Imagine having known Karula since she was a little cub, sharing her young adventures, seeing how Safari, her mother, raised her to be a strong, savvy independant adult a couple of years later. Now imagine sometime later she has cubs again, and WE spend time with them, get to know them! This WE can do. . .WE have known Saseka and Tingana for sometime now.
They are independant now, might have some of their own cubs not so far into the future, but, their mother Karula and their Grandmother Safari are already carrying on with the family tree.
WE know, but no one has seen Karula’s new cub(s?) yet. WE can see it from her behaviour and more obviously from her swollen, suckled nipples (mamory glands to be formal).
All eyes are looking, ears are listening and hearts are hoping … and then … suddenly there will be a moment, a single moment where WE will see her new mam’pim’pans (cub/s), and if all goes well, they will still be so young, that they will still have blue eyes to explore their new home through!
Now, going into 2009, it is not only Karula that has got beautiful little lives to share, there are two other leopards in our neighbourhood that are having sleepless nights.
Whitecloth (who’s territory is to the east of Karula’s and of Djuma) also has little ones … again, no visual confirmation yet, but all points that way.
Then, maybe a journey WE can all hope and cheer for. (Did you know journey translates into safari in Swahili?) … anyway, Safari, mother of Karula, grandmother of Saseka and Tingana –
leopardess extraordinaire!!! Safari has a cub … visually confirmed and even photographed!!
Now I can go on about her, she was the first leopard I really got to know around here in my guiding days, even before Karula was born. Safari looks like she could be from the
future (with her one eye) and is old enough to be part of the past in this part of Africa. She is the first leopard Lieschen and Rory ever saw in the wild, and her cub might be one of those
you may get to know LIVE from it’s youngest days. Her, Karula’s and maybe even Whitecloth’s.
WE will see them, but more importantly, WE will share their lives, as WE share ours.
At this moment, right now, there are a few different leopard cubs, somewhere safe and warm in a den, not far from where I sit. Maybe they are snuggled against mom, suckling warm milk or just sleeping, while the rain soaks the earth, their earth and our earth. Soon their eyes will open, soon they will not crawl but walk, and soon they will explore and WE will find our hearts captured by them.
WE are on this journey together, and who knows what can be seen around the next corner. Soon our safari will show more, but for now … imagine and dream … it is in our nature …
A great photographer and a wonderful writer too!
Thank you, Pieter.
When the written word stings my eyes with tears of joy, I feel that a gift has been given to me. Thank you, Pieter, for that gift. Your natural ability for writing is a blessing given to you, and with it you share the joyous message so very beautifully.
Such beautiful words, containing so much hope. I felt tears forming.
Thank you so much for your wonderful word pictures, Pieter, and for all that you and WE do!