morning on the Mouambi River

Fog and smoke obscure the morning sun, muting the landscape and scenting the air with a melange of burning grass and the warmth of vegetation releasing the night’s dew.

Fog smothers our view as the morning sun glows a faint pink-orange orb poking through the silhouettes of a jungle bordering the river.  The smell of burning grasses hangs in the air.  Savanna fires burning through day and night present another aroma to contrast sharply with the lush fragrance of fermenting earth and plant spilling out of the jungle.

The trill of frogs and crickets are slowly replaced by the chatter of moustached monkeys thrashing a retreat through the canopy before us.  A few mangabeys cough out a warning upon our approach to the riverbank, and the scream of ibises echo across the river as they depart their roost.  Piercing through the vapor-laden atmosphere, the pan-pipe whistles of a pair of fish eagles momentarily overwhelm all other sound.  They glide above the river channel, flashing a white head and tail, dark-brown wings with accents of chestnut belly and underwings.  One of the largest African eagles, they eventually catch the rising thermals to circle high above the river on a wingspan of more than two meters.

Manatees retreat from beneath the overhanging raffia fronds to deep pools mid-river as we approach, their undulating tails churning the water above with a bubbling rhythm.  A few hippos spout like whales in the distance, submerging to hide motionless as we pass.  Slowly building in intensity, the sun will soon draw the crocodiles out of the river pools to bask in the heat of mid-morning.

The waters of the Mouambi lie motionless in primitive silence at the height of tide.
Slender-snouted crocodile basking in the warmth of sun on the Mouambi River.


One response to “morning on the Mouambi River”

  1. Love these David. The croc is almost touchable.

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