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 Post subject: Me Skarabee Leaves and Grass – and Animals too Apr 12
Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:54 pm 
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Location: Roaming between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
Part 1: Take it or leave it
I did not know where to start the report regarding the trip that was over the Easter week-end in April.
At the end I have decided to start with the packing part, since this is when I really apply my mind – what to take or what to leave – and getting in the mood.
We usually do a combination of self-catering and eating and the experience is that the bigger part of the planning, expenses and volume of luggage is about the food, and a lesser part is about clothing – as I will illustrate soon.

It is difficult times in SA due to many things getting more expense – the fuel, toll gates, bus tickets, electricity etc , - therefore I have applied an old principle to save money, namely to go for food that is in season. I also have decided not to buy in Pretoria and transport it all the way to KNP – in this way we could save a little bit on the fuel consumption.

Here is a few of them - all "no name brands" to me:

Some "salami"
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Some "dried apricots"

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"twirled potatoes"s

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Some "flatties"

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African berries

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"Green fruiit-tomatoes"

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"Green spaghetti drops"

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At a stage my hands were getting full – I had to get a “carry bag’.
Nature provide these handy “ bags” – very much eco-frindly (ingredient = pure grass) - but the usage is based on time sharing. Luckily, this time of the year I could find a few “empties”.

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:wall: On a more serious note - when I noticed the beautiful seeds, etc, I realised that my knowledge to be able to name it is so limited.
I looked for a reference book on trees, plant, grass etc, in the shops at Kruger, but could not find anything. In the “Visitors guide” are descriptions of the eco-zones and listings of the vegetation per zone, but without sketches/photos of the real thing against the name – it does not help that much.


About the clothing – it was a choice between the elephant jacket…..


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Or the rhino jacket.

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At the end I decided to leave the rhino jacket – I forgot to clean it and was afraid I will mess up the “ecology”.

:shock: :shock:

Another thing that I do find useful – is some utensil to do the cleaning …. (Also via time sharing - shared with an elephant bull at Leeupan)

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_________________
TR: SOUTH KNP TALK SHOW HOSTED BY NATURE - Aug 11
TR: Leaves and Grass - and animals too - Apr 12
The god Khepri, is associated with the scarab. The ball of dung = the sun. The emergence of baby beetles = spontaneous creation.


Last edited by Me Skarabee on Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:51 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Leaves and Grass – and Animals too
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:48 pm 
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Location: Roaming between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
After the good summer rains, the dams reminded one of a wonderful rainy season and where the hippos can enjoyed themselves ….
They do not only make beautiful vistas but also symbolise prospect of life and expectations of much to see.

Mlondozi dam
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Orpen Dam
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The reality was that it was rather difficult to experience nice views and sights,
The long grass was a never ending upside down vertical blind obstructing one’s view.
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and one silently sighed and one’s mind is stretched to recognise something familiar……

An ostrich! ………………

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…A flying frog! Image

The first moving object to challenge photo taking were these helmeted guinea fowls.
A big family with youngsters also crossed the road – but I had no success
in getting a good photo of them as they moved under/between the grass.

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The pro side is that one is force to look “up and above’ where the feather friends displayed themselves.
All dressed up to what they believe is the fashion.
This was particular true on the Mlondozi road and Muntshe Loop.

A pair of Grey hornbills – do not see them often,

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_________________
TR: SOUTH KNP TALK SHOW HOSTED BY NATURE - Aug 11
TR: Leaves and Grass - and animals too - Apr 12
The god Khepri, is associated with the scarab. The ball of dung = the sun. The emergence of baby beetles = spontaneous creation.


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 Post subject: Re: Leaves and Grass – and Animals too
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:19 pm 
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Location: Roaming between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
Thanks for the appreciation Phumba

MM - :) Like the book ends description.
If that is the case, there should be lots of wisdom between them.
So they are then the wise ones, and the cousins, well I thought of them as the "rich ones" ... resembling some Greek ship tycoon.

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Still on the Mlondozi loop ...

At first, we spotted only the one “gompou” (Kori Bustard), and when the car stopped, it started to walk quickly in a direction. Then we saw the second one. The first one walked very determinedly towards the other one that was more relaxed. As they approached each other, I thought that they will make body contact – like suma wrestlers, but they went past each other like strangers. Maybe there was a silent exchange of a code that I have missed.


