African Wildlife

Nothing Between Me and Death

As I stood in the tall grass, I watched as the lioness crouched 50 feet away ready to attack. Heart pounding, I was sure this was how I was going to die. Out in the middle of Africa, nothing but grass stood between me and death.

For me, seeing another elephant was like seeing another cat in Jerusalem or another run down building in Detroit.

I would call myself privileged growing up in Africa. For me, seeing another elephant was like seeing another cat in Jerusalem or another run down building in Detroit. It was easy taking African wildlife for granted.

On a road trip across Zambia, I distinctly remember as a kid not even glancing as my mom pointed out a giraffe. Seen It, done it. Saying that, I do love wildlife. One of my favorite things was jumping in a jeep and heading on a Safari.

Created in the summer of 2018, this piece is wood burned on a round basswood.

Created in the summer of 2018, this piece is wood burned on a round basswood.

Now as an artist, my goal is to show through the art of woodburning the beauty of these majestic beasts.

When I found myself standing 50 feet from a lioness, I was on one of these safaris. Since some of our friends from the States were visiting, me and my sister flew with them to the Chipata Province in Southwest Zambia. It was four days of Safaris, games and fun.

Our goal one day, as we headed out on our safari, was to find lions. We had seen many of the "basic” wildlife such as elephants, giraffes, zebras, warthogs, various antelopes etc. but this time we wanted to find the king of the jungle.

A custom piece for a friend, it entails a wood burned lion and lioness complimented by watercolor on oak.

A custom piece for a friend, it entails a wood burned lion and lioness complimented by watercolor on oak.

Knowing this new information, I climbed back into the jeep to guarantee that I would write this story

Finally, after hours of searching, we found a couple of lioness’s and their cubs. With the okay from our guides, we piled out of the jeep and watched these amazing animals. That is when one of the lioness got ready to attack.

Not sure what to do, our guide whispered to me “Don’t worry. As long as the tale of the lioness moves side to side, we were fine. But if the tale moves up and down, it will kill us.” Aware of this new information, I quietly climbed back into the jeep to guarantee that I would write this story. After a couple more minutes of picture taking from our friends, we headed back to our lodge—all people accounted for.

In this piece, I tried to show a representation of all African wildlife outlined by a lion.

In this piece, I tried to show a representation of all African wildlife outlined by a lion.

Looking back now, I should have been more scared than I was. I will never forget the love and respect I gained from seeing these amazing animals up close in the wild. Now as an artist, my goal is to show though the art of woodburning the beauty of these majestic beasts.

Comment down below what your favorite lion piece is.

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