monitors hunt in
Rock hard termite mounds.
Dinner is first on every list.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward, February, 2016.

AFRICA.. Game Parks, hot sun, wildebeast and zebra, still in huge herds, tramping across dry regions. Where fetid patches of the nights kills become meccas for jackels, hyenas, carrion birds of many kinds. They are Africa’s bin men. Her cleaners of the land. The killed, the dead of old age, the sickly whose lives are gone before they have tasted life. To leave this detritus means putrefaction, disease. So the cleaners go to work, glorying in what others leave behind ( like the Wombles of Wimbldon). The final sweepers are insects, making sure every last piece is carried away to some burrow, a hole to feed the smallest critters.

AFRICA. The melting pot of creatures from insects, termites, beetles, ants. Small mammals who hide from burning heat, but hunt as darkness falls, being hunted themselves in return. Small game, Dika deer, hares, rodent species and shrews, moving up to Tommies (Thompson’s Gazelles), Grant’s Gazelles, impala, kudu, to zebra and wildebeast. These latter two joining in great migration herds, following an age old path, crossing dry dusty earth, fording crocodile-infested rivers

Not forgetting the preditors like lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, jackels and Cape Hunting Dogs and varies species of foxes, like the bat-eared fox. Small cats, like the caracal, serval and, in forests, the golden cat

AFRICA.  We come to the larger animals like Cape buffalo, giraffe, elephants. There are some different species of zebra and giraffe, known by varying colourations. Not forgetting the great water horse, the hippopotamus who shares rivers and lakes with crocodiles, snakes and varied fish. Birds aplenty, including storks of many kinds. The mariboo stork, seen hanging around with vultures as a carrion eater. Many different species of vultures wait on dried up trees for a predator kill to be vacated by its original feasters.

Nor firgetting all the wonderful birds that both live in, and visit, the African Continent. Such myriad types of creatures, all shapes and sizes and colours, that abound within this great land belt that stretches from the Mediterranean Sea to the Southern Atlantic Ocean, north to south,  and the Northern Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean in the east.

AFRICA.  Not fogetting the monkeys and apes. Baboons litter parts of Arica’s floor, others scour the trees. Not forgetting the great apes, chimpanzees and gorillas. Those I have named are part of the cornucopia of the great continent of Aftica, the plethora of animals, birds, insects, lizards, crocodiles and so many, many more creatures that inhabit that vast piece of Real Estate known as the African Continent. I have not even touched on its deserts, mountains, valleys, jungles, savannahs, lakes and rivers, waterfalls, rifts, nor even the parts inhabited by man.  I have nver touched foot on any part of this great void, this realm, this AFRICA.

AFRICA. It is a wonderful place to behold. Earth’s cradle, ( remembering Lucy), Egyptian Dynasties, pyramids of all kinds, great civilisations we can only guess at. Was this ever a place to be nurtured, looked after, protected? I think so!

Be careful out there people.

Evelyn.

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