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 Post subject: leachy's under the weeping boer bean tree. KNP, Sept. '13
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:16 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

and so it was...........

that while sitting under the weeping boer bean tree

that i was able to reflect on the events of the day...

10 days... to be exact.......

the specific schotia brachypetala is located outside unit number 41 in lower sabie

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my constant companions were these insects (that i am unable to identify) feeding on the nectar that weeps from the tree onto the furniture and people....
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the last time that i had been there was in december of last year

and now i was rather distressed to see that all the efforts to try and cultivate grass around the huts had failed.... unless it had been drowned by the flood waters in january.

i was, however, pleased to see that someone on the horticultural staff had ventured into creating some more suitable landscaping

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they even planted some lights.....

:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
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i hope they do not grow too tall because at this height they are actually a lot less intrusive than the street light in the centre of the courtyard that is now mercifully out of order....

:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

on the day that i arrived via numbi gate it was hot enough to melt michael jackson's face off.
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i took the s 21 towards lower sabie and my being was in a semi heat stroke state....

:shock: :shock: :shock:

i saw a number of mammals but never looked at any of them..

:doh: :doh:

the first thing that actually caught my eye was this van wykshout in bloom
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then i pulled in at the random waterhole 5ks from the eloff street intersection..

not a lot of water there at all..........

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 Post subject: Re: under the weeping boer bean tree
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:41 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

mudfish ????????

:doh:

no...........warthog....

:lol:

or..... as i have heard some folks from north america say.......

"oh my gawd ??????? look at the waterhog..."

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two of them were having a cooling mud bath.
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i am told that a mud bath is good one's skin...

in fact many people travel to far off destinations and pay lots of money to have a series of mud bath treatments ??????????

who would have guessed ……..



:shock: :shock:


so… when I arrived at the waterhole there was a random no name brand small rental car parked at the side.

a pale skinned young fellow with a bad accent stuck his head out of the driver’s side window and hollered……..


"oi !!…….. thes ay cheayta in tha trayee……"



i looked around and seeing only the warthogs, a hammerkop and a giraffe and nothing in any of the trees

i gave him a blank stare..


:hmz: :hmz: :hmz:

"in tha direksun of weha tha geeraff is lukkin……."

:-? :-? :-?

i looked again................

and then i saw the “cheetah” lying in the shade under an acacia on the far side of the waterhole..

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i think the giraffe must have seen it too...

because she wet herself……

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well done and thank you to this foreign dude and his female companion for pointing that out to me………

:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:



so.... the leopard was just chilling under the tree.........

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when the 2 little piggies had finished their spa treatment and were heading off elsewhere

i felt my heart beat in my throat......

as these two trotted off in the general direction of the leopard..........


:shock: :shock:

camera at the ready i tried to slow down my breathing and stabilize the lens………………

:big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

so it seems that this panthera pardus was probably a

muslim or a jew or a hindu or a scots highlander or a seventh-day adventist or a rastafarian or an ethiopian orthodox....

‘cause he never even gave them a second glance..

their advantage of being a non-ruminant cloven hoofed animal…..……


:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

a long while later he got up and ventured out from under the shade
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and moved to another tree
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where he proceeded to sit and yawn the afternoon away……..
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the giraffe had left...

and then the tourists left ....

and i was alone watching a yawning leopard ...
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:whistle: :whistle: :whistle: :whistle:

trying myself not to nod off ..

as the temperature soared and the time passed slowly by…………

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 Post subject: Re: under the weeping boer bean tree
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

so ...........

after what seemed like an entire ...or is that entired ??? afternoon

the shady leopard left his shelter and ventured very gingerly down to what was left of the water.....

keeping a cautious view of his surroundings..

he settled down to some thirst quenching......

stopping every now and then... to observe the area...

and then............

as was his approach

he stalked away into the bush........

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 Post subject: Re: under the weeping boer bean tree
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:44 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

i sat there with a smug expression...

:lol: :lol:

having been able to sit there watching this majestic cat all on my own......

:lol: :lol:

i had taken just over 60 photos of him from the time he left the yawning shade.. till he left the waterhole.......

probably a good thing that my burst setting was on slow..


:hmz:

i continued on the s 21..

and was stopped by a kind old gentleman who told me to turn left at the tee junction 'cause there was a leopard in a tree just beyond the bridge..

he added that i would not miss it 'cause there were lots of cars there...

i thanked him for his information and turned right at the t junction.....


:whistle: :whistle: :whistle:

just before lubyelubye, i noticed the waiting area for the kill cleaners....
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and then a few cars at a lion crossing........
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it was as though this lady was controlling a scholar patrol

:shock: :shock:
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these scruffy teens with fighting scars evident at this young age

reminded me of joburg southern suburbs on my week ends in away from boarding school
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this was how it should always be.....

there were more lions than cars......

this busy pride was to be the cause of numerous traffic jams over the next ten days.......


