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 Post subject: Just Enjoying Nature - KNP_July.
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:48 pm 
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There won’t be much writing in my TR as its my first and I am not one for many words :whistle: .
Finally back in KNP, we where there in April for 3 days, sorry there was no TR :redface: but I will post a few photos from the April trip before getting on with the recent trip. The recent trip I stayed outside the park for the first couple of days entering at about 6:30am every morning for that duration we stayed outside and then went up and stayed at Tamboti :dance: :dance: (what a awesome tented camp), and then moved on up to Letaba. I have been very blessed with the sightings that I have had when in Kruger although the ever elusive leopard still remains elusive. :wall: :wall: :wall: :doh:
The 3 days in April I had some great sightings with one special day having 2 brothers walk towards us in the middle of the road then passed us and continue up the middle of the road behind us, the brothers being the Cheetahs below. :dance: :dance:
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This trip I was blessed with seeing the Big 5 and yes the leopard was its elusive self :roll: with not giving me the opportunity of snapping a photo of it :wall: :wall: , had leopard sightings twice but no photos I will comment on them the days they were spotted though.
Day 1 to follow soon.

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


Last edited by JustNature on Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Just Enjoying Nature - KNP_July.
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:57 pm 
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Hi all, thanks for the encouragement first instalment up.
@Pumbaa- I also feel it is a privilege to see them in Kruger as there are so few, I have been graced with them on most of my trips to Kruger.

So...Day 1.
Entered at Phabeni Gate and stopped for coffee at Nyamundwa dam, not much going on at the dam but were graced with this magnificent African Fish Eagle From here we drove on towards Lake Panic, on the way we had a White Rhino next to the road.
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And a bit further on a lion and lioness mating, we waited around for about 30 minutes and then the female got up and move further into the bush with the male in hot pursuit and we only heard the male roaring a little later :roll: so we moved on and got our first ellies,
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This poor one had lost its tail. :doh:
Finally we got to Lake Panic, first time I have been here and it is an awesome sight, loved the setting :) :)
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Reed Cormorant
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From lake panic we headed down towards Transport dam and then up towards Skukuza, love the amount of sunbird one gets at Skukuza. 8)
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Collared Sunbird
Did a couple more roads with more great sightings and then headed out to Phabeni gate, on the way the mating pair of lions where still in the vicinity where they had been spotted in the early morning but were just lazing in the afternoon heat :huh: and lying flat now.
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Lilacbreasted Roller
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Day 2 to follow soon.

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


Last edited by JustNature on Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:17 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Just Enjoying Nature - KNP_July.
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:54 am 
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Day 2
Today we entered at Paul Kruger gate.
And stopped at Skukuza again, and the Sunbirds were busy as usual, today got a photo of this White Bellied SunbirdFrom Skukuza we headed out towards Lower Sabie via the S30, this Burchel Coucal was sunning itself and some Guineafowl.
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White Bellied Sunbird
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Burchel Coucal
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Guineafowl
We had plenty of ellie sightings, a couple of hippos in the river bed, its great to see there’s so much water in the river and there are so many young animals around and a little further a couple of buffalo
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On the S30 it was quiet, not much to see but got these fellow in one of the causeways.
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Blue Waxbill
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Bronze Mannikin
Turned onto the S21 and had a herd of ellies drinking and playing. We sat there for a good part of an hour watching them and having coffee. The small fella was the playfull one and then he spotted his mother had moved on he hurried over to her, got a pic of it standing under her. I really enjoy ellies and watching them at waterholes, and when they have young ones with them I find it just that much more special. :thumbs_up:
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We stopped at one of the pans, no animals about other than a small herd of impala and some bird life.
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Grey Heron
We were also blessed with the sightings of the smaller things too. On our way the gate we spotted this little fella (Dwarf Mongoose) keeping a watchful eye over his family. He watched us and the other vehicle while we took some photos then scurried down and disappeared into the grass.
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Day 3 to follow soon.

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


Last edited by JustNature on Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Just Enjoying Nature - KNP_July.
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 11:12 am 
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Day 3.
This morning we entered at Phabeni gate and decided to go down the S3 towards Pretoriuskop, unfortunately the bush had just been burnt :( and was still smouldering in some areas so there was not much life here, food being scarce and all. From Pretoriuskop we went down the H2-2 and it too was quiet :hmz: guess it would be one of those days to keep an eye out for the small things and birds. :thumbs_up: We made our way down to Afsaal stopping at Voortrekker waterhole on the way. This little guy (Dwarf Mongoose) decided to stop traffic by not moving while his siblings scampered of at the first sign of our vehicle approaching.
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Stopped at Afsaal for lunch, we decided to stop at the different picnic spottes for lunch as one does not see much during the heat of the day and gave us a nice break. I had a look for the resident Scops Owl :hmz: , maybe next time :lol: :lol: Got some photos of the hornbills and bushbuck
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Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
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African Grey Hornbill
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Bushbuck
From Afsaal we went down to Renosterpan where there were a few Kudus grazing and in the water were a few Terrapins on a log sunning themselves.
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We drove the H2-2, S114, S23, S102, H5, S114 back towards Skukuza and then on to Paul Kruger gate. In one of the causeways while taking this Burchel Coucal on the other side I heard a commotion in a tree and had this little Tree Squirrel looking at me.
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Stopped of at one of the dams, Mpondo if memory serves me correctly and say this Giraffe too
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Day 4 to follow soon

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


Last edited by JustNature on Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Just Enjoying Nature - KNP_July.
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:56 am 
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Day 4.
Entered once again at Phabeni gate and stopped at a waterhole for coffee then travelled the tar road to Skukuza, from the T junction of the H4-1 we turned left and did the short dirt road that runs along the river. Found a Bateleur Eagle in a tree and he gave us the opportunity to take some photos before becoming wary of the car and the intruders taking pictures :redface: then flew off. They are stunning eagles with their colours.
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Brown-Hooded Kingfisher
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Bateleur Eagle
Heading down towards Nkulu picnic spot we had a lion sighting and spend a good hour watching...., waiting..... but with no luck of him moving. He would raise his head watch his spectators a bit then lie down again, after he lay his head down for about the 4th time :doh: we decided to move on.
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Further on we saw this little Steenbok, 2 of them who allow us to take pictures and was not to bothered with us, I have always battled to get a good photo of one of them as they always seem to be so skittish so was happy with this find. A little further down the raod 2 Southern Ground Hornbills were ambling down the road looking for food.
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Steenbok
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Southern Ground Hornbill
At Nkuhlu picnic site we had lunch and played a game of Rummi Cub :) was a good break. Had a monitor lizard wonder through; also had a Goldentailed Woodpecker and Giant Kingfisher sighting. The photos of the Giant Kingfisher were disappointing :whistle:
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As we left the picnic site this guy was in a tree keeping himself cool in the shade.
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This is where the elusive leopard :roll: made the first appearance on this trip, we travelled the tar road to Lower Sabie and just passed the S28 a car was stopped :hmz: , we stopped and could see nothing but there was noise. Asked the driver of the car and the guy said it's a leopard...with a kill :big_eyes: :big_eyes: , he saw it go into the bushes. Great so we wait...and waited.....and waited a bit more, cars are starting to join us and the search was on, then very suddenly through the gap we were watching his back appeared :shock: , he looked at us and the was gone. The first question I asked myself, where was my camera :slap: :lol: :lol: :lol: . With 3 cameras in the car no one got a pic, not one. :wall: :wall: :wall:
Well at least we got a glimpse of it so they are in the park, I was starting to believe it’s all rumours :lol: :lol: :lol: we then started heading back for the gate with the usual sightings.
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Day 5 to follow soon.

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


Last edited by JustNature on Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Just Enjoying Nature - KNP_July.
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:37 pm 
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Day 5.
Today we entered at Numbi Gate, we had just entered the park fence gate and had our first sighting, spotted hyaena on a mission. Before any photos it was in the grass and gone but the light was bad as well. Fortunately we were blessed as after checking in at the gate we had driven no more than a kilometre and again spotted hyaena, this time they stayed in the road and we got some photos.
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We found Killroy (sorry not a great pic)
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Then on one of the loops around Pretoriuskop got this Goshawk? Please ID someone :redface: . And then at the Shitlhave dam some waterbuck (unfortunately not a great photo as they were on the other side of the dam and it was cloudy).
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We continued on and close to Transport dam had a family of White Rhino, the male (think it was) was quite boisterous but seemed to stay at the back the whole time, only the mother and baby came closer and grazed next to the road. Then morning coffee at transport dam, the dam was very quiet and the Fish eagle was on the far side and the photo I too he was a small white speck so just enjoyed the coffee and rusks.
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We then headed up to Skukuza and the river. Along the way we got this Grey Duiker and a Cape White Eye on one of the plants at Skukuza.
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Along the river we had a herd of ellies that had come up from the river and some young males were playing and jostling, then a bit further on more ellies drinking, they then headed off into the reeds and I was amazed at how quickly one loses sight of such a large beast so quickly :shock: , could just follow them by the movement of the reeds in some areas. On the river bank was a croc sunning itself
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Driving on the H1-1 we spotted something in the grass moving parallel with the road. Reversed a bit and then from behind some bushes it emerged Honey Badger :dance: :dance: but unfortunately no clear photos as it stayed in the grass and behind the bushes. It then went behind a rock and peeped out but then headed of further in to the bush behind the rock. The first badger I have seen in the park other than in the camps.
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Day 6 to follow soon.

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


Last edited by JustNature on Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Just Enjoying Nature - KNP_July.
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:28 pm 
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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
What stunning pics you have JustNature.

I would think your little raptor is an African Cuckoo Hawk
Lovely sighting. :clap:

_________________
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

Kruger - May 24th - June 6th 2014.


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 Post subject: Re: Just Enjoying Nature - KNP_July.
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2010 12:29 pm 
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Day 6.
Well today was up to Orpen as we are booked into Tambotie for the night, been looking forward to this stay. We entered the park at Paul Kruger gate and then travelled the H1-2 to Tshokawane picnic site where we tried their milk tart which is a real treat :thumbs_up: , enjoyed it and will try the Kudu wors next time. We then made a turn at Orpen dam and it has a great scenery. Saw the Crocs here go under camouflage when basking in the sun :hmz: and the hippos disappear quickly without a trace in the water too but when out of the water also use the natural camouflage :lol: :lol: .
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Then it was on to Satara and we had great sightings of ellies, big herds of buffalo, giraffe and zebra. It was nice seeing that there was water in the dams and waterholes as one goes north.
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Well the ever elusive leopard :roll: made its appearance again today and yet again with a kill
:wall: :wall: :wall: :wall: :wall: :slap: .
This time it had dragged the carcass up a very dense foliage tree. There were plenty of cars around all waiting for it to make an appearance, one could not see the leopard as it had chosen to lie at the back behind some thick branches but and from one place if you looked between two branches you could just see its paw and sometimes its side. Well that’s what I saw :D :lol: :lol: . The kill was easier to see though. So that’s the picture you all get.
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The most southerly Baobab
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We then continued on to Satara with more great sightings and plenty of Buffalo.
We then had an unbelievable welcoming to Orpen and our overnight stay about 3km from Orpen gate :dance: :dance: , about 100m off the road I noticed a light shape in the grass, “what’s that, go back”. As we reverse to the spot it was up and I could see now it was a cheetah and its walking at an angle towards the road :D . It slowly gets closer and closer until it is next to us, this was great, and there were no other cars in sight. We let it do what it wanted to and eventually it came into the road in front of us and walked at a steady pace for approximately 1Km, stopping every so often to look at us and into the bush from where it had come till it trotted off into the grass and disappeared. What a blessing :pray: :pray:
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Got booked in at Orpen and then headed to Tambotie scanning the velt the whole time as the cheetah had headed off the road to Tambotie’s side but with no luck :roll: , had an awesome night at the tent with a visit from a spotted hyaena at the fence and jackals calling in the distance while having a cold beer at the braai. What a night...what a day :thumbs_up: .

Day 7 to follow.

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


Last edited by JustNature on Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Just Enjoying Nature - KNP_July.
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:42 pm 
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Flutterby: Thanks :thumbs_up:


Day 7.
Will definitely be visiting Tamboti again, it is a great camp and lets one feel you are in the bush with all the night sounds and visitors to the fence. We left camp about 40 minutes after the gates opened and as we drove on the H7 we found out we had just missed 3 male lions in the road :shock: . Along the river we had a troop of baboon’s grooming themselves in the morning sun, there were some babies also having fun and then the gazers.
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We then did the S100 in search of lions and anything else it had to offer. We got a pair of Saddle-billed storks across the river and then a few White-backed Vultures which we thought may be near a kill but no luck there so once they flew off we moved on.
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About half way through the S100 we came across a parked car with the occupants looking out the passenger side so we stopped behind them and could see nothing, so we edged up next to them and asked the well known question :whistle: ...”Morning, see anything?” :hmz: to which the answer came "Lion, here next to us” they said we would have difficulty seeing it from where we were and that we must stop where they were as they were moving off, we heard later that it was a mega pride of 22 loins and cubs :shock: .
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We then took the S41 and had these 3 majestic male lions lying some 50m off the road in a clearing it was almost midday so they were not interested in doing much. The far right one lifted his head and watched some wildebeest pass by but then lay down again.
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We then took the tar road H1-4 to Olifants where there were plenty of Buffalo and had a couple of Rhino sightings, including these others.
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Kori Bustard
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Ostrich
We got to the bridge over the olifants river where it is safe to alight from the vehicle and there was not much going on other then the croc getting the last rays of sun. Played around with the panorama setting on the camera and then stitched the three pano’s together to get a 360 veiw :lol: and then on to Letaba.
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Day 8 to follow the final day exiting at Phalaborwa Gate by noon.

_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


Last edited by JustNature on Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Just Enjoying Nature - KNP_July.
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:04 am 
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Day 8.

Before starting the TR on the exit day I just would like to say that I was very impressed with the service and friendliness I received in the park, at the gates, reception and the shops, all friendly smiles and pleasant experiences. I also had sightings on 6 of the 8 days of park officials sitting behind a camera monitoring the traffic, well done guys :thumbs_up: . Then there was the good old experience that you just don’t need....there was a convoy of tourists in mini vans that stopped at a view point of the river where we were watching some hippos with young on the river bank, they promptly stopped next to us and proceeded to exit the cars to take photos of the hippo and baby :big_eyes: :big_eyes: , When I noticed this I promptly told the person driving the Komi that the people are not to exit under any circumstances other than the allowed areas and she promptly replied “No, no, it’s okay, its only Hippopotamus” with a big smile (only Hippopotamus I ask you, one of the most dangerous animals). With that I said “No! Get back into the cars” some of them must have understood or had tacken their photos so they all climbed back in and left.

The final day :( and it’s a short one, travel down to Olifants along the river and had an ellie going down to the river and saw a lone spotted hyaena coming up from the river after having a drink, it still had water dripping from its mouth. We left Olifants and took the tar road back up towards Letaba and then out towards Phalaborwa. We had ellies, buffalo zebra and giraffe, great sightings for the last day. Stopped in at Sable dam hide, there was a troop of baboons there and waited for them to move off so we could have a look at the dam, not much other than a lone Marabou stork far off. So another trip to paradise comes to an end, but am grateful to have been able to visit and experience this amazing place again. :dance: :dance:

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And just a couple more photo's from the trip.

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_________________
Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
KNP 18/05/2012-27/05/2012


Last edited by JustNature on Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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