Rumble … cra-a-a-ck! Thunder boomed, drowning out the hum of the aircon in our chalet one hot afternoon at Twee Rivieren in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Then a sizzle of lightning. At the beginning of March the park was still bone dry, the rains already late. Would this electric storm bring the end of the dry spell?
Springbok were no longer huddling from the heat in the long line of shadow cast by camelthorns; with the sky clouded over and grey-black, there was plenty of shade everywhere. But still they clustered in large groups rather than spreading out, as if to protect themselves from the rain.
You could explain a rainbow by nattering on about refraction, dispersion and internal reflection, but that wouldn’t detract from its otherworldly beauty. And the double rainbow was even more special – a second arc outside the main arc (yes, light reflecting twice inside water droplets, yada yada) but with the colours reversed, back to back red, fading to violet on the far edges. It made me feel like a child again, a time when rainbows seemed so full of fairy-like promise, of magic and endless possibility.
The electricity in the air seemed to energise us – or maybe it was just because the smattering of rain cooled things down to an invigorating 26 degrees.
Either way, we weren’t complaining; the storm had been far too exciting for that.
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