Friday, December 16, 2011

We would love to share something of nature with you. Although we have not travelled widely in Africa, we have enjoyed landscapes and wildlife (by that we mean, cattle, goats and sheep in this part of Botswana!).  Here in Goodhope, where it is flat and trees are sparse, the sky is an enormous dome over a thin line of horizon ---always dramatic--- whether it is simply the purest of blues, a thunderstorm is brewing, or the sun is setting in the most amazing displays we have ever seen.  How can we capture that in a camera?  A great photographer could barely do it justice.  Here is our best effort....

From the top of the hill in back of our house in Kanye we 
could see an enormous panorama.
The dome of the Kanye mosque is in the center.
Taken from the same spot.  The statute is of the kgosi, 
grandfather of Kgosi Malope II
 whose coronation we attended in October.
 Are these jacaranda trees?
 They were magnificent, especially when they were growing
in long rows, all over Kanye. 
 Springtime in Kanye meant flowering trees everywhere.
This is a conifer. Strange looking flowers or fruit, not cones.
These trees were blooming when we first arrived. 
 They remind us of the Cay Mai, which has near sacred status in Viet Nam.
  Jody thinks it may be the same.

The wild, or not so wild, donkeys of Kanye.  This one is wandering
just outside the main shopping mall.
The tallest tree in Kanye is an Araucaria, from Chile.
Who brought it here is a good question!
This is Thamaga Hill.  It’s higher than it looks in this picture, an enormous pile of smooth, 
rounded rocks that look like they could roll down any minute, 
although theyprobably have been there for millennia.
More of these gigantic stones in and around Thamaga.
Our favorite ancient tree, along the road from school to Goodhope village.
Weaver birds have built nests in the thorn tree outside our kitchen door.  
They are gorgeous bright yellow, industrious home-building birds 
considered pests by local farmers.
We watched this bird building a new nest which he finished in a day!
This is the most prevalent form of four-legged fauna in this part of Botswana.  
We are told that there are several times more cattle than people in this country.  
Cattle wander freely, literally everywhere!
There are some beautiful and interesting birds in addition
to the weaver birds.  Most are small and swift, hard to capture 
with a camera.  There are always plenty of chickens
 willing to pose.
Mostly the cattle seem to roam on their own, but, especially in large groups, 
there may be a herder.  Cattle, as well as goats and donkeys, are a road hazard.
On the road again.  We just can't wait to get back on the road again:  The road from our school to Goodhope Village. 
Sometimes we can try to improve on nature.  If our garden will grow in this sandy soil.
Squash and melons are doing ok.  And beans and lentils...
Another way to solve the trash problem.  Nor much of a
nature picture.  Maybe the ashes will improve our soil.  The
Sunflowers we planted along the brick wall of the garbage
station are doing pretty well!! 
We looked out our window and saw a red streak that grew,
as the sun went down, into one of the most beautiful and
complete rainbows we’ve ever seen.
Rainbow connection, the other side of the rainbow.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.  Sunset with water tower and dump station.

 An African sunset is like no other.  This is the end for now.  Blessings and Joy to all this Christmas.


Marie said...

How nice to have your industrious little neighbors happily weaving outside your door!

The sky looks amazing. It must be wonderful at night as well.

Merry Christmas!


Marilyn said...

I hope you had a blessed Christmas. Love seeing the nature here. That bird nest building is quite impressive.

Patricia said...

Wow, cool pictures!!

Hope you had a happy Christmas. Have any of the kids been able to visit you there?

Pat Graham