At dawn, I sit on my wooden balcony at !Xaus and watch Venus. It’s a dazzling sight. It pulsates with golden-red light as the swathe of the Milky Way and the countless bright desert stars begin to fade. Then, as the sun rises, I watch a herd of 50 gemsbok wander across the pan, stopping to nose its glowing red surface. A cool wind blows the tall silvery grasses surrounding the depression, and everywhere is sprinkled with purple and yellow flowers. A peregrine falcon stoops to drink at a small waterhole. A tiny skink scuttles past my feet and disappears over the edge of the veranda. Fluffy white clouds drift slowly across the turquoise vault above. This is Big Sky country.

Read Kate Turkington’s article Big Sky Country here (Pdf download)