Elephant sunrise…….on the Save River below Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge….
etched in gold and pink against the budding baobab that graces Chilo Gorge Lodge .
I am watching this baobab with bated breath,
the progress of the buds against the dry rainless skies…
A fallen bud catches my eye….
It has been attacked by a borer, a wasp? and is destined never to become a flower…
What pollinates baobab flowers, an intriguing question…
Hopefully we will soon find out, hosting a baobab and birding weekend at Chilo Gorge with Sarah Venter and Ralph Stutchbury… ….
Ralph’s iconic baobab photographs are true art..
As the baobab flowers come into bloom all around us in Gonarezhou, the rain holds back…..elephants reach desperately for dust laden green leaves on tall trees….
the Save river is puddled into stretches of grey green water with huge commas of sand pushing the puddles ever further apart. the last puddles are havens for mud wallowing and dust-bathing bulls….
Rain is not coming soon, or so they say in the village…against the romance of the golden rising sun the elephant silhouettes look ethereal…
but if you look close you can see their hip bones jutting, the tired shuffle as they head for cool water after a long hot night hunting for mere mouthfuls of green stuff. Not enough this dry season to fill their rumbling tummies…
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.
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