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Beginnings and Endings

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.

Little Gidding from Four Quartets, T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)

Beginnings and endings are intertwined; nowhere is that circle of life more clear than in Africa.

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The Okavango Delta in Botswana is a fascinating ecosystem, relying on the water that comes from Angola, through Namibia, to flood the delta annually.  When the water levels are at their highest, vast areas of the delta are covered in water, and the few islands that peep up from the water owe their existence to termites.

The termites build their mounds and go about their work and lives, no doubt oblivious to the greater role they play.  Because the water table is high in the Delta, the termites build higher mounds than elsewhere; in drier areas a large part of their colony would live underground.

When a termite colony dies, the solid mound remains to provide a home to snakes, birds and small mammals. Birds and animals perch on this dry area during wet times and their droppings contain seeds of plants and trees that sprout and grow.  Gradually the termite mound becomes a living island.

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It is not just the animals that make use of the termites’ hard work, humans use the concrete like mound to build their own homes.

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So there we have it, a beginning, an ending and more beginnings.

Linked to Ese’s Weekly Shoot and Quote and Travel Photo Mondays.

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