Saturday, June 13, 2009

5 June (Fri)

We headed out filming before light the next morning so had to survey the lion damage by torchlight. They had ripped the inverter off the electric fence power supply, torn up all our underground cabling, chewed it to shreds and broken the electric fence in two places.

Mid-morning we went to Jesse’s pools for a picnic. As we got there about 60 elephants were drinking and another large herd was waiting to come through. We went to the usual spot and literally as we got there the herd started moving off in our direction. We sat quietly in the car watching as the various herd paraded close past us and through the water. The children were well behaved, even they appreciated the spectacular sight. The elephants were very relaxed and meandered through, dusting and playing and it was wonderful to see. We spotted the baby with no trunk or tail who Brad had previously filmed. He must have been attacked by lions and then rescued when he was a tiny baby. He now looks to be about a year old and his trunk has healed, but is very short. He can only eat by grazing on the grass with his mouth, which is probably not sustainable in the long run because a) he will eventually develop tusks and b) he is a boy so will invariably have to leave the matriarchal herd and be solitary. It is debatable whether bulls will look after him the way the females would.

On our usual route past the plover’s nest, the eggs of which we had so diligently protected from errant drivers by placing a log between them and the road, had hatched. We drove past and saw 2 tiny bundles in the nest. The one looked like a newly hatched plover and was doing all the things a newly hatched plover does, but the other was more like a bundle of damp feathers and looked as if it was breathing its last.

We attempted a full moon shot – tried to get a full moon and heat haze but moon was too pale and heat haze didn’t really work. We tried to create one by lighting a fire in a tin underneath the lens. Humphry was tasked with this, and it was quite a serious task as Moremi is bone dry and any carelessness could result in the whole place going up in flames. Thankfully it didn’t happen.

That night Frannette, Karen and I watched Sex and the City wrapped up in blankets on the Lamu bed while the boys pretended to work in the office tent. Pricka and Legae (who doesn’t speak any English) started watching but gave up, shaking their heads, about a third of the way through the film.

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