Landscapes change persona as light alters in times of day or weather conditions. Light, sound (or its absence) and various semi-defined sensations lull or sharpen observation, bring reverie or alertness. Out there you pay attention, although nobody can keep it up permanently.
The absence of conversation, what an agreeable place! Thoughts take off unnoticed, triggered by something small in memory or a veld signal. Comfort in the slow movement of a half empty thought stream, a soothing experience. It tends to happen in out of the way, lonesome spots, more after the second day if you're a bush person settling in.
Nature’s endless range of panoramic features occupies eyes, ears and other sensors according to observer endowment and needs of the moment. Mind in neutral doesn't mean alertness isn't needed. Continued functioning requires vigilance, attention to pattern recognition in environmental stimuli. Read the message or suffer the consequences.
Switching off for rest as all must, will happen. But sleep “with one eye open”, if you know what’s good for you. Back home some have lock-up city warrens, artificial safe places where awareness may be abandoned completely, at least in the comfort of conviction. Out in the bush such luxuries are far away.
Here warning signs are heeded, more effectively by those better attuned or endowed; the survivors. For survival is selective, favouring the fit and alert. Hunger would consume the bush community if all were too alert. Some must serve as food.
The dynamics of a particular ecology is governed by the nature of its participant mix. Everyone and everything alive takes care of itself according to its nature. At the same time everyone and everything serves as environment to everything and everyone else in each neighbourhood.
Momentary as well as durable alliances are part of the coping game that carries on without respite. Anything that runs heralds immediate warning to neighbours of all kinds. Somebody is going to be eaten any time soon!
The human visitor senses serenity, tries to share it. Peace on the surface belies the eternal eat and be eaten saga.
Now check for a puff adder at your feet… It's only a scorpion.