Mopani Winter Woodland

Lin Barrie

“Fallen Tree”, acrylic on loose canvas, 85 x 200 cm is my painting of the incredible mopani winter woodland in the lowveld of Zimbabwe at this time of year, russet red leaves, filtered light at dawn and dusk and always, as I drive slowly through the landscape of the Save Valley Conservancy, the promise of wild dog dens…

Near the den of the Mbungu Pack, in deep woodland, monitored by the African Wildlife Conservation Fund, (AWCF), I know that at any moment I could spot the dogs…

Deep red leaves and golden lion’s mane grass frame my search…

There they are!… the wild dogs lie and doze, waiting for the cool of evening to begin a hunt

Dogs in Mopani 1, acrylic on loose canvas, 70 x 105 cm

…camouflaged like the patterns of persian carpets in the rust red mopani leaves…

Where do coats begin and leaves end?… a glorious medley of colour….truly a painters delight, and I love the alternative common name for these gorgeous tricolor hunters, Painted Wolves…. or Painted Dogs…

Mopani camouflage, acrylic on canvas, 88 x 88 cm

My painting “Pep Rally” (acrylic/oil bar on canvas, 130 x 100 cm) is typical of the interaction between young wild dogs just before they go hunting.

Exuberant and social, they bolster each others confidence, rearing up and playing..

Pep Rally I, acrylic on loose canvas, 90 x 88 cm

galloping and twisting sinuously in the growing pale light of the rising moon…

Painted Wolf Pep Rally, acrylic on loose canvas, 53 x 97 cm…

The hunters soon disappear into the mopani dusk with white tails flashing, as a full moon rises……

full moon rising

they vanish into the surrounding woodland, hunting food for the alpha female who waits patiently at the den with her pups ..

Mother and Pups, acrylic on canvas board, 61 x 76 cm
Lin Barrie
Author: Lin Barrie

About wineandwilddogs Lin Barrie The Save Valley Conservancy stretches along the upper reaches of the great Save River in the south east of Zimbabwe. The Gonarezhou National Park laps against the southern banks of the Save River and between these two nestles the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. These three celebrated wildlife areas form part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, (GLTFCA)- a unique wilderness jewel which is home to the “Big Five” (endangered Black and White rhinos, elephants, buffalo, lion, leopard) and the ”Little Six” (Klipspringer, Suni, Duiker, Steenbok, Sharpe's Grysbok and Oribi). Endangered African wild dogs, Cheetah, Brown hyena, Bat-eared foxes and a host of special birds and plants contribute to the immense variety of this ecosystem. Communities around the GLTFCA contribute to innovative partnerships with National Parks and the private sector, forming a sound base on which to manage social, economic and environmental issues. This is home to artist and writer Lin Barrie and her life partner, conservationist Clive Stockil. Expressing her hopes, fears and love for this special ecosystem with oil paints on canvas, Lin Barrie believes that the essence of a landscape, person or animal, can only truly be captured by direct observation. Lin Barrie states:...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

World Lion Day in Celebration of a languid, lithe and lovely beast.

Musings on the languid, lithe and lovely beast that we call ‘Lion’ … Panthera leo, creature of fable and bible, myth and immediate powerful reality. My immediate and powerful reality. Here below is my sketch […]

Subscribe US Now