African wild dog, my observations…

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Posted in Africa, African wild dogs, african wildlife, art, dogs, eco-tourism, Painted Dogs, painted wolves, Uncategorized, wild dogs | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

“wild dogs”; what’s in a name?…a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…

The debate, what to call wild dogs if not just that….!

this is my sketch of “Tip”, a young dog I watched for a few years in the Save Valley Conservancy…

African wild dogs is the accepted English-use name for the unique species Lycaon pictus, literally meaning painted, wolf-like animal. But they are known variously as Painted Wolves, Painted dogs, Ornate wolves, and of course the local names for these enigmatic and charismatic creatures varies from community to community over Africa..such as Iganyana (Ndebele), MhumiBhumi or Bhumhi (Shona), wildehond  (South Africa), Mabeco (Mozambique), Mbwa mwitu (Swahili), Hlowa (Tsonga), Lekanyana (Tswana), Dalerwa (Venda), Ixhwili (Xhosa), Inkentshane (Zulu)

What’s in a name? 

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet….

Portrait, acrylic and oil bar on canvas, 76 x 51 cm

Just for fun, a great link to other “wild dog” species worldwide: taken from the Active Wild site..

This list contains all of the currently recognised dog species. In the case of the Grey Wolf (Canis Lupus), included are two well-known subspecies: the Dingo (Canis lupus dingo), and the Domestic Dog (Canis lupus familiaris). A list of dog species would be incomplete without them! However, these are the only subspecies*  included.

* Subspecies are very closely-related animals, and are able to interbreed. They’re different ‘types’ of the same species, and are often only separated geographically.

  1. African Golden Wolf (Canis anthus)
  2. African Wild Dog (African Hunting Dog / African Painted Dog) (Lycaon pictus)
  3. Arctic Fox (Vulpes lagopus)
  4. Bat-Eared Fox (Otocyon megalotis)
  5. Bengal Fox (Vulpes bengalensis)
  6. Black-Backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas)
  7. Blanford’s Fox (Vulpes cana)
  8. Bush Dog (Speothos venaticus)
  9. Cape Fox (Vulpes chama)
  10. Corsac Fox (Vulpes corsac)
  11. Coyote / Prairie Wolf (Canis latrans)
  12. Cozumel Fox (Undescribed Species)
  13. Crab-Eating Fox (Cerdocyon thous)
  14. Culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus)
  15. Darwin’s Fox (Lycalopex fulvipes)
  16. Dhole / Asian Wild Dog (Cuon alpinus / Canis alpinus)
  17. Ethiopian Wolf / Abyssinian Wolf / Simien Fox / Simien Jackal (Canis simensis)
  18. Fennec Fox (Vulpes zerda)
  19. Golden Jackal (Canis aureus)
  20. Grey Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
  21. Grey Wolf Subspecies: Dingo (Canis lupus dingo)
  22. Grey Wolf Subspecies: Domestic Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)
  23. Grey Wolf (Gray Wolf / Timber Wolf) (Canis lupus)
  24. Hoary Fox (Lycalopex vetulus)
  25. Island Fox (Urocyon littoralis)
  26. Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis)
  27. Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus)
  28. Pale Fox (Vulpes pallida)
  29. Pampas Fox (Lycalopex gymnocercus)
  30. Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides)
  31. Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)
  32. Red Wolf (Canis rufus)
  33. Rüppell’s Fox (Vulpes rueppelli)
  34. Sechura Fox (Lycalopex sechurae)
  35. Short-Eared Dog (Atelocynus microtis)
  36. Side-Striped Jackal (Canis adustus)
  37. South American Gray Fox / Patagonian Fox / Chilla (Lycalopex griseus)
  38. Swift Fox (Vulpes velox)
  39. Tibetan Sand Fox (Vulpes ferrilata)

