Pebble on the Beach

Holding a small pebble

in my hand, I observe

it doesn’t look much, but

it’s smooth to the touch, and it shines

in the last rays of day.

It’s been ground

against others of its kind

in stormy waters, it’s been

tossed around by fierce winds

and caressed by sun.

It’s one among many stones

some rough, some smooth, and all of them

together form the beach

I realize this tiny pebble is me

we are all in this together.

A Wild Dance Just Because It’s Summer.

This morning when I took a quick walk on the beach and in the nature reserve, I witnessed something really funny. A Reddish Egret, not a permanent resident in the salt marsh, was walking frantically back and forth in the shallow water. Fast. Like he was crazy busy. That’s what Mondays do to you, I thought.

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A Reddish Egret walking fast…

Then, suddenly, he went into a wild dance. Feathers stood up on his head and he flexed his wings vigorously, one at the time. Swinging like he was hearing an inner tune.

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A wild dance (check out the eyes!)

Right after the brief dance, he turned around with lightning speed and picked up something eatable from the water. I wonder if the dance was to put the prey under his spell?

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Gotcha!

I have not seen anything like that before. I was laughing, LOL’ing in fact, if you know what I mean.

I had to do an extra 1/2 mile swing to see if Papa Osprey was still hanging around on his favorite palm trunk.

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Papa Osprey on his palm trunk seat

And there he was! Handsome as always. It’s nice to see he didn’t move very far. He didn’t talk today, just nodded a greeting. I guess it was getting too hot.

I hope your week has started well. Maybe with a wild dance just because it’s summer?

Throwback Thursday: Lions out of Focus

Generally speaking, focus is the central point of attention or activity.  We may agree that it’s important to focus on whatever we want to get done. I’d like to add that how we focus on something may actually determine whether or not we’ll live to tell the story. Seriously.

I learned this lesson many years ago in South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. Before dinner on our first day at the safari lodge we opted for a sunset game drive. We climbed into a typical “safari jeep” ready for an adventure. Our guide drove us around the park and we saw many different types of antelopes, zebras and water buffaloes. Very exciting! But more excitement was to come.

antelope in Zambia Luangwa National Park
A large antelope in South Luangwa National Park

About an hour into the drive, our guide told us that before we’d return to the lodge for dinner, he would drive us down to the Luangwa River to see the sunset. It was spectacular, he said, and we might spot animals who come there to drink in the early evening hours.

A few minutes later we approached the river banks. Already from afar, we could see a herd of elephants crossing the river.  We stopped on the high river bank and the driver left the engine running (we were in the wild). My hubby, who sat in the front passenger seat, rigged his camcorder.

Elephants crossing Luangwa River Zambia safari
A herd of elephants crossing the Luangwa River (click to enlarge)

The view was magical. On the left side of the vehicle we could see elephants of all sizes: large adults, youngsters and adorable babies.  And on the right side a gorgeous African sunset. My hubby was recording for dear life.

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Sunset on Luangwa River

That’s when we spotted a group of female lions. They were basking themselves in the last rays of the setting sun, probably strategizing about the upcoming hunt. They were very close and very calm.  We watched them breathlessly from the relative safety of our vehicle.

A lioness on the bank of Luangwa River

Suddenly my hubby moved. His eye still on the viewfinder he stepped down from the open jeep to get a better view. And landed right in front of the lions! He was so focused on capturing the sunset that he had not seen what all others saw, the lions. In an instant, he was the easy catch, a free meal, so to speak. I was about to scream, but the driver was faster. In a fraction of a second and without a word he grabbed my hubby’s arm and pulled him back into the vehicle. Then he backed out of there, slowly and calmly.

Luangwa River Zambia
Luangwa River at sunset

That was a close call. My tiny lesson was that how we focus on something matters. Of course we should focus on what needs to get done. But not so narrowly that we lose sight of what is going on around us. Things can change fast.