:evil: :evil:

mom and her sister had taken her laaitie out for a drink .....
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and this family was having sundowners at the dam.....
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now i was thirsty after watching all this drinking !!!!!!.......

and it was time for me to have a whole bunch of sundowners

next to a pile of burning wood and listen to the sound of sizzling fat from a flattie.......
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 Post subject: Re: under the weeping boer bean tree
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:01 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

having lit the fire..

i sat down with my resident superhero “leatherman

and kept him supplied with thick strips of seasoned dried beef to go with my containers of cold malted hops and barley.

:dance: :dance:

there was a slight breeze that assisted in cooling the ambient temperature and causing the flames to dance a bit more vigorously…..

soon.. i was turning the nkuku into a crisp golden brown hue

and adding copious amounts of butter and salt to the steaming coal-baked potato.


:dance: :dance:

i awoke at 4:30 the next morning with a lot of wind……

:redface:

luckily.... it was all outside my hut....

but it was a cold wind and i could not see any stars…

so went back to bed and woke up an hour later to a dull, overcast day with the chilly wind still pumping….


having completed my ablutions and a leisurely healthy breakfast

i ventured out along the h10..


the wind was so strong that the giraffe were forced to browse headlong into the wind on low foliage
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recognise this ????
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with the oxpeckers on the leeward side
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or clinging on for dear life...
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and the vultures were "stranded" like sailboats

all facing windward in the harbour.

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i encountered a small group of buffalo also with their resident groomers ...
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enjoying a good scratch .....
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i am sure he was the boss......
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i don't recall ever having seen an oxpecker on a steenbok ..

:hmz: :hmz:

yet they often seem to be ones who could seriously do with one......
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i suppose a steenbok with an ox pecker would seem a bit out of proportion.....
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a bit of parenting going on........
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why did that remind me of the simpsons ????

:hmz: :hmz:

quite a bit of itchy and scratchy ...........................................
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and ........

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:


could that be krusty the clown.?????????????.
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nah .......... :doh: :doh: :doh: :doh:
stop day dreaming......

:slap: :slap:

now.... here was a familiar sight.....

:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

i remember seeing this warrior

with his imposing sharp tipped scimitar shaped tusks on my last visit...

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got me thinking about the immortals at the battle of thermopylae....



nah............................. :doh: :doh: :doh: stop day dreaming....

so....

i headed back for camp

after a brief unpleasant stop at mlondozi

(did he not write that song ..."oooohh lui-perd" ??)


:slap: :slap: :slap:

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 Post subject: Re: under the weeping boer bean tree
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:52 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

so nothing much else happened


except that heksie and maheksie had pitched their campsite just across the way from my villa

and they joined me in my lapa under the boer bean tree for some libations and scoff .

there was lots of smoke from the fire that night

as the tree seemed to weep a lot more than normal…

unless it was heksie’s gwaai that caused it…..


:hmz: :hmz:

twas a pleasant evening despite the plummeting mercury

and we were all excited because the next day we were going visit bushcraft and the clan for a lunchtime braai in the metropolis ……..


:dance: :dance: :dance:

the next day I made the most of my warm bedding and had a bit of a lie in as it was quite cold

and it was a sunday…..

i decided to take the s21 route and avoid the highway

but stopped briefly at lubyelubye to find the leopard or the lions

but was only greeted by this vulture…

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found this little bee eater…… the bee was not that little……..
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and then i heard this ground scraper thrush…

quite well camouflaged and i probably would not have seen him if he was not scraping around….

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the look he gave me

when i asked about the state of the sand roads

and the and why the ground scrapers were not helping with the maintenance….

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i popped in at the stephenson-hamilton pit stop….

i am always amazed at the ability of these rock figs to grow out of the rock…
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it was getting closer to lunch time and the impending braai

and i must have been getting hungry ‘cause all i could think of when i approached this was ...

"hmmm...........double buffalo burger !!!!!…”

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when i got to the gates of the city i had a bit of time to spare

so made a detour passed the shop……


:slap: :slap: :slap:

could not even find parking…

someone had moved the hajj to skukuza….


:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

it was easy enough to find bushcraft’s lodgings

as it is the biggest complex on the estate

and there was this enormous trade mark pyre in the front garden

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 Post subject: Re: under the weeping boer bean tree
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:56 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

so.........

as some of you may know......


the gathering at bushcraft's villa on the upper sabie was a very pleasant affair,

:dance: :dance:

but as is the norm......

it had to come to an end

and before pouring too many diuretics down my throat and impairing my ability to drive or work with power tools

i said my good-byes


:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

and headed for my high density public housing facility in lower sabie

where heksie and maheksie and i were going to tan some meat and continue imbibing after sunset

once again i traveled via the s21 and next thing i realized i was at sunset dam....