 

plus, for ten “biggest” wild dogs, view:

https://www.earthrangers.com/wildwire/top-10/top-ten-biggest-wild-dogs/

Posted in Africa, African wild dogs, african wildlife, african wildlife conservation fund, animal rights, art, bio diversity, citizen science, community conservation, dogs, eco-tourism, education, endangered species, Lin Barrie Art, oral history, painted dog conservation, Painted Dogs, painted Dogs, painted wolves, predators, wild dogs, wilderness, wolves, zimbabwe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wine and Wild Dog Weekends; What better way to celebrate great wine and meaningful Conservation…

What better way to celebrate great Wine and meaningful wildlife Conservation… come to the yearly Wine and Wild Dog Weekends at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge to find out about the conservation of African Wild Dogs, Lycaon pictus, in the lowveld areas of Zimbabwe, with research team African Wildlife Conservation Fund, plus enjoy learning about world class Conservation Wines, created by Jeremy Borg of Painted Wolf Wines…

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Last year, the event at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, raised a healthy check for the African Wildlife Conservation Fund, a small thank you for the ongoing educational and conservation outreach work they do in our rural communities surrounding wildlife areas…

 

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Posted in abstract art, adventure travel, aeroplane, Africa, African Safari, African wild dogs, african wildlife, african wildlife conservation fund, aircraft, animal rights, anti poaching, art, beauty, bio diversity, bush camps, Changana people, Chilo Gorge, Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, chilojo cliffs, Chilojo Club, citizen science, clive stockil, community conservation, conservation, conservation education, conservation news, cooking, culture, dogs, eco-tourism, endangered species, food, gonarezhou national park, great limpopo transfrontier conservation Area, Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, landscape, Lin Barrie Art, organic slow food, painted dog conservation, Painted Wolf Wines, painted wolves, rabies, safari, Save Valley Conservancy, travel, Uncategorized, wild dogs, wilderness, wine, zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Parks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pangolin Love embodied, in paintings, knitting and silver creations…

Pangolins are Precious….bottom line is we ALL need to increase awareness of trade in endangered species such as these armoured cuties…

and so I am happy to continue show my new work in conjunction with Patrick Mavros to raise awareness for this charismatic little creature…

Some of my previous paintings displayed at the mavros showroom in Harare  have sold, raising some funding for Tikki Hywood Trust, 

and these are available;

Rolled Silver pangolin, acrylic on stretched canvas, 3 x 3 feet…

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and Rose Gold pangolin, acrylic on stretched canvas, 3 x 3 feet…Rose Gold Pangolin, acrylic on stretched canvas, 3 x 3 feet, lo res.jpeg

If you visit Patrick Mavros showroom you’ll find exquisite  rose gold jewellery to match my Rose Gold pangolin painting!!

 

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Oh – and look at this amazing little knitted pangolin from Gogo Olive;

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Posted in abstract art, Africa, african wildlife, animal rights, anti poaching, art, bio diversity, conservation, conservation education, conservation news, eco-tourism, education, endangered species, Gonarezhou Conservation Trust, Lin Barrie Art, lowveld, Pangolin, Patrick Mavros, Poaching, Uncategorized, wilderness, wildlife trade, world pangolin Day, zimbabwe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leopard lovers and a rival at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge!

7th January at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge:
No guests today- they left with a packed lunch by 4 am – I sat on the deck after seeing them off and enjoyed this sunrise, a hippo swimming upriver towards me, you can see his wake in the centre of the photo….

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watching vervet monkeys waking and stretching in the trees below Chilo deck…little knowing what delights the unfolding morning would reveal!
At 6.30 am the monkeys warned me that something was up- busy in the lounge, I asked Bonani to look, telling her she might see a leopard!! I guess I was hopeful, they could have been chattering at a snake for all I knew…

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Leopard sketch by Lin Barrie

 

She reported back with great excitement….. not one but two leopards!

