Sunrise brings a watery radiance, the promise of rain, as two hyenas chat to each other in subdued voices across the Save River and as I relax with coffee, in the chair on my veranda at Chilo, a young owl flies off the beam right over my head where he has been sitting, and the wind from his gentle wings flutters my hair………
sunrise with hyenas calling…
Baobab pulp at breakfast is tart, delicious, sprinkled on natural yoghurt and sweetened with honey….
baobab powder and yoghurt breakfast….
with a list of medicinal and health uses from time immemorial, the Baobab Tree has a fascinating history….we will try cooking biscuits and cakes with this powder from the baobab pod, in place of creme of tarter and bicarb. Yum.
After start like this, the day is guaranteed to be a good one…lots of painting done and jobs achieved, with a body full of vitamin c and va-va-voom from the rich baobab pulp!
The end of the day, looking downriver towards the East, brings a golden glow to the sand that perfectly sums up a happy day’s work…
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, prolific Italian painter and printmaker from the Republic of Venice, comes to my mind this late afternoon as I turn from the eastern river view and gaze up at the luminous Tiepolo sky above me…
His paintings have always hovered, elemental in the clouds of my mind…strong shadings of light and dark, coupled with a genuine dramatic feeling, such as this gorgeous painting, “Olympus”…
Olympus by Tiepolo
those angels bearing up the darkening clouds could well be imagined in this sky above me now…
dark Tiepolo clouds…where are the angels…?!
Dark falls, Tiepolo’s angels fade, and our delicious open-air supper of cheese, biscuits and local mangoes is also enjoyed by a cheeky moth that comes to slurp up the juices from the mango on Clive’s fork!
Moth and mango
The Save Valley Conservancy stretches along the upper reaches of the great Save River in the south east of Zimbabwe. The Gonarezhou National Park laps against the southern banks of the Save River and between these two nestles the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. These three celebrated wildlife areas form part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, (GLTFCA)- a unique wilderness jewel which is home to the “Big Five” (endangered Black and White rhinos, elephants, buffalo, lion, leopard) and the ”Little Six” (Klipspringer, Suni, Duiker, Steenbok, Sharpe's Grysbok and Oribi). Endangered African wild dogs, Cheetah, Brown hyena, Bat-eared foxes and a host of special birds and plants contribute to the immense variety of this ecosystem. Communities around the GLTFCA contribute to innovative partnerships with National Parks and the private sector, forming a sound base on which to manage social, economic and environmental issues.
This is home to artist and writer Lin Barrie and her life partner, conservationist Clive Stockil.
Expressing her hopes, fears and love for this special ecosystem with oil paints on canvas, Lin Barrie believes that the essence of a landscape, person or animal, can only truly be captured by direct observation.
Lin Barrie states: “Through my art, and my writing, I feel an intimate connection with the natural world, and from my extensive field sketches of wild animals, people and landscapes, I create larger works on canvas.
Lin's work is in various public and private collections in South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Australia, England, Canada, Sweden and the United States of America. She is represented by galleries in South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Kenya and Florida, USA.