Friday, July 27, 2018

Bless the Rains Down in Africa

Bless the Rains Down in Africa
Steven B. Rogers - Watercolor (2018)
This evening I watched as a rain squall approached across the lake out of the western Maine mountains and I thought back to an afternoon in April of last year when I was up in the northeastern region of South Africa, in the borderlands of Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces. This region is also a transitional sub-tropical landscape of lowveld and bushveld with broad-leaf and acacia trees scattered across a relatively open plain of long grasses.

It was autumn in the Southern Hemisphere and the landscape was rich in earth tones, the sky a faint blue running to gun metal gray. In the distance the Drakensberg Escarpment was draped with rain clouds headed in our direction. Still we had time to pause during our morning safari to enjoy a pot of hot chocolate and Ouma rusks, a twice-baked dry biscuit that would last us until we returned to the lodge for a proper breakfast. A giraffe was enjoying the upper reaches of the nearby torn trees while a herd of Cape Buffalo kept a weary eye on us from across a water hole where a pair of hippos snorkeled about. I have been replaying that scene in my mind for months. Today some of it wandered off my watercolor palette. Blessed are the rains that they held off until after our return to the lodge.

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