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Clever Bonani! Peering across the wide expanse of the Save River, I was able to carefully focus my little camera on the two ….hence the fuzzy photos, but at least this gives a feeling of the lovely, graceful animals….A pair of slinky cats, one darker spotted with a white white belly and another gorgeous tawny pale cat.

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Patrolling the far bank, they were obviously very thirsty for water but hesitant to approach the crocodile infested depths! Panting, they kept lying down, then moving again…

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Between gardening and odd jobs, we all kept getting distracted by the gorgeous animals, who stayed on the far bank all morning. The female often moved, to lie close to the male…

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She reclined as he gently bit at her neck…..

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This was a couple in love! They both rolled in the dewy green grass, then got up to stretch, peering hard at the water, before creeping cautiously down the bank through the datura flowers, deciding to risk the crocodilians lurking for a long awaited sip of water….

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The dark spotted female had a quick sip at the edge of the Save but the male was too cautious… we caught him staring up at us and snarling, obviously very aware of our distant presence …

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Clive estimated that the dark female was an older animal, experienced, and the male a youngster, his massive tawny head showing sign of great promise once he reached more mature years…

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Work had to be done, emails and gardening calling me- but I admit that I did keep peeping across the river -the amorous couple drew me like a magnet, the interaction between these normally nocturnal and oh-so-secretive kittys entranced me! He kept walking up behind her and hooking playfully at her ankles with his gigantic forepaw….

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Eventually stepping over her, he led the way and they retired into deeper cover,

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She followed him through the datura flowers…

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and into deep shade, as the day warmed up….

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She stared up into the cool of the vine-twisted tree canopy as if planning a bed up there,

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They were thirsty (I wonder why 😏!) and so although they then disappeared into the thick undergrowth, I knew they would be back! The Chilo deck was deserted, no guests or loud noises, so, although sad that we could not share this special sighting with guests, at least the leopards would have a chance to become relaxed with our quiet movements as we watched them.
Yay! Cubs could arrive in three months time, and maybe Mum and Dad will become more and more relaxed with us, like our elephants now are!

8th January …..Wonderful!

I was, of course, eagerly watching from the Chilo deck, and at 6.30am there they were again….
The dark female a young animal; slim, muscled body and small head. A gorgeous, very “white” cat…her spots  jet black against a very white background, not much gold colour to her.
I first saw her lying down in long grass early this morning, while the large pale male seemed to keep guard, sitting alert a few meters from her recumbent body.

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he kept a close eye on her…

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7.45 am:
Reclining together in deep green grass and white datura flowers-she rolled her head back and bit gently at his rump, then as he sat up and moved away slightly she rolled sideways in the datura flowers and stretched a forepaw to pat his rump!
He turned to rub his head over hers and started licking and grooming her ears, then pinned her down with a forepaw as he licked his way down her neck and over her shoulders. Predictably, her eyes were closed in bliss….
He got up after half an hour and strolled up the bank to drop down ten meters away from her, still in the deep shade of the trees. She craned her neck to follow his every movement….
8.29 am:
The female got up and gently approached the alert male, sitting close then dropping her head onto his stretched hindlegs, one forepaw extended to make contact with his belly. They lay together, panting in the growing heat.
By 8.45 the decreasing shade encouraged them to move deeper under the trees, she leading the way and staring up into the thick Capparis vine-covered canopy, as if again looking for an aerial bed..or maybe thats just natural, to peer upwards and check for what might be in the trees above you…especially if you are a tree-loving cat!
He lay down as she diverted her attention to the river, creeping cautiously through the white datura flowers towards the edge of the water.
When she sat up to peer at the water, wreathed in vegetation, she was a Frida Khalo portrait, framed by green leaves and white flowers, her solid black necklace glowing on her throat.
She thought better of drinking, much as she seemed to want to…the day was already dripping hot…going to lie near her mate, as he re-arranged his position, standing to stretch languorously, forepaws extended white and soft against the red earth. The vervet monkeys on my bank gave quiet hiccups of consternation. Didn’t they understand that great swathes of deep dangerous water separate them from their dreaded enemies?!
At 11 am, one leopard was sitting right at the base of the vine-clad trees
Where was the other… up the tree?

