Over the last weeks our young bulls have been munching trees nightly around the rooms, looking down their long trunks at me in disdain as I try to shoo them away…
……..and for the last few nights at Chilo, two of them have raided the gardens right outside the main reception area. These gentle but naughty bull giants are youngsters, part of a group of seven who regard the lodge as safe haven and yummy food take away…..Luckily they don’t partake of the gorgeous Sabi Stars at the entrance to the lodge!
Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge Entrance
their latest pruning effort involved stomping all over my bird watching garden, to get at the delicious Albizia trees above…and in the process they “sat”on my special birdwatching bench (constructed to an Aldo Leopold template), tilting it madly and leaving calling card droppings as free manure….Aldo would have been impressed……
Elephants prune the bird garden….
Luckily the Sabi Stars in the gardens seem unpalatable to these naughty boys….
pink and cobalt
Sabi Stars and cobalt sky…
Surviving to set fly-away seeds for next season…..
Sabi Star seeds
Our elephant control now consists of a string tied with streamers of plastic, which gets stretched around the gardens nightly. This will work for a while, but if you were an elephant would a string stop you from getting to your favourite snack?! I don’t think so…..
Kiana Milner, Anton’s niece, all of four years old, and, together with my grand-daughters Jade and Rayne, set to be one of the three little flower girls for Kelli Barker and Anton Milner’s wedding at Chilo in November, has this advice for me:
….”put your plants in a vase and put them in the house, so the elephants can’t get them!”
As Anton’s Mum, (Kiana’s Granny), Jackie says, “out of the mouth of a babe….”
Jackie and Kiana
For my previous blog on the engagement of Kelli and Anton, please visit https://wildlifeandwilddogs.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/flowers-fit-for-a-wedding-indeed-an-announcement-has-been-made/
Meanwhile the front gardens of the lodge are ablaze with pink and orange, my favourite colour combo at this time of year…
looking down the Save River from Chilo Gorge Lodge
I wish Kelli could share this with me, such beauty, especially this, the week of her birthday, which she is celebrating far away, without any family or Anton…
They continue to sail their separate oceans, she in Alsaka and he in the Caribbean.
To keep my mind busy, and to try not to miss Kelli and Anton too much, (apart from the hectic challenge of preparing for their wedding at Chilo in November!), I must focus and put paint to canvas…
colour, colour galore
here is one of the paintings I will display for the Art Escape…
Aloe arborescens, acrylic on stretched canvas, 100 x 130 cm
my “Colourburst” exhibition that I am doing at Inn on the Vumba with friend Gordon Addams soon….!
Art Escape at Inn on the Vumba….exciting!
I am keen to catch these colours…..
We will host guests at a full weekend of Art, Vumba landscapes and flowers, and good wines, including yummy Painted Wolf Wines of course….
Gordon enjoys a glass of wine….
So, the views at Chilo are a real inspiration, and it is apt that I am painting here since the Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge is part of Best of Zimbabwe group, mentored by Gordon…
(If only the elephants don’t get to the plants before I paint them….)
stunning Sabi Stars are impossible pinks against the lovely Chilo lodge architecture…
Visit my Lin Barrie Art Page for updates on my latest work….
My partner Clive Stockil muses on the meaning of life in the aloe garden….
Clive bird-watching in the aloe garden…
(actually, while surrounded by at least six stunning Scarlet chested male sunbirds and their dowdy wives in the aloes, Clive has just watched a fish eagle soar over us, to drop into the Save River and haul out a pan sized bream!)
Hungwe, the Fish Eagle..
Birds galore at Chilo Gorge…
scarlet chested sunbird
visit the Chilo Gorge facebook page for more lovely bird photos…