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A closer view of their feather patterns.

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When you see one of them – you can’t get enough of their A-beauty!

B-eaters

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Brown snake eagle,
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Bearded vulture?

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Cisticola – amazing little finger feet ?

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And this Von Trapp family I could not identify.

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Near Afsaal we spotted them - they were part of a big 'anmial party". There were lots of other animals in this area, but just too far to get good photo's. But I felt lucky to have seen them - not many animals carry "red" so well.
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And others let you know inelegantly when they had enough of the attention.

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And so it is time to wave good bye to the the feather friends

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What willl follow will have more flesh... :tongue: :tongue: :tongue:

_________________
TR: SOUTH KNP TALK SHOW HOSTED BY NATURE - Aug 11
TR: Leaves and Grass - and animals too - Apr 12
The god Khepri, is associated with the scarab. The ball of dung = the sun. The emergence of baby beetles = spontaneous creation.


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 Post subject: Re: Leaves and Grass – and Animals too
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:40 pm 
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Location: Roaming between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
Hi B,P, H, S & Kids

Thanks for joining and hope you enjoy the rest as well.

Petra J... Somehow you challenged me ….and I asked myself - Did we see any XYZ birds?

I can report that we have not seen any Xanthops (Latin for storks),
however a few Yanda’s (Tsonga for Oxpeckers), and

since I have already posted Zistensänger (German) , you have to be satisfied with ....

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Zeta snooze .... or

Zoomed geese

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Back to the grassy experience ... shedding the feathers....

We cruised on and scanned the environment like chameleons

A car stopped and asked (I mean the driver) whether we have seen anything .

We politely honoured all the birds that we have seen,
(Silently acknowledged that many count to 5…. And we could not even say “1”. )

He eagerly told us, carry on for 2 kms and you will be surprised.

So we did … clutched on

Suddenly something…

the camera was baffled


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Could it really be...

buffed grass?

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Luckily there were no other cars and we could find a spot where the grass curtain” dropped” open.

What astonished me was that they grazed so silently.

Those in the first line (voor in die koor) were very curious and probably smelled ‘humans”.


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I managed to focus on a few characters….

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For this one ,a long life was properly wished for by the parents …..

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And ....
this one I think, if she is a “belle”, could be a front pager for some dairy magazine
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_________________
TR: SOUTH KNP TALK SHOW HOSTED BY NATURE - Aug 11
TR: Leaves and Grass - and animals too - Apr 12
The god Khepri, is associated with the scarab. The ball of dung = the sun. The emergence of baby beetles = spontaneous creation.


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 Post subject: Re: Leaves and Grass – and Animals too
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:07 pm 
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Location: Roaming between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
Part 3 Beaus and Belles… and a bat

Except for the buffalos and the forever unperturbed impalas,
we were not that fortunate in experiencing herds, flocks and swarms of whatever ….
due to the thriving vegetation. Or in economic terms, I think of it as the “inflation” season.
(A rise in the general level of seating and/or gear is required to improve the chances for good sightings.)

However, a number of beautiful antelopes were very bold in presenting themselves.
I am sure they have the services of personal “cow fitters” (Glam Groomers ?)
in so far it concerned their coat and posture.
In the case of the kudu…”ai toggie” (shame) –
it still has to accept that technology has progressed and that “zooming” reveals it all.

I am sure these are the most photographed ‘rock jumpers’ in this area (on the road to Pretoriuskop). Like royalty they keep their distance and state publicly they are the owners of this Rock Kingdom.

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And true to its name, this Steenbokkie, was for a few moments petrified (“versteen”) which gave us the opportunity to appreciate its beauty. .

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And Kobus Kringgat (Water buck) – one on the H3 and the other at Shithave

[img]http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee484/MsSkara/Beaus%20and%20Bellas/_DSC8323.jpg[/img

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It came from the thickets and took its stand –
And he did not mind to be harassed by the paparazzi.


