Tuesday, October 4, 2005

It's 5 o'clock somewhere

I eventually gave up tanning and reading, and moved over to the veranda overlooking the watering hole, because the action was starting to heat up. A herd of impala came down to drink.

Then the baboons came running over. Heaps of them. Big, little, tiny babies. All scampering across the bare ground toward water. One group of really little ones pelted along, then suddenly sat down together in a little circle, like, “Ok, what trouble can we get into next?” After a bit, they moved into the shade of a few large trees, and rested for the better part of the afternoon. Baboons can also climb up into trees and hang out. They look almost like vultures, or even more like (shudder) the flying monkeys of “The Wizard of Oz”.

But the herds of elephant, now that was something to see. I reckon we saw 150 ele during the afternoon. A group of 30 or so, bulls, moms, and babies, would wander on in to the waterhole to drink, bathe, and play about in the water. After about 20 minutes, this group would move on, and the next family of 25-30 would come forward. Each family of ele would take its own turn at the water, while the next up waited out in the bush, at a distance. Kind of like a really long queue at a really massive car wash.

At one point, a family of ele were approaching and the main guy, a big bull, sensed danger, so he trumpeted. Suddenly the elephants stamped and bustled their way into a circle, trunks all pointing outward, with the babies now completely hidden in the middle of this huddle. They squirmed and flailed their trunks, and stamped and jostled, and then... the danger was over and they all relaxed and came down to the water. One baby slipped and fell in at the deep end of the hole, and several other big ones came over and gently nudged it back out and up on the bank.... such sweetness....

The only thing I really didn’t like about the elephant was how they would come up in the conversation on the veranda all the time.... “Look at that MASSIVE ellie!” “Wow, that ellie is HUGE!” “My word, another MONSTROUS ellie...” I was starting to get a complex, fer cryin out loud. I mean, after all that weight loss AND the time I spend at the gym! Hmmph! You just can’t do enough for some people!!!!

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