Red, red, Mopani red…….and rust, and gold, and orange, and yellow…

Red, red, Mopani red…

a symphony of reds...

a symphony of reds…

 

The end of our lowveld winter is sparked by the jeweled red and rust Mopani leaves that prick our vision, tantalizing bursts of color against the cobalt winter skies at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge on the edge of the Gonarezhou National Park and at our bush house, “Tsavene”, in the Save Valley Conservancy…

leaves and cobalt skyleaves and cobalt sky

 

one of my small paintings, a celebration of colour!….

mopani-sky-acrylic-on-stretched-canvas-31-x-31-cm-lo-res

 

My painted wild dog finds a restful bed in these leaves…

Dozy dog in mopani lo res

Dozy dog in mopani

beneath fissured grey trunks reaching skywards…

mopani bark reaching skywards...

mopani bark reaching skywards…

 

We have often watched wild dogs hunting through these mopanis,

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seeking the impala that feed their half grown pups… here a male dog runs back to the eager pups with a fresh impala leg!…..

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and after a heavy meal, there is nothing better than a rest during the heat of the day in the shade….

dogs resting in mopani ...

dogs resting in mopani …

 

Silver white seed pods of late winter mopani shine ethereal….

mopani seed pods sparkle...

mopani seed pods sparkle…

 

Mopani woodlands hide drifts of windblown red mopani leaves, like fallen butterflies…

mopani-leaf-diptych

mopani-leaf-diptych

 

Mopani  leaf butterflies seem to land lightly on a soft grey trunk, ready to flit with the merest whisper of a breeze…..

mopani leaf butterflies on mopani tree trunk...

mopani leaf butterflies on mopani tree trunk…

elephants love chewing on mopani bark and leaves…

elephants love chewing on mopani bark and leaves...

elephants love chewing on mopani bark and leaves…

 

Here’s an orange butterfly, landed lightly on a trunk noisily felled by elephants the night before below our house in the Save Valley Conservancy, “Tsavene”

orange butterfly

orange butterfly

The roads of Gonarezhou lead through endless elephant-felled mopani, fascinating ecosystems…

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and even more fascinating stories of ancient battles around the hill of Kundani, rising like a small volcano above the sea of mopani..

IMG_0746.jpg

 

Here be many elephants, many stories and many haunting encounters with the legendary great tuskers of Gonarezhou. On a game drive from Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge early one morning, one minute we are watching our long shadow cast from the safari vehicle onto the carpets of red leaves…

img_0639

 

and the next moment we are graced by the awesome, looming presence of a gigantic elephant bull, who lowers his eyelashes at us and quietly, gently,  continues on his way…

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The magnificent Chilojo Cliffs are framed by glowing mopani leaves..

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Multi -coloured carpets are there for those who look and dream….carpets of African wild dogs, almost invisible against the red drafts of leaves……

Here is my vision of that kaleidoscopic carpet….

wild-dogs-in-mopani-woodland-acrylic-100-x-200-cm

up close …

up close to the carpet...

up close to the carpet…

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About wineandwilddogs

Lin Barrie The Save Valley Conservancy stretches along the upper reaches of the great Save River in the south east of Zimbabwe. The Gonarezhou National Park laps against the southern banks of the Save River and between these two nestles the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. These three celebrated wildlife areas form part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, (GLTFCA)- a unique wilderness jewel which is home to the “Big Five” (endangered Black and White rhinos, elephants, buffalo, lion, leopard) and the ”Little Six” (Klipspringer, Suni, Duiker, Steenbok, Sharpe's Grysbok and Oribi). Endangered African wild dogs, Cheetah, Brown hyena, Bat-eared foxes and a host of special birds and plants contribute to the immense variety of this ecosystem. Communities around the GLTFCA contribute to innovative partnerships with National Parks and the private sector, forming a sound base on which to manage social, economic and environmental issues. This is home to artist and writer Lin Barrie and her life partner, conservationist Clive Stockil. Expressing her hopes, fears and love for this special ecosystem with oil paints on canvas, Lin Barrie believes that the essence of a landscape, person or animal, can only truly be captured by direct observation. Lin Barrie states: “Through my art, and my writing, I feel an intimate connection with the natural world, and from my extensive field sketches of wild animals, people and landscapes, I create larger works on canvas. Lin's work is in various public and private collections in South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Australia, England, Canada, Sweden and the United States of America. She is represented by galleries in South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Kenya and Florida, USA.
This entry was posted in adventure travel, Africa, African flora, African Safari, African wild dogs, african wildlife, art, beauty, bio diversity, Chilo Gorge, Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, eco-tourism, elephants, great limpopo transfrontier conservation Area, Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, Lin Barrie Art, lowveld, mopani trees, Save Valley Conservancy, travel, Uncategorized, wild dogs, wilderness, zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Parks and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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