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[img]http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee484/MsSkara/Beaus%20and%20Bellas/_DSC8590.jpg[/

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My wish for him was that he struck some luck with intensive ox pecker treatment –

I think this photo would fit the German requirements for a visa photo.

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Whether these qualify for the beauty titles, could be questioned.
But one cannot ignore the fact that they took on the challenge –
although be it on their terms. . .

To be continued...

_________________
TR: SOUTH KNP TALK SHOW HOSTED BY NATURE - Aug 11
TR: Leaves and Grass - and animals too - Apr 12
The god Khepri, is associated with the scarab. The ball of dung = the sun. The emergence of baby beetles = spontaneous creation.


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 Post subject: Re: Leaves and Grass – and Animals too
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:26 pm 
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Location: Roaming between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
You 3 - thanks for following. ... To continue...
Whether these qualify for beauty titles,
could be questioned.
But one cannot ignore the fact that they took on the challenge –
although be it on their terms ....

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This one paraded on the “Gardenia Beach” and showed off its legs.
Lots of muscle power – should have entered the body building competition.


And the other one showed off its social skills ….

might be a contestant for the title of “Mr/Ms Personality”.

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We waited for a car to get through the dip and .....

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My first reaction ... :rtm:
Then I wondered what was the exitement about ...

To our amazement the terrapins came out of the water as if they wanted to make conversation.

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We waited a while until they got back into the water before we continued.

When we were next to them, I wanted to take close up photos but was too afraid they would “come ashore”.

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So I just said “shorry”, we are in a hurry – will chat another day.

Somewhere close to the Orpen dam, this one also wanted to show off….

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And made gently an adjustment for a proper fit ...


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A contestant for Master Chef ???


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End of this part ... need some sleep and have to fit in a day's work before I tackle the next part.

_________________
TR: SOUTH KNP TALK SHOW HOSTED BY NATURE - Aug 11
TR: Leaves and Grass - and animals too - Apr 12
The god Khepri, is associated with the scarab. The ball of dung = the sun. The emergence of baby beetles = spontaneous creation.


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 Post subject: Re: Leaves and Grass – and Animals too
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:37 pm 
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Oops, I almost forgot Mr/Ms Spooky!

Image

It was hiding in the Gardenia hide where a little boy made sure that I noticed it.

So I had to take a photo

_________________
TR: SOUTH KNP TALK SHOW HOSTED BY NATURE - Aug 11
TR: Leaves and Grass - and animals too - Apr 12
The god Khepri, is associated with the scarab. The ball of dung = the sun. The emergence of baby beetles = spontaneous creation.


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 Post subject: Re: Leaves and Grass – and Animals too
Unread postPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 7:07 pm 
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"Shorry", to you too, those that are waiting....

Ok, let me pick up...

Part 4 Nostalgia

We were fortunate and had four sightings of rhinos at different places. .
As a child I learned to “fear/respect” them and
every time when I see them, it brings forth childhood memories.

First - there was a “glimpse” .... Ah one on the move!

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No, look carefully …

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Did they had their own “bos beraad”
How not to become victims of some “keratin deficient cretins”? . ..

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And now the story:
Long before game farming existed (or rather - practised widely),
I remember that there were still “wild” rhinos on the neighbouring farm
(Uchab valley in Namibia).
The farmer struggled to employ workers to look after his sheep/goats – because of the rhinos.
He had losses from time to time when the rhinos, for some reason,
attacked the kraal or when the young calves ‘played” a bit rough.

My mother was always upset when my father and/or brother
had to assist the neighbour (as good neighbours did) when it had to do with “that area”.
And it was a beautiful area – the so called “sugar basin”
(rock formation similar to the well known “vingerklip”
– (finger rock on the farm Bertram) - is in that area.
This photo dates from the late 60’s -unfortunately
not from the angle where the rock appears to be a huge old fashioned sugar bowl.


