Friends of Tsavo

TSAVO'S FRIENDS

Rain like tears of joy in the savannah

Tsavo flooded but animals back to life

15-12-2021 by Giovanna Grampa

It had been a difficult few months, but finally the savannah awoke from a long deep sleep that had lasted for too long, reduced to a sparse patchwork due to extreme drought, with deep signs of suffering for the vegetation and animals.
A yellowed but still fascinating image: entire plains dotted with sparse brownish grass or bleached by the sun, dry trees that raised their twisted branches to the sky like the fingers of an arthritic hand begging for rain, old mummies incinerated by the heat, the sky without a cloud. Every day the savannah was drier and drier.
Everywhere the red earth, wind-scarred and sun-baked, had turned into an arid soil cracked by the drought, pervaded by soft colors from sand to apricot or sprinkled with rocky debris, stones, roots and dried up tufts of grass. And where the sun burns, it takes life and holds the savannah in its grip.
Exhausted and damn hungry animals forced to share the water with other species and with predators gathered around the few remaining pools and always lurking, ready to prepare an ambush.
Each species of animal has developed particular survival skills in this inclement land, making the best use of what little is available.
In times of scarcity, elephants also take advantage of barks and roots, imitated by the young, who thus learn to manage the difficulties they will have to face cyclically in their future lives. For herbivores, the situation becomes more complicated, but their difficulties are an advantage for predators.
The Tsavo is a land of famine and plenty: the death of one is the survival of the other.
But the struggle for survival has been forgotten for a few days: the rain has finally reached the expanses of the savannah and the water, like drops of life, has returned. At first as a passing drizzle and then as a nice thick rain: the clouds have coagulated into a dark gray cape, extended in all directions, like a liquid wall, dense and oblique.
In just one night, the rain succeeded in transforming the parched land into green plains, giving new life to the vegetation and inviting the sleeping seeds to sprout and grow, reawakening a magical fertile paradise, with the typical fascinating rapidity of Africa.
In just a few days, the impoverished pastures were transformed into a lush and tender emerald green mantle and new buds sprouted on the trees: a spectacle modulated by countless shades of green like notes on the staff of a Hymn to Joy dedicated to Mother Nature.
The new grass has attracted herds of buffalo, zebra, impala, light-footed creatures with liquid dark eyes while flocks of birds fly festively into the sky to celebrate the park's new life, taking advantage of the temporary abundance.
The land of Tsavo is now a beautiful dark red, scattered with pools and countless small, shallow, clear streams that meander through the terrain forming strange and complicated patterns. Everywhere there is a sense of new life, of rebirth after the long ordeals of the heat, and the savannah begins its incredible metamorphosis at the moment of greatest need.
And the elephants, visibly worn out after months of poor nutrition and exhausted by the heat, can now refresh themselves, quench their thirst and recover by eating leaves rich in protein and minerals while their young can return to play - they now have the strength - and in survival, life is now also play.
Entire families advance across the green plains sprinkled with new bushes where they can sink their trunks and tear off tender leaves to be carried in their mouths with a newfound serenity, filling our eyes with wonder as we watch them.
It's also time to make plans for the future: groups of impalas with golden brown coats battle it out in the eternal quest for supremacy, some male lions roam about in search of a female in oestrus while enormous solitary elephants, as imposing as marble sculptures, will go in search of young females to fertilize, celebrating the alternation of the seasons as a splendid legacy.
Again the land is full of life and the promise of life.
But the savannah still needs a lot of water to keep alive its stupendous landscape, its lights, its colors, its rough and wild beauty. It will rain again but no raindrops will fall ... they will be true tears of joy!

TAGS: tsavosavana kenyapioggia kenyaanimali kenya

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