Biodiversity 17-7-2016

Dear Friends

The Biodiversity Update

‘Rains bring life’
may be a cliché, but here in the African bush it is real, and not just visible:

We hear it, we smell it, we SEE it:

Grass sprouts fresh,

Unexpected blooms appear overnight on seemingly desiccated branches
From cracked earth
Buried tubers shoot up striped lilies

Mushrooms umbrellas- white-
Decorate red clay castle of breeding termites.

Thousands birds
In a gallant crescendo welcome sunrise

– and wake me up.

Noon is ripe with scents of jasmine
new live things- glorious.
A Martial eagle scans distances
Perching arrogant on the tallest acacia

Below which tracks- to be interpreted –
Draw arabesques on fresh earth:
Buffalo, a sunset lion, elephant ..and ….
…The elusive tracks of the civet cat.

Sunset lions roar to the raising moon.
Bats flutters touch my face…


While in Nairobi:

… in the 44 years since I have had a garden in Gigiri
I have seen the trees grow to become thick forest,
but I have never seen an avocado ripen..
In the morning the grass is littered with half eaten unripe fruit
Above, amongst leaves, sated Sykes monkeys
From branch to branch
Peer down at me through disquieting wise eyes.

In her mother’s arms my small granddaughter sleeps
– one month tomorrow!-
Dreams coloured dreams
That we shall never know.

On 17th July 2016


Kuki Gallmann
Ol ari Nyiro
The Place of Springs
Laikipia Nature Conservancy

The Gallmann Memorial Foundation

Dedicated to the Coexistence of People and Nature in Africa


Photo credits, with thanks:

Slobodan Randjelovic
Thornburn Cattermole
Peter Trevor And archive

Special thanks to:

The Shinnyo en
Ken Wambwa of The National Museums of Kenya
Dino Martin for his input on the Walkers Owl Moth (Erebus Macrops) and Martial Eagle

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