Day 21 – Where the Deer and the Antelope play*

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park

In the dry heat of the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania (1), early morning drinkers are gathering at the waterhole (2).

At first a lonely southern ground hornbil (3) looks around before taking a drink.

Within minutes it is joined by a pair of ostriches (4).

These huge flightless birds (5) bring a moment of light amusement to the proceedings as they try to manoeuvre their portly bodies in order to get their beaks into the water. These birds were not designed to have dignity.

But this is not the time or the place to be complacent as the gathering birds are unaware that in a nearby acacia tree (6) a Bengal tiger (7) is patiently watching their every move.

Pond

Serengeti waterhole* *May not actually be that

Here we can see how alert this predator is to the nervous creatures as they drink, what for one of them, could be their last.

Already the heat from the sun is starting to become unbearable (8). If this tiger is going to pounce he must do it soon before all his prey head to more sheltered areas behind the shed or up in the trees.

But there is some hope for these defenceless creatures, for soon the hunter will become the hunted.

Not known for it’s agility or courage in such dangerous situations, a white-bearded wildebeest (9) moves slowly across the barren landscape (10). The birds take flight while the feline rolls around a bit in the dusty soil wanting it’s belly rubbed.

By noon all is peaceful again, apart from the distant thud, thud, thud, of music from a treehouse (11) not too far away, along with the smoke and cooking smells from a nearby camp (12).

By nightfall, all will be still (13) as we await the start of another day in the Serengeti (14).

Footnotes

*Birds and a cat
1 My back garden in Norwich, England
2 The garden pond
3 A blackbird
4 A couple of wood pigeons
5 They actually flew down from the sycamore tree. I think they have a nest up there
6 A clump of daffodils. Is that the right word, Clump?
7 The neighbour’s cat – either Daisy or Maisie, I can never tell them apart
8 Actually it’s been rather cold and overcast today. The wind has changed direction and we’re getting a bit of a cold blast from the north
9 That’ll be me
10 That’s my lawn you’re talking about there
11 A neighbour’s garden
12 Another neighbours barbecue
13 Actually, that reminds me, I do need to do some watering this evening
14 Lockdown

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