Saturday, 2 August 2008

What WE can see.

I want to write you a story. It is easy, because it happened and was real. I was there, many of you were there, and WE shared it, saw it, felt it, LIVE.

It is a simple story. I will tell it in broad brush strokes, and let some images fill in the beautiful details.

It started this morning, the second of August '08. The drive, as WE leave camp, starts with the anticipation of leopard. You, WE, saw them around the pan during the night.Thank you.

A sunrise , beautiful as always , full of mystery and promise for the awakening day. Only, many things always happen during the night . . .

A large herd of impala, young males sparing against the sunrise.

!!! WE spot the white belly of another impala, further away, dead at the base of a marula tree.

I must try to keep these words short, brushstrokes.

The impala's eye reflects the world outside. Death seems peaceful, tranquil here by the marula tree. The bruising around the neck is clear, leopard kill . . . this explains all the activity around the pan during the night.

Must be Karula, her tracks are there, but where is she? We look, we think, we wonder . . . could she have gone to fetch one of the cubs, or is there maybe a male around?

I decide for us to go look around a little, to come back in a bit . .. just now (as we say in South Africa). We see buffalo, elephants and then we head back to the marual tree and the dead impala.

Wow!! There she is, Karula, on her kill. It got better, Tingana, classic leopard on a sunny branch.

Karula still sharing her large kill. The next was too long to tell.

Beautiful light, the careful attention of the cub that is now not the cub anymore, but an independent leopard, spending time with mom, on maybe one of the last carcasses they'll share.

I hope the pictures will say a thousand words each. This afternoon will continue the story . . . and you can be there . . . LIVE. After all ... it is in our nature.

Enjoy the beauty and live the adventure.

Pieter Pretorius

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was indeed watching when the drive started. It was an amazing couple of hours. I tried to stay up because you said you might come back on, Pieter.But, bummer! The drive starts here at 12:30 a.m. So by the time you went off it was very late(or early) Anyway I just wanted to say I enjoyed that drive tremendously! Thank-you for all the rambling you do. It is entertaining and educating at the same time! Jeanne
Tampa,Florida

Claire-M. said...

And, Pieter, the story goes on and on and WE, I, love it!

Last week began on a short leopard sighting, remember! This new week also! Wow!

Perhaps WE will get to meet Karula's boyfriend!!!

Claire-M.

Holly said...

Thanks Pieter! I do so much enjoy your writings and photos. Watching WE cam has opened up the world for me.

Ginger A said...

I was there with you as you saw the kill, how eerie... life & death surreal and wonderful... I love to ride with you guys, it is so wonderful to know that the animals that live there are safe from man and our meddling!

Reading your thoughts of yesterday mornings' events was so touching, but listening to you and watching you as you excitedly spoke about the leopards, the kill, its eyes.. gut-level reporting, excited like a little kid, we could feel your excitement!

I rarely miss a safari, i've been hooked into WE for the last two & a half years, groaned with you as the tank would bog down, the batteries die off...rain... wonderful!

I just have to say that it is pure joy to watch this new system; I love to hear the cross talk between driver & camera operator... This new TV system is so much clearer and better than the other one!! Easy to navigate, I didnt like the KITN site at all, much too much navigation and time wasting searching...

Good Job everyone!!!

Anita said...

Pieter has the heart, soul and eye of a true artist. Thank you for sharing with us and helping us to put words to our own feelings. Anita Clark

lynty said...

Pieter, every word you utter or write comes directly from the heart. It is very evident that you have a love of the bush, the animals, birds and all things wild. Thank you for sharing that love with us.