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After lunch the lover-cats were not visible to me, but instead, in strolled two carefully casual mature male baboons, to squat under the very same trees that sheltered the cats hours before!
Intriguing, did these two “scouts” come to shoo the predators away? No sign of the cats or the rest of the normally vociferous baboon troop…and the two male dogs sat under the trees very obviously for a few hours.
Alerted by the barking of the two baboons, who soon made off up the bank and disappeared among the tumbled rocks. Hopefully we kept peering into the undergrowth, and shortly thereafter were rewarded for our patience…

IMG_7992lo res.jpg….along came a leopard, through the steep rocks and dense vegetation, to lie on the bank above the river.  At first Clive and I assumed it was the young pale male but we looked closer when Sam told us that he had earlier spotted the pair of lover-cats making their way further downstream, past the steep rock outcrops opposite the Chilo breakfast deck and toward the Parks Entrance…This was a new arrival!

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A big, older tawny male, scars faintly visible on his massive head, one slight scarred left eye, and very different in attitude to the younger male.Cooler, more relaxed, he paced the bank, squatting and marking territory repeatedly, almost seeming to follow the scent of where the female had been that morning.

IMG_8043 lo res.jpgWas this his own claimed territory? He was extremely thirsty, sitting staring longingly at the water from various vantage points,

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desperate to drink, but agonizingly cautious…

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and in between marking his territory at many points along the bank

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he approached the water yet again,  cautiously making his way down the steep bank for his first sip in the murky water of an elephant footprint in the mud, scared by every splash and ripple in the deep river.

IMG_8100 lo res.jpgVery  conscious of us watching him, a half snarl played on his lips as he occasionally looked up at us, warning us to keep our distance…or was he half- snarling at the many crocodiles that he knew were watching?

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After that first drink, he seemed to gain confidence, moving downstream

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marking territory…

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and boldly traversing the rocky outcrop over which the two lovers had departed earlier.

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IMG_8128 lo res.jpgThis was clean water, straight out of the fast flowing river, and I could almost hear the satisfied lapping sound of his long pink tongue as he drank of it deeply.

IMG_8139 lo res.jpgMy heart was in my mouth… he would have been easy meat for an ambitious crocodile, exposed as he was on the rocks, and immersed in the pleasure of drinking… I held my breath each time he approached the water and drank.

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he marked territory again…

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The last view we had of him he was continuing downstream, past a dismayed waterbuck who snorted at his passing in the undergrowth and then dashed for safety, and seemingly following the two lover-cats……
What would happen if and when they met? An eviction, a battle, a death?
yesterday was a cover day, with winds and rain by lunch time, no sign of the cats…

Posted in leopards, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

sweet/bitter: senuko seasons past and yet to come

Watch out! Many gorgeous flowers such as my Adenium swazicum, harbour a resident crab spider, cute but deadly…(if you are the size of a fly)…

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Bitter Sweet reminisces…

Our year past, 2017, at our bush house, Tsavene, has been one of joy, wilderness, family and landscapes…..mixed with dreadful anticipation and trepidation for the year to come….

Fabulous views from Sunset Rock, New Years Eve, as my dad tends the fire..

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Camping on the deck at Tsavene; adventure for Jade and Rayne, our grandchildren…

waiting for breakfast….

and swimming above the waterhole…

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Getting inspiration for paintings on woodland walks…

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Christmas shared with family and friends,

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gathering around a pretty table, drinking Painted Wolf Wine, (very yummy vino, plus it benefits wild dogs with every bottle sold)!

