Friday, May 7, 2010

Not Just Another Pretty Face

When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time in doctor's offices. And nearly all of them had this hardcover with DO NOT REMOVE emblazoned across the cover.

But there were great Bible stories in there: and the kind of illustrations you only see in books from the 60's: lush colors, idyllic subjects. Everyone was smiling. Adam and Eve stood behind strategically located trees and palm fronds.

But the image that interested me the most was of Eden where a bunch of animals were displayed: lions and elephants, big birds and turtles. They just kind of lounged around together. No one ate anyone.

I loved that picture: and can still see it clearly in my mind.

And that shot is pretty much like what Kruger National Park in South Africa is like. The vegetation is so lush and green, and there are animals everywhere.

We were lucky because I've seen pictures of Kruger where the traffic is so thick it's a constant gridlock. We went several minutes without seeing another vehicle.

But SO many animals!

The herbivores travel together. Usually there's a giraffe in there somewhere because they have the longest necks and the sharpest eyes and when they start to freak out, the rest of the animals know there's a nasty something with teeth and claws lurking in the undergrowth.

This elephant sauntered out about twenty feet from our truck. It was like rounding a corner in Rome and seeing the Colosseum for the first time. It was magic. It was right there...HUGE...munching on a tree.

I was speechless, jaw open and very possibly a trail of drool working down my chin. It amazing I forgot to take a shot for the longest time. The whirring and clicking of cameras around me brought me to my senses...and I took some shots. But all the while I was so completely aware of the majesty of what was before me.

Elephants are cool.

So is Africa.