Those sandgrouse are stunning little birds!
Great pics Johan
I just want to throw in some cliffhangers for those waiting for Johan: Cliffhanger #2
- What to make of kanniedood wood, elephant dung and a blue waxbill nest?
Back at camp another challenge awaited the atlassers. Brenden had, without elaboration, started collecting bits-and-pieces that turned out to be the essential ingredients for making fire from scratch. Brenden called the team over and explained what was required of them. Instantly the indomitable human spirit was geared to the continued survival of humankind.
Brenden had all the tools and ingredients lined up:
1. Ground sheet: on which the action takes place; to prevent sand ingress from polluting the fire-nest.
2. Fire board: made of medium density wood with small depressions and the coal-catching notches pre-cut.
3. The hand-drill (or spindle); any straight stick will do.
4. A drill tip of the same wood type as the fire board is notched into the spindle and tied down with rope made from plant fibre. These produce fine carbon material during the spinning action when both the fire board and the drill tip carbons up due to the frictional heat produced.
5. Very fine nesting maretial to catch the ember (fine fibres collected from dry elephant dung)
6. Fine kindling (a waxbill nest; seen on the extreme right of the collection of kindling)
7. More substantial kindling (rough, dry grass and fine twigs)
8. A row of willing clan members to ensure continuous drive for the drilling action
Tobie holds down the fire board while Brenden explains the change-over procedure to the rest of the team.
The team started off slowly, soon learning that the task at hand is more difficult to accomplish than what it appears to be. The team suggests that Cecilia holds down the fire board instead of Tobie so that his brawn could also be applied to the critical drilling process that should be continuous. Asanja prepares to take over from Brenden. Leonie2, Pooh Bear Tobie and JoelR looks on.
During the previous atlassing stint in February, Multiflorum and Wild Blue Yonder were the only drillers to assist Brenden and Asanja and successfully performing the task was ultimately just out of reach. This time we had enough energy to get to that moment of magic!
The birth of a fire takes place when the carbon formed by the drilling action forms a glowing ember. In our case the coal fell out suddenly due to a slight equipment malfunction: the slot cut in the fire board was too narrow so the carbon collected in the slot instead of accumulating gradually on the elephant dung nest. When it became "too heavy" to continue hanging up in the notch, the coal fell out onto the nest, instantly delivering that magic moment.
I just love the look on Brenden, and specifically Leonie2's faces as the abracadabra thingy happens...
Brenden expertly nurtures life into the glowing ember by cuddling the glowing coal in the fine, dry elephant dung and softly blowing onto the little treasure.
Adding the waxbill nest to the smoldering elephant dung and blowing onto the glowing coal immediately produces a result. Fire is now just about in our grasp!
If the continued existence of the Human Race depended on our efforts, we proudly present ... FIRE!!!
Pooh Bear and Tobie looks on as Brenden and Asanja tends to the fire. Cecilia records the moment for prosperity... Later on that night while sitting around the fire, I noticed a number of atlassers closely inspecting the palms of their hands…
An incoherent thought falls like a single ember
from the fireboard and suddenly flashes brighter
as inspiration fuels creativity to burn brilliantly.
New insight is tamed from the bonfire of vision.
At times it is a sound or sight we remember.
Vaguely at first, then instantly sharp memory
denies our pained senses the benefit of insight
and unkindly we stifle the ingenious glow.
As disjointed thoughts fall like vivid sparks
softly blow on the embers to nourish inspiration
that will ignite a galaxy of dazzling pyrotechnics.
Compassion is forged from the beautiful chaos.............................................. Bright spark