Celebrating the King

Today in the Netherlands it is Kingsday. Dutch people all over the world celebrate King Willem-Alexander’s 50th birthday.

The lion is called the ‘king of the jungle’. A bit of a strange label, since lions live on the African savanna and not in the jungle. But I can imagine what makes the lion king-like: his mane circles his head like a crown, and his pose is absolutely majestic.

That’s not to say that a lion is never afraid or threatened. Just before this photograph was taken, two lions – locally known as Ginger (the albino) and Garlic – were resting in a very relaxed manner. Then two elephants approached.

The approach

The lions were immediately alert, and moved away when the elephants came closer. Like any earthly king, the lion is not almighty…

Blessed be!

May the roads rise to meet you. 
May the wind be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
The rain fall soft upon your fields 
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand. 

Photo taken in Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa

Budding futures

“In a perfect world, there is no future,” I read yesterday in Sansal Boualem’s novel 2084. An interesting statement. When we think about the future, we almost automatically think about change, about things that are not yet here. “When I grow up, I want to be a doctor.” “Our day will come.” “Maybe later.”

That the future may be different than the now gives us hope. Maybe in the future we find a way to distribute wealth in a more equal manner. Maybe in the future we will find a cure. Maybe in the future we will learn that war is not necessary.

If everything is already perfect, it is not necessary to think about the future. Nothing needs to be solved. No solutions need to be delegated to a realm that has not yet manifested.

In a perfect world, there is no future.

But can a world without a future be perfect? No future is no development. No chance to become better at anything. No chance to become a better person. No buds growing into flowers.

To me, looking at the photography of the blossoms of the papaya tree implies a future. Next week, more flowers will have opened. The week after the first flowers will drop to the ground. After a month, on a different tree, the papaya fruit will start to grow, pollinated by this flower.

A world without a future is unthinkable to me. Look at these flowers. Who wants a world without a future, even if it is a perfect world?

Slowly by slowly

The chameleon is one of my favorite animals, and the rare occasions that I find a chameleon in the garden are very special. This one was very small, only about five centimeters – it’s probably a baby. Unfortunately, many people are scared of chameleons, and harm them. And I have to say, they are mysterious animals. Chameleons can change their color to match their surroundings. Today I learnt that in Afrikaans, the chameleon is known as ‘verkleurmannetjie’ – little man that changes colors. Chameleons are very shy. Their color makes them hard to spot, and besides that, chameleons make an effort not to make any sudden movements. They move slowly, haltingly – a bit like my internet connection at the moment…

 

Rock paintings?

I love to experiment with the editing of my photographs. What I like about this one is that it is so reminiscent of age-old rock paintings found in the region. Isn’t it wonderful that one can create such a thing?

Or do you like this version better:

20170409-DSC_4426-bewerkt-2-bewerkt

Pictures taken in Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa