Today was a “plant day”. There was sporadic rain, but not much. Nonetheless, the damp conditions have really got all the plants going. The beautiful Bauhinia are starting to flower, the Commiphora have all unfurled their leaf buds, and now are blooming with bright green foliage (dramatic and bright against the black storm clouds), and the Acacias are blossoming too.
The Fig Tree shoots in their make-shift pots on the balcony are in danger of being overwhelmed by all the other plants and flowers which have self-seeded in the soil alongside them – including the large white datura flower and some other, more delicate white blossoms. There is a new “asparagus plant” growing next to the first one, in the lily flowerbed. The grasses in the balcony flowerbeds are flowering too. In fact, it’s all happening all of a sudden!
There is a strange succulent-like creeper than seems to cover trees from head to toe – there’s one tree right by our house which is totally engulfed – and it seems to sending out new shoots everywhere I look.
Other species of flowers, which we saw earlier in our “garden” near the house where we had kick-started things by watering, are now starting to flower further afield, like the thunbergia guerkeana creeper with its beautiful white flower that opens at night.
Under the larger trees and bushes, there are literally millions of tiny new shoots bursting out of the soil and making a bid for life. The Peaceful Place is a carpet of green now, under the big trees. The Dik-Diks are making the most of it, busily munching away at the new shoots.
But bad news accompanies all this rebirth and regeneration: the Egyptian Goose family turned up again – with only five goslings. One has succumbed to a predator. Life is not easy here, even for a large gosling with two aggressive, noisy parents and a bunch of siblings. In terms of survival of the species, though, they’re still doing well – sad as it is on an emotional level, “five out of seven ain’t bad”.
The weaver nest is gone too – the one on the reed island in the middle of the river. Tonight at 8pm, just as we had finished dinner, the river came down in a mighty roaring flood. We stood and watched in awe (how mighty nature can be, and how frightening is the force of a big river when it comes down in flood – if it caught you unawares, you could do nothing against it). The water was red and angry, carrying with it sticks and branches and debris from further upstream. The weaver wavered for a while, then bobbed on the surface for a while as the water reached it, and then it succumbed altogether – all that hard work wasted. The reed islands themselves had a hard time withstanding the force of the water, and were almost completely flattened. Only the weaver nests in the very top of the reeds stood any chance at all of getting through the night. Even the crocodiles sought refuge in calmer backwaters on the edge of the river.
When we finally retired to bed, the river was still high and roaring.[PHOTOS COMING SOON FOR THIS ENTRY. IN THE MEANTIME, CHECK OUT MY OTHER PHOTO STORIES.]