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Wowed by the Christmas colours of the wet season crinum lilies blooming in profusion below our house, in shades of deepest pink…

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to palest ethereal pink

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Tending my garden, Dad and Olison planting trees…

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supervised as ever by Dzidzi and Shonge, the Jack Russells

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reaping a harvest of home-grown jalapeños…

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Cooking and eating, slow-food style, on our mopani fire,

jalapeno on the fire.jpgLiving and eating under the stars…..inspiring my painting “Night Sky”, oil and acrylic on loose canvas, 100 x 130 cm

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which has been included in the abstract Robin Sprong Wallpaper range that I created during the year past! Very exciting!

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The joy of collecting stunning wooden sculptures such as this stork from my  talented Zimbabwean artist friends, and creating new garden vistas,

Watching the nesting birds…this paradise flycatcher inside our house on the verandah chandelier,

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who decided we are good chaperones for her two surviving chicks…

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(sadly there were three, one fell out of the nest onto my artwork and although I rescued the little being and kept it warm until I could place it back in the nest, it later died…)

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and in our strelitzia nicolae, a bulbul nest…..

Of course I am always going to be painting the plants that I love in my garden...

Strelitzia nicolae, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 130 cm

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And after many encounters in our “backyard”…

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many delightful views of rocks and klipspringers..

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many enigmatic stare downs by buffalo beasts!….

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I am endlessly inspired to paint….

“Sunset Buffalo”, acrylic on canvas board, , 41 x 51 cm.

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…and sunset walks in the banyeni acacia woodland are inspiration for landscapes…such as “Acacia silhouette”, acrylic on canvas board, 51 X 76 cm

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Walks and musings with the dogs are balm for the soul….

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Adventures with my dad…

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Collecting feathers and creating elaborate play-scenes, watched over by a fond grandfather…

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climbing every fallen log, in case the next one “feels” different….

Tortoise tactics, when faced with an inquisitive pup…..pretend you are not at home…

discretion is definitely the better part of valour…

All of this, and the  gorgeous Senuko landscape surrounding our house, is wind for our wings,

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and for the wings of our resident Ground hornbills..

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Yet this special beauty is a weight on our shoulders that sometimes feels unbearable. We shudder at the responsibility of caring for all this….the innocence of young impalas resting below our bush house..

 

The gaze of an eland beneath my verandah…

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and the growing trust of the elephants that drink at our waterhole..

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Mixed emotions; euphoria and love for this wild beauty, mixed with dread, wondering when vultures might descend on us…

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We know we are facing the ongoing threat of poaching, especially for elephant tusks and rhino horn..

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Horn of Fire

Knowing how easy it is for losses to hit us in the face…remembering the death of our rhino bull “Luveve”,  below our verandah at Tsavene, our bush house, on  our very doorstep, in 2015…here remembered in the words of Wilson…

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The body of “Luveve” slowly degenerated. The rhino pelvis lay at the scene for many months, as we watched hyena and lion work away at the scattered bones and skin of the poor carcass…

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Eventually this last year we rescued it, collected with reverence by Wilson…..he who had witnessed and recorded the sad death so many months before….

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Now I keep it on our verandah as a beautiful natural object but more importantly as a grim reminder ….

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How can we prevent the only rhino left on Senuko and indeed in the whole of the Save Valley Conservancy, from being merely a wooden carved one on our Tsavene verandah table?

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I need, we all need, rhinos ALIVE. They are the inspiration for the save Valley Conservancy, for all of Africa, and they are icons of our wilderness strongholds….

“Black Rhino”, mixed media/oil on stretched canvas, 3 x 2 feet

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How best can we protect all these wild animals, so dependent on the vagaries of humans for their continued existence; animals such as “Jupiter” the African wild dog. Look at the raw wound on his neck, now healing thankfully…..

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rescued from the strangling, cutting snare wire that throttled his neck, by Jess and her team from the African Wildlife Conservation Fund

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How can we help Jupiter and his pack, and the other wild dog packs of Zimbabwe, to run free without fear of wire snares?