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(With the help of photo bucket I could add some dramatic feature to the photo)

Sometimes we were invited for a drive into that area, sitting/standing at the back in the open,
with a firm grip on the rails and ducking for the tree branches.
We were not allowed to leave the “bakkie”, … in case a rhino (or a cheetah or a leopard) might appear.
Fortunately/unfortunately I never saw a rhino then…

So my father would not tell her in advance, but when the neighbours got together
(usually a Saturday evening for a braai,) the stories were revealed,
eg how they had to outrun a rhino and the manoeuvrings to get into a Mopani tree,
and how long they had to stay there, etc. I had never seen them myself –
due to my mother’s fear – but I think they must have been black rhinos
due to their behaviour and the type of vegetation of that area.)
(The rhinos were resettled in the Etosha pan.)

A while ago we did a “walk in the park with guards” at Letaba –
and it was almost a “re-enactment” - a sense of fear/respect - of things being there – but where? ….

But I rather be in a car facing a rhino than being on feet –
I was/and now even less, a good tree climber. :)

This family was so close to the road that they almost did not fit in….

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But ... here is a 'whole" one... :?

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_________________
TR: SOUTH KNP TALK SHOW HOSTED BY NATURE - Aug 11
TR: Leaves and Grass - and animals too - Apr 12
The god Khepri, is associated with the scarab. The ball of dung = the sun. The emergence of baby beetles = spontaneous creation.


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 Post subject: Re: Leaves and Grass – and Animals too
Unread postPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:50 pm 
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Location: Roaming between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
Part 5: Heavy weights

Image

Do I have to say more?

:hmz:

_________________
TR: SOUTH KNP TALK SHOW HOSTED BY NATURE - Aug 11
TR: Leaves and Grass - and animals too - Apr 12
The god Khepri, is associated with the scarab. The ball of dung = the sun. The emergence of baby beetles = spontaneous creation.


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 Post subject: Re: Leaves and Grass – and Animals too
Unread postPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 10:12 pm 
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We were a little bit worried about this little one since we did not see the rest of the herd.

It turned out that he was practising his domestic science –

And maybe he was not as good as the others and wanted to do it in private

Step one: Getting ready

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Oh no, missed it!

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Pressure problems
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Plonk
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Puff

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Practice makes Perfect...

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For the portfolio of evidence...

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_________________
TR: SOUTH KNP TALK SHOW HOSTED BY NATURE - Aug 11
TR: Leaves and Grass - and animals too - Apr 12
The god Khepri, is associated with the scarab. The ball of dung = the sun. The emergence of baby beetles = spontaneous creation.


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 Post subject: Re: Leaves and Grass – and Animals too
Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:03 pm 
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Location: Roaming between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
I love elephants, but
I am not so comfortable in the presence of the single ones
And on this trip we encountered a few heavy weights.

Some of the biggies that roamed on the S35 road each busy with their own doings


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This one enjoyed a salad (from Maxis?)

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And this one had a tree massage (for free)

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and thanking the tree, I think...

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Just a close up

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This one was facing the sunset...close to Berg en Dal

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_________________
TR: SOUTH KNP TALK SHOW HOSTED BY NATURE - Aug 11
TR: Leaves and Grass - and animals too - Apr 12
The god Khepri, is associated with the scarab. The ball of dung = the sun. The emergence of baby beetles = spontaneous creation.


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 Post subject: Re: Leaves and Grass – and Animals too
Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:59 pm 
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Thanks Heksie

You caught me red handed .... :o I was just in the process of collecting photos for the last leg of this episode ... :) :)


We wanted to stop at Tshokwane for a leg stretch,
but with so many cars and no shade
we moved on, tried to find a suitable “off ramp”
where we could have a “two-in-one’. - a bite and a sight at the same time.
Then we entered Leeupan – where this spectacular sight greeted us.

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Our eyes were fixed on the dam and we scanned the area for the best seating place

I was driving, and suddenly I got the command “stop”! :whistle:

which I did and

and :shock: :shock:

not more than 2 meters away a heavy weight was standing under a tree...

If I was in the passenger seat I would have commanded “drive on”,

And I did for a moment thought “accelerate” -

but then I realised :thumbs_up: this guy first have to reverse and “un knot” himself :tongue:

and he seemed quite involved in what he was doing – some type of problem solving activity (trying to eat around the branch).

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He then got the “eureka” moment

probably inspired by this - causing some aggression

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He thumped forward and ruined the branch which was in his way

Then I also thumped a pedal …. off to enjoy the tranquility of the pan

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After enjoying the beauty of the dam and

a range of its inhabitants (will acknowledge them in the next episode),

we drove out… and I was hoping :pray: :pray: :pray: Mr E was not blocking the exit.

