Thursday, June 9, 2016

Follow every rainbow, till you find your dream

My grandson Matthew, who is spending a couple of months in southern Kenya, took this photograph from his front yard earlier this week. It shows Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest mountain, a few miles away in Tanzania. Even in June, two weeks before the summer solstice, there is snow on the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. That is due to the fact that the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro is almost 20,000 feet (5,895 m) above sea level. At other times of year, as the giraffe below knows, there is much more snow on Mt. Kilimanjaro:

Down where Matthew is, among the people, the temperature tomorrow is expected to reach 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 Celsius), which is quite pleasant. Here where I am in Loonyville Canton, Georgia, however, the high is expected to be 93 degrees Fahrenheit (34 Celsius), which is hot and humid. This strikes me as quite odd, since Matthew is in the tropics (latitude 2.8 degrees South) and I am in the temperate zone (latitude 34.24 degrees North). I suppose the reason has to do with differences in altitude. But I don't want to be scientific right now. I want to be literary.

Here, for your reading pleasure and general edification, is Ernest Hemingway's short story, "The Snows of Kilimanjaro". Published in 1936 in Esquire magazine, it was made into a film in 1952 starring Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, and Ava Gardner. The film's ending differs from Hemingway's.

Fair warning -- it has very little to do with either snow or Kilimanjaro.

Read Hemingway's story. See the film if you can, or read about its differences in Wikipedia. Then, and only then, discuss.


  1. I have read Hemingway's story and not seen the movie. I rarely do movies and do my level best to NEVER see the film version of anything I love. So no discussion from me, despite the fact that I don't love any of Hemingway's work.
    I hope Matthew is having a wonderful time - and his current temperatures are much more to my taste than yours.

  2. We've been toying with where our next trip should take us with Japan being top of the list. That is until I saw your images of Kenya and now I'm hankering after a return to Africa!

  3. I am pleased to hear that Matthew is in Africa. I hope he has gone with an open mind. It will teach him things that will remain with him for life. As for reading "Snows..." I have a busy diary this next week, with important client appointments and "Facetime calls" - plus I am scheduling a development conference with my staff so I am not sure when I will be able to fit the reading in. Sorry... By the way, can I hear Ellie ringing her bell? "BOB! GET HERE NOW!"

  4. Pudding, Your week of client appointments and scheduled conferences hoping that something may develop with your staff (Dr. Freud, calling Dr. Freud!) sounds more like a nightmare than a dream.

  5. Elephant's Child, I am not a fan of Hemingway's work either, but one must deal with what is placed before one, n'est-ce pas?

    Mr. Parrots, I have been neither to Japan nor to Africa. I envy your enormous traveling budget and admire your adventurous spirit. I did set foot in your country once back in 1969 and was nearly killed when I looked to the left instead of to the right when crossing a street in London.

  6. I read The Snows of Kilimanjaro many years ago- I still have the book here. Those photos are very nice. Actually I see the mount every day. Years ago I purchased several lithographs from Kenyan wildlife painter Simon Combes. I had seen his illustrations on the book “Out of Africa” that I had bought in London. One of the prints is of elephants in front of Mount Kilimanjaro, called Kilimanjaro Morning. Tragically, he was gored to death by a buffalo. You can see his art on this site and his bio at the bottom.

  7. Vagabonde, thank you for introducing me to Simon Combes and Kilimanjaro Morning!