Text and photography by Chris Sheppard
The next day I rise early to try and beat the traffic heading east towards Mutare. I have another farm to visit in Virginia. Edging slowly down a farm road, I come across a late-blooming Sickle Bush (Dichrostachys cinerea). It has been a long morning; over two hours since Harare and my thermos still contains a cup or so of coffee. Winding down the window I kill the engine, cutting off Freddie Mercury’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” in mid-stride, leaving just the sound of the bush.
The flask is proving troublesome to locate. Suddenly, I hear a distant thrum in the air. Concerned something is wrong with my vehicle, I sit still to locate the source. It is coming from the tree next to me. Looking closer I see several big bumblebees going about the business of collecting nectar from the purple, yellow and white blooms. Not stopping for any length of time they rush from flower to flower, almost as if expecting the wonderful blooms to fall off.
Out with the camera! I have to capture this – beautiful early morning light and a little time on my hands. The result is well worth the effort.
I leave Virginia with at least an hour to drive to my next destination just north of Marondera. My foot weighs heavy on the accelerator. As my speed picks up, I see a curled shape on the side of the road – SNAKE…