They came as if from nowhere, beautiful and graceful, running and jumping in their own unique way called ” pronking ” ( literally translated to display). They ran and jumped past us with even the smallest of the group imitating the adults’ pogo sticklike jumps. We were still gasping with awe when they returned with their display for a second time.
They are called Springbuck, meaning jumping buck and they are the national animal of South Africa. It is generally believed that springbuck display their bouncing ball behaviour for joy of living. Yesterday as it was after the first good rainfall of the season I chose to believe it too.
Scientifically however there are other reasons for the “pronking” behaviour of the Springbuck. It is a common response to predators; those that jump higher or at a faster rate, are fitter and faster, a fact the predator should recognise and so pick out a weaker victim . It is also for purposes of orientation, as the springbok can take in their physical surroundings, and the position of predators and other springboks . There is a social role too; the fold of skin on the back produces a secretion with a strong, sweet odour that can be released while” pronking” , and thus sends out visual and olfactory messages to other springbok.
After a few minutes of delightful display the springbuck disappeared in the bush not to be seen again. This incident took place while we were on our weekly walk in the Moreletta Nature Reserve. It left me in awe and filled with joy. If only I was younger I might have joined them jumping for joy.
I leave you with this verse from the psalmist as I believe God gave us the rain, He made the grass grow and He sent the springbuck to show us the joy of life.
Psalms 147:8 Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who provides rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.
What makes you jump for joy?
But ask the animals and they will teach you or the birds of the air and they will tell you or speak to the earth and it will teach you or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12: 7-9
Recently I realised, I became so involved in the struggles of daily life that I neglected to see the blessings and beauty that God bestows on me every day. Therefore I decided to look for one thing every week which is an unexpected and surprise blessing from His hand. I will record these blessings here every Wednesday and name the posts Wide Eye Wednesday.
It can be an unexpected visit or phone call from a friend, a beautiful flower or sunset,a day without any problems, a good meal. In short anything which is a blessing and brings joy.
Here is the first one : The Tree
About six months ago I planted a WisteriaTree ( bolusanthus speciosus) a small flowering indigenous tree in my new garden. According to the literature and books I read the wisteria tree does’nt transplant easily, nor does it flower in the first year or two after being transplanted. Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw small buds forming on the bare branches at the beginning of spring.
Each day, I eagerly watched the buds grow untill the flowers opened.There they were beautiful delicate purple flowers hanging from the drooping branches.
. To me this was undeniably the hand of the Lord shown in my own garden.
I challenge anyone who reads this to join me in recording the small miracles and joys of life. Write a post on a Wednesday and join me here on Wide Eye Wednesdays by leaving a comment and a link to your post.
a Minimalist photo of a dead flower of the Scabiosa plant. The shapes and colours still left in the deadhead fascinated me and tell a story of new life which lies in the still green seeds hiding away in the leafless flowerhead.
How many times have this churchbell rung on a Sunday morning calling worshippers to church?