Click Here for, DANCING WITH THE WILD BEAST, diary among friends of the Mozambique Bush

Hard Nosed Big Game Hounds

Hard Nosed Big Game Hounds
Click the pic for "The hard Nosed Pack"

Luwire Photographic Safaris

Luwire Photographic Safaris
Looking across the Lugenda from one of the camps

Monday, February 3, 2014

Right Where I Was Supposed to Be!

To deny the instinct to hunt is to deny the instinct to exist.
Harry Selby

When I am hunting and fishing with the right attitude, I reenter the woods and rivers with a moment-by moment sense of the glories of creation, of the natural world as living fabric of existence, so that I'm both young again but also 70 thousand years old.
Jim Harrison

Anyone who fails to be moved at a primal level by the sight of vast schools of salmon fighting their way upstream in response to inscrutable instincts to procreate and die probably shouldn't be there anyway.
E Donald Thomas Jr.

One's own heart is the best place to store the few things of life that really matter.
Rudyard Kipling

Sitting here in a warm space while the weather is chilled by an overcast rain filled sky I just am given over to the thoughts that come from other places and long gone time. Time spent that was so enjoyable that I knew I should take it in in deep breaths of memory that should be reverently placed  within a sacred chest in my aging soul. There I can go at times like this and replay just for myself the happenings of the day or night moving me once again as it once did when I was there apart of the scene that brought me such satisfaction.

I stand there as I have learned to do and take another look, breath in the scents, one more time I feel the emotion and experience the exertion, the adrenaline rising and falling away as the accomplishment of realizing I have once again found the place I should be right at that very moment.

Once in Mozambique while driving in an open vehicle down a dusty dry riverbed close to dark I remember smelling the sweet musk of a Leopard somewhere close to the track. Not once but several times over the hours of the drive while the lights of the Landcruiser illuminated often the eyes of hunters and hunted in the limbs of the leafless bush, that smell would fill the workings of my senses. I would see the blinking red, white, or orange colored flames of the eyes of those looking down as I passed and feel them there. Sometime I see a glimpse of fur or the flash of a tail, an empty limb swaying from the weight of something now gone in an instant. Bush Babies, Leopards, Baboons, Porcupines, Night Jars, all shifting here and there and some poised and calm watching calmly covered by the night watching me go.

Another time I was leaving the Bush to catch the plane home in Pemba. I started early around 3 AM as I wanted to drive the bush roads at night in the coolness. Just after dawn on a good strait stretch I saw ahead a pack of Wild Dogs laying in the road, they were a large group and I knew them as I had driven many times to the area with clients as I could always find them just off this road in a dry river where water stood under a tall bank of the river even in the dry season. They would be there most days during the heat of the mid day sun drinking and wallowing. This place was also an advantageous vantage point to view the river bed east and west as the river was strait for a good way in either direction. They could lay up and watch for anything moving either way and as the land lay flat all around it was a good place to launch a stalk.

This day they lay in the road bed I was traveling and as I approached they perked up a bit but continued to lay resting mostly. I will always think they could recognize the sound of my Cruiser and knew me by that as I would sometime do a little bark to see if they were around in the river bed, they would always send a sentry out of the bush to investigate and when they knew there was no danger I would just sit there and usually curiosity would get the best of most as they would peek out here and there take a look and vanish. But this morning was different as I got closer within about 50 ft I stopped but left my engine on. Some of the males even got up and approached closer and I barked a little low yelp. A few answered some lay back down and showed no sign of moving. I just sat and breathed it in wishing I had my binos out of my bag. I must have set there for a good 5 minutes when a little further down the road I could see two females moving from the bush to the road. One was a young bitch and the other seemed to be apprehensive as she would look at me and then glance over her shoulder sit a while go a few paces back towards the bush then toward the road. The other looked thin and had a very low hanging belly, eventually I realized she had probably just whelped not long ago. Anyway my attention being on the two I began to catch movement low to the ground behind her
an eventually she persuaded several young pups to follow her out into the road where she lay down and began to nurse. At this several of the males rose and began to get a little flustered as they would yelp look at me and then at her as if saying this isn't a good place for that but eventually they settled again with some still standing and two approaching the truck first on one side then on the other sniffing the air constantly. I deducted they were trying to get my sent, there was no wind but we were so close I knew they could smell me. I decided to cut the engine and see what goes. Cutting the engine brought a few pricks of the ears and some long stares but all was good and I was prepared to sit there forever. Another five minutes and the Bitch stood up, licked a few pups and moved off in the direction she had come, the nurse following, then one by one and then two three and more they all moved off following her and disappearing like ghosts except one old male grizzled around the mouth. He stood off at a right angle to me at about 30 ft. sat down and just looked at me as if he was waiting for something. I spoke to him and told him I appreciated them visiting with me. At this he gave a little yelp as he was turning to go and never looked back but just walked away. I gave them a little time and cranked up and drove away. I have contemplated many times over this event and I would like to think they had come to realize I was no threat to them, that they recognized me and felt safe around me. I will really never know for sure but at that moment my thoughts were that they were saying goodbye to me in their way. That thought is now more meaningful than ever because I haven't been able to return for several years for various reasons. Maybe that was the last time I will ever be there a thought that brings a terrible sadness, all I can say is that on that morning I was right where I was supposed to be, below are pics from other times.

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About Me

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I’m a Southern Boy, just 56 last November, I get around here and there, Central America, Africa, Red Bay. I’m a Father, Grandfather, Husband, Artist and general flunky of sorts. Live in a little historic town in an old building I remodeled. Just wanted to hear myself think I guess, talk about the need of simplification, show some art, express an interest or two, brag on my dogs and see where it goes. That’s it!, That’s the deal, Thanks