All is quiet in this vast marshland of Botswana. There are no elephants’ baths to interrupt now….just a quiet glide through marsh grasses and papyrus.
Have you ever seen a wild elephant take a bath? I never thought I would see such a thing, but I saw quite a few enjoying baths in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, a vast inland river delta that floods and dries each year.
This is the first elephant we encountered on a five-hour boat trip to a lodge in the delta. After we showed up, he got out of the water. That was a difficult process and this ponderous giant seemed loathe to give up the bouyancy that the water provided.
We passed a second elephant standing close to the bank.
We encountered others stepping lightly (for an elephant) on the floor of the marsh…
and quenching their thirst, which is easy this time of year.
From a comfortable, shaded platform you could relax and watch the lily pads bob up and down on the water. The word billabong is thought by some to be of aboriginal origin from the word “bila” meaning river. The watering holes are believed to be the result of a river changing its course and leaving behind a stranded pool, which is replenished by rains during the Wet Season. (In certain areas of Australia, only two seasons are recognized: The Wet and The Dry.)
Here the beaver seems to be nonchalantly munching on a twig. But wait! Is a beaver, symbol of industriousness, ever nonchalant?
This is a custom home the beaver built or helped to build for the family. It’s located in a fine (for beavers, at least) southeastern Virginia neighborhood: The Great Dismal Swamp.
The afternoon light meant everything in this shot of a coastal marsh in North Carolina.