“Hunting”, mixed media on stretched canvas, 2 x 4 feet..

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How best can we maintain our loyal staff, people such as Anderson and Wilson, and their families, who care for our house and dogs. People such as the scouts who patrol our bush and protect our wildlife, and all the staff who keep Senuko ticking, limping along… They are all our friends in need, in the midst of economic uncertainty..

Anderson’s sweet family…

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Wilson and one of his daughters-Wilson’s clever daughter is deputy head girl at her school …

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The only way we can survive and create a stable future for ALL of us, man and animal alike,  the only way we can keep this vision going for the bigger picture of Wildlife Conservation and tourism,  is if the economic environment of our dear Zimbabwe allows! From having a dream, we need to move onto creating reality!

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Will Zimbabwe’s tourism really bounce back after the momentous happenings of last year? Everyone in the world press is talking about us, but are they really noticing us……

Have we “seen the sunrise in Zimbabwe?!”

 

PS: “Sunrise in Zimbabwe”, adapted by my dear friend Bud Cockcroft,  features on his album “Bits n Pieces”. It was written by Myles Hunter and Refugee, good friends of Bud’s from Canada, who fell in love with Zimbabwe.  It was used in an excellent Air Zimbabwe advertisement.

Posted in adventure travel, Africa, African child, African flora, African wild dogs, african wildlife conservation fund, anti poaching, art, baobab, beauty, bio diversity, birding, birds, Black rhinos, bush camps, childrens art, christmas, clive stockil, conservation, cooking, dogs, Econet, edible plant, elephants, endangered species, family, flowers, food, gardens, gardens and flowers, home grown food, homegrown, insects, landscape, Lin Barrie Art, love, lowveld, make up artist, music, organic slow food, Painted Dogs, painted Dogs, Painted Wolf Wines, painted wolves, photography, Poaching, Rainy. Season, reptiles, rhinos, Sabi Stars, safari, Save Valley Conservancy, Senuko, serenity, slow food, spiders, taste, Uncategorized, wild dogs, wilderness, wildlife trade, wine, wood sculpture, zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Parks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sandforest in the wet season; Millipedes and butterflies at Mahenye

A wet season wonderland awaits in the sandforest of Mahenye…life in the raw, strange and wonderful, beautiful and fierce…from the gorgeous wild hibiscus  in the sand forest near Chilo, admired by Rich Thornycroft….


to the frantic millipede desperately trying to escape the vicious attack of fierce little red beetles, minute predatory Davids overcoming the Goliath…

The great Nyala Berry tree is King here, looming inscrutably over all, the largest in Southern Africa we think, circumference about 15 meters at chest height…

it scatters  sticky fruit on a carpet of deep humus

as Clive and Rich squat beneath its venerable branches

what are they thinking, I wonder, (sucking up some of its ancient wisdom I hope…)

My dear dad, exploring the soft-footfall forest path,

overhung by a trellised network of the most delicate greens

beauty galore…a purple-tip butterfly

Then beetles get my attention,  with the motto “eat, or be eaten!”

Thinking food, here is the pockmarked Honey Gatherer’s baobab, a landmark in this special place, where the local Changana people still harvest a pot of wild honey regularly..

green cuteness….

back to life in the raw …

an ichumenid wasp drugs a hapless spider….

and hauls it to a hole, ready to lay eggs on the living abdomen of the spider;  a ready-made and helplessly living larder to supply nutrition to a new generation of baby wasps once they hatch!

Posted in adventure travel, Africa, African flora, African Safari, african wildlife, baobab, beauty, bees, bio diversity, birding, Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, clive stockil, community conservation, culture, eco-tourism, edible plant, great limpopo transfrontier conservation Area, Honey gatherers, insects, landscape, lowveld, predators, Rainy. Season, safari, Shangaana people, spiders, tradition, Uncategorized, wilderness, zimbabwe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment