Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  Page 2 of 2
 [ 20 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:28 am 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Quiz Whiz of the Year (2013)
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:22 am
Posts: 21257
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
Further along the H14, we see a small herd of elephants rushing across the tar - there is intention behind there movement, but we cannot see anything that might suggest itself as the cause of their hurriedness.

Image


We follow them at their speed so as not to unnecessarily disturb them - after all, this is their Park, and we are mere visitors in it!

As we draw alongside the spot where they drove into the mopaniveld, we notice a shy one hiding from the metal intrusion ...

Image


... undeniably believing that she is so well-hidden as to be undetectable!

Of course, after admiring her for a few moments, we pretend that she has succeeded (the herd appreciates this gesture so much that one of them serenades us with a trumpet) and slip off to see what else we can see.

One of the most heart-warming, graceful, and sadly underestimated, mammals of Kruger:

Image


The only circumstances when we don't spend long, delightful moments with these is when we are on a time schedule to get from one place to another, or it is early morning or late afternoon - Cat Time!

Another pool of healthy, blue water brings the often-seen sunbathing terrapins, with their comical neck stretches designed to see what is exciting in their world:

Image


It is amazing the vertical angle they achieve on the neck, one which would make any erectile-dysfunctional male proud.

We reach the H1-6 and turn left towards Mooiplaas picnic place. In essence, we have only just begun our trip, and we suck in the fresh, lightly-scented air at every breath, our chests bulging with the exhilaration.

_________________
EVERYBODY'S TR!
TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:32 am 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Quiz Whiz of the Year (2013)
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:22 am
Posts: 21257
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
Right, where was I? This trip fading a little in my memory, which is all the more reason to write a TR as soon as one has come back from the place. :doh: Which also goes a long way to keep one's mind off screaming city sirens, plumes of pollution, noisy neighbours, and all the things that remind one why we go away in the first place!

Right, where was I ...

_________________
EVERYBODY'S TR!
TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:52 am 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Quiz Whiz of the Year (2013)
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:22 am
Posts: 21257
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
Okay, so we had been superwowed by a seemingly innocuous pool of water erupting in a frenzy of froth as an, at first, hidden crocodile had spun and toyed with an African rock python.

As all great sightings almost invariably are in Kruger, it was most unexpected: simply admiring the tranquility of another drinking spot, wondering if any life was around and what this trip could yield, when the drama played itself out in a series of alternating flashes and calmness!

After being stunned by a truly memorable sighting, I always become tranquil and introspective, something like a Shaolin monk might follow. I inevitably am reminded of the wildness and magnificence of pristine Africa, and how we sometimes take for granted what life on this continent for millions of years has meant for the animals that live here. Mankind has supposedly elevated himself above such things, and even when we go to a national park, protected by our metal or brick boxes, we almost forget that this is not a zoo and that life-and-death struggles occur daily.

The event we had just witnessed had taken us all by surprise - and we were even more privileged that we were the only people to have seen it (two other cars passed, but failed to see anything of significance as the water lay still). All of us were quiet, just enjoying playing the event over and over in our minds. It is worth implanting the sighting even more indelibly just after it has happened, although this is not something that one can forget, even if forgetting was possible.

_________________
EVERYBODY'S TR!
TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:41 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Quiz Whiz of the Year (2013)
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:22 am
Posts: 21257
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
As we travel towards the Mooiplaas area, we continue to regularly see herds of elephants; a heartwarming fact that spurs us on with renewed excitement after each awed pause that keeps us riveted as we watch these dignified, fascinating giants. I can imagine similar herds of hairy mammoths, with their huge, coiled ivory, traversing great landscapes as wild as Kruger could boast.

The heat has risen sharply by now and we see a baby lying in the shade below an adult, who periodically fondles it with all the love a human mother could muster. :clap: Her trunk is as delicate as a fresh petal as it glides over the rough contours of her calf, who in turn revels in the almost paradoxical coexistence of great maternal power and gentleness.

Image


We have a short stop for ablutions at Mooiplaas picnic site. Besides our presence, it is humanly deserted, and two apple-leaf trees have shed their purpley-pink blossoms in a carpet across the otherwise sandy picnic spot. As we gaze in wonder at the celebratory colours, we realise that the aphids on the tree are causing their foam to drop downwards, its path happening to be onto our hair, face, and exposed arms and legs. It is the first time we have experienced the famous "rain" from the raintree. The fairer sex is enjoying the precipitation with patience and wonder:

Image


We negotiate the short distance from Mooiplaas to Mopani camp, where we stock up on padkos, while enjoying the cool surrounds of the shop. A few elephants are playing on the far side of the dam, first interlinking trunks and then passing each other like black ants on a mirror. A daggaboy lounges in the shallow water near a bank, and two waterbuck (one semi-albino in colour) stand vigilant in the near-noon heat. (Unfortunately, all are too far for suitable photos - I don't own a R50K superlens. :( )

As we are heading up the walkway from the lookout near the restaurant, on the way to the car, we see this female chin-spot batis flitting amongst the bushes.

Image


Soon we turn left onto the tar, heading northwards once again. Not far from this T-Junction, we see a seemingly innocuous scene.

Image


Did I say innocuous? I should know better than to even think that any of you would believe that! Kruger can seemingly be slow, or sometimes dozy, and even, at times, lazy in revealing her sightings; but innocuous she never is.

Sooner than we think, we are to be pleasantly, most pleasantly, surprised ...

_________________
EVERYBODY'S TR!
TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:50 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Quiz Whiz of the Year (2013)
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:22 am
Posts: 21257
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
Hyvää päivää readers.

Approaching the scene above is like seeing something we had seen a thousand times before - an open landscape fraught with possibilities, but nothing that immediately attracts attention. There is the ranger's road branching off to his residence near Mopani, and a combi parked in front of an almost leafless tree, with a lone daggaboy beneath. Okay, so perhaps they are enthralled with one of the big 5 a few metres from the verge, although the strange angle that they have parked - the exhaust-side of the vehicle is sticking out half across the road - does not seem to fit the excitement levels. Promising perhaps?

Things in Kruger are mostly "perhaps", until it is proven otherwise. :hmz: Patience is one of the best qualities any tourist can have in this land of extremes. It WILL happen; just don't rush it. :naughty:

As we approach the combi, we notice that they were ready to move off, but are waiting for us. Drawing alongside, a friendly couple points into the tree and explains that there is a leopard there that they have been watching for the past half an hour.

After having seen the great crocodile-African rock python sighting earlier in the day, we didn't expected another good sighting soon. That is what makes Kruger so exciting! Whipping our binoculars smartly up to our eyeballs, and temporarily ignoring the unfortunate buffalo, we see the nonchalant rosetted-one:

Image

What is most interesting is how both the buffalo, who is lying directly beneath the outer branches of the tree - not a few metres from the arboreal cat - and the leopard seem to be the best of buddies, fraternising in the midst of this life-and-death "jungle". I suppose the buffalo knows that he is too large and powerful to be threatened by the leopard, but the sight is nonetheless strange, and unique to be my Kruger experiences.

There are few vehicles around at four minutes to noon (there is one other), and we enjoy revelling in this most beautiful of cats' indefinable aura. Just up the road, on the right, we can see Bowkerskop waterhole. Since the leopard hasn't moved a muscle in the half-an-hour we've sat in the full sun to admire him, and because we saw a couple of ellies crossing the road up ahead towards the waterhole, we decide to shoot up there and watch them for a little while, before returning for a little time longer to the leopard.

At Bowkerskop, the ellies are doing what ellies do best in the heat of the day - soaking themselves and consuming buckets of vital water. One is satisfying an itch greater than his thirst:

Image


While watching these wonders of evolution, a dainty nyala ewe strolls past:

Image


Back to the leopard, who is still draped over the branch he has chosen to grace with his presence. After ten minutes, he suddenly stands erect and, after a cursory glance around, begins to make his way down the tree.

Image

His claws dig into the soft bark, supporting his full weight as, in no particular hurry, his body angles downwards at forty-five degrees. Three metres from the ground, he gives a flying leap, his momentum carrying him past the startled buffalo.

Within half a minute, he is enveloped by the shoulder-high yellow grass, his colouring - though a little light to be make him more than a couple of years old - blending in perfectly with the Spring landscape.

Image


After stopping briefly - which takes some effort on our part to keep track of him - he turns and heads in a backward direction, seemingly towards the ranger's residence. A minute later and he has disappeared into his "garden of eden".

We whirl around and drive part of the tar road back to Mopani, but the gorgeous feline is nowhere to be seen. We are thrilled at this special sighting, bathing in a feeling of accomplishment and wonder that cannot be explained to those who have not had the privilege of experiencing it. Suffice to say that if you imagined being immersed in your most favourite of things, it wouldn't come close to this emotion!

We head back up the tarmac towards Shingwedzi.

_________________
EVERYBODY'S TR!
TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
TR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
TR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 20 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Wildkyker and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by kcilliers at 10:39:59 Submitted by Jamiefick at 13:27:47 Submitted by speed66 at 13:39:06 Submitted by kcilliers at 10:19:11