The first full day in Namibia was rather relaxed. I walked around the garden taking photographs of the flowers, some beetles and butterflies, then watched an old video (1987) of Fiela se Kind (Fiela’s Child), based on the book by Dalene Mathee. The evening in Namibia was spent sitting outside at sunset (18:55) chin wagging about life. A small bird comes to sit near us, then flies through the window into the lounge; it spends the night on an outdoor heater before leaving again in the morning. We can also hear some birds, crickets and geckos in the distance. I am always amazed at how quickly it gets dark here; by 19:30 we started to see the first stars and by 20:00 it was dark, with the southern cross and milky way visible in their full glory. I saw three “shooting stars”, making a quick wish, and also two satellites and a jet heading towards Cape Town. A clear sky, 24ºC, I could sit there all night, but I need my beauty sleep. In the bedroom Knaaters, the cat, has already made himself comfortable on the bed (he slept next to me all night; do cats snore?).
Sunrise is at around 7 am and I try to get up to see the start of a new day. It is quite cold, I wear a jersey and a jacket, but it soon warms up. The cactus blooms are already open, pointing towards the sun; the blooms from yesterday have all disappeared, eaten by the bugs. In the distance I can hear braying, either donkeys or zebra, I don’t know. I return to my bed and Knaaters follows me, crawling under the comforter to lie between my feet.
After some snoozing I got up and went for a walk behind the house. I found some nice flowers, though not many, and saw a few different types of butterfly (I need to find a book on Namibian butterflies). The latter are quite challenging to photograph, with some butterflies constantly on the move; I refer to these as flutter-byes. However, I also had a rather close encounter with a snake, which I had not seen, that was lying on a rock. Later I found out that it was a Zebra snake; these snakes are quite aggressive and I was lucky as it slid down its burrow. A timely reminder to be more careful.
After sunset we sat outside again, shooting the breeze. Suddenly a little bird (Greybacked Cisticola, tinktinkie) flies close to us, hovering and jabbering away before entering the house through a window to roost in the heater. In the morning it leaves again, to return occasionally for a quick “chat” during the day. Once it gets dark and can see the stars, we start looking for satellites and shooting stars, making silent wishes, while admiring the milky way and discussing the meaning of life. Slowly the warmth of the day diffuses, to be replaced by a chilly breeze. It is time to put away the proverbial pipe and head indoors. The cat has already decided which side of the bed I am sleeping on… good night!