Not to be...


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I managed to take this photo, but just after I took this photo,

he charged forward in the direction of the car, and I was on my guard

Hands on the wheel and the camera somewhere else

Luckily the driver did the sensible to reverse and he backed off .


Image


Not more to say on the heavy weights for now

_________________
TR: SOUTH KNP TALK SHOW HOSTED BY NATURE - Aug 11
TR: Leaves and Grass - and animals too - Apr 12
The god Khepri, is associated with the scarab. The ball of dung = the sun. The emergence of baby beetles = spontaneous creation.


Last edited by Me Skarabee on Sat May 05, 2012 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Leaves and Grass – and Animals too
Unread postPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 8:42 pm 
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Location: Roaming between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans
Part 6 a Reason to go


When planning a vacation trip of any kind,
there are various moments of excitement triggered by different things,
eg getting the travel voucher/ticket, booking confirmation,
taking the travel bag from the cupboard, preparing the “padkos” ,
filling up the fuel tank, locking up, dropping of the dogs ( :cry: :cry: ) ,
hitting the road in another direction as work, etc.

One such moment for me is when I get closer to the destination and
that “can’t wait” feeling crops up -
which was for me when we got closer to Nelspruit
(after recovering emotionally from a bad accident
close to the “Sappi” factory – a car on its roof in the middle of the road) .

It was soon after this that I realised that I have not checked the cameras
that they are ready for shooting.
This was also our first time to drive the new road that misses inner Nelspruit –
so new landmarks were noticed….

The soccer stadium

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A tree ‘publicizing’ the season …

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At a stage I noticed this cloud formation which was hanging there and
was visible for most of the day – and the message for me….
“This is the place to be”. You are at the right place -

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We stayed over at Sabie in a tent (Number 19) on the bank of the river.
Unfortunately we did not have a full view and
most of the animal noises (hippos and baboons) came from the direction where trees obstructed the view. :( :(

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We heard them all the time but did not see them at all – this photo was taken on our way to Sabie camp.

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Then it was time to settle down –
we walked passed this tree at a time when these little ones
were getting ready for the night – but we unsettled them.

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Then it was time to light the fire.

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I was amazed that not many insects were around despite being so close to the river.

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This was the first time that we stayed in the tents –
I know now the reason why they are so popular.
I enjoyed the tent more than the more modern chalet at Berg-en- Dal.
The layout of the tent was much better than the chalet at Berg en Dal
where one has to climb almost over the toilet to get into the shower!

The ‘open” side did not reward us with much animal activities but .
Again – the “lack of animals” let one focuses on other aspects of nature

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In contrast with city life, nature only invested in two big traffic lights –
the moon indicating that the night shift begins and the sun,
indicating the day shift begins.

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You may ask Is it really so simple?
OK, OK – I know there is a politics going around between the two forces
because of earth’s position and sometimes this sheds shadow s over earth and
disrupting the tranquilly – creating a moody atmosphere when the moon can only do its job partially
and the sun …. well it “goes down”
But this evening it seems as if sun did not mind for moon to take the stage.
Real democracy? Let your opponent be allowed to rally for votes.

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As mentioned in the previous part, Leeupan was beautiful.
No lions – only a “PANic” entrance .

These fellows enjoyed the dam and we tried to catch them on camera.

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I conclude with the serene image of the dam –
a picture of what nature does to one’s soul.

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Soon after being back in the hustle and bustle,
I got a request to assist with a craft table at a bazaar –
either to be on duty that day, or I can donate or I can make something.
Being so energised by nature I committed myself ….
and nature inspired me to mosaic this pot stand.

In process

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Almost the final product (still to be grouted)

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_________________
TR: SOUTH KNP TALK SHOW HOSTED BY NATURE - Aug 11
TR: Leaves and Grass - and animals too - Apr 12
The god Khepri, is associated with the scarab. The ball of dung = the sun. The emergence of baby beetles = spontaneous creation.


Last edited by Me Skarabee on Tue May 08, 2012 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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