:shock: :shock:

there is this resident flock of yellow billed stork (with one out of place marabou) that frequents the shoreline
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what intrigues me is that they regularly move from one spot to another

like 4 times in one day....


:hmz: :hmz: :hmz: :hmz:
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these spots are not too far from each other but the birds always stay in a close knit group
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my questions are....

who decides when to move and where to go to and why ??????


:hmz: :hmz: :hmz:

maybe, it is the early evolutionary stage of swarm behaviour......

that phenomenon that we see when colossal shoals of sardines move in unison

or the amazing ability of the immense swarms of red billed quelea to fly in those massive formations


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research has shown.. that it just takes one in the group to move.. and the rest follow "blindly"
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that night in lower sabie

a tour group of auslynders in a great big 3 ton lorry

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had commandeered my table and chairs and "personal space" under the boer bean tree

but fortunately we had arranged to gather at heksie's gazebo for libations and sustenance.


:D :lol: 8)

the night was chilly so we were "forced" to put our warm clothing on via our throats and tummies......
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 Post subject: Re: under the weeping boer bean tree
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

so...

that last pic was not an ellie tummy.........

'twas a rhino neck...........

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this is what remains of a grove of trees at the start of the mlondozi loop........

must be the flood damage... should not blame the elephants..

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on the subject of elephants......

seems as though this family was busy with some sort of confidence building exercise.....

they all stopped in a group at the top of the embankment

and told junior to go on ahead and see if "the coast was clear" for the rest of them to proceed safely down to the water..

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he went ahead tentatively at first and then when he got to the edge he must have passed the test

'cause the rest of the family then proceeded with gusto behind

him all the way towards the water

and he had led the way..........


:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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for the first time in four days there was no traffic jam at the leopard rock

and i could head down to the s28 and nthandanyati bird hide.....

there was only one other car there so i gladly ventured in.......


:pray: :pray:



now, unless i am mistaken......

the hide is under a weeping boer been tree....


:hmz:

one that was in bloom a bit later than most of the others north of the hide

and the blossoms were still closed ..


:hmz:

which made them a juicy feast for this brown headed parrot....
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then.......

a convoy of double cab canopied "botha's bakgat bakkies" came careering into the parking lot in a cloud of dust ...


and three generations of up-country visitors stormed down the walkway into the hide...


:slap:

i began to wonder where they used to go on holiday before they chose to invade kruger...

:hmz:

"no sir...that is not a kudu.......see that white semi circle on its buttocks...."

:doh:

"no ma'am......that is not a duck...... it is a goose, an egyptian goose" ....

then a chorus replied........"jis..... but it's come far !!"

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:slap:

the last straw was when one of them saw the parrot......

:slap: :slap:

"haaai daas n pappegaai........ helllooo polly ..... pretty polly ..

hellooooo polly .... pretty polly..."


this had me weeping amongst the boer bean brains..........

my exit cue..........


:tongue:

when i got up to leave i could have sworn i heard one of the third generation members

asking "why is the pirate leaving without his parrot ?"


:lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: under the weeping boer bean tree
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

i wanted to have something to quietly munch on while at the bird hide

but i lost my appetite

so... i stopped just before the junction to duke water hole to have some breakfast of muesli and yoghurt

next to this old man having his own snack......

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was so peaceful....

now...

here is something i have never encountered before...

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it seemed as though i was approaching a village in papua new guinea

with all the nipa huts on their stilts...

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my only guess is that they are red billed buffalo weavers nests...

i have never seen such a colony of them...........

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i reckon that the kudu is one of the most majestic of the kruger residents....
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even with its dirty ears.....
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this one was so close i could taste the biltong.....
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and this handsome chap ????
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 Post subject: Re: under the weeping boer bean tree
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:27 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

so......

i had reclaimed my garden furniture and heksie and maheksie and i had managed to return to my spot

under the boer bean tree for a braai despite being "surrounded" by truck tourists

'twas their last night in the park so we swapped sighting stories

and finished the evening off with some sclerocarya fruit juice

the next day when i arrived at sunset dam there was this pod of hippo all out of the water

and being reprimanded by one of the elders.....

apparently there was a lot of dissatisfaction because someone had pooped in the water...........

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this girl used the opportunity to parade around
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in front of this handsome fellow with the ridge forester jaw-line.....
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on the shoreline

a red-billed firefinch

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red-billed buffalo-weavers
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red-billed oxpecker...
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"red goats"
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black winged stilt ....

called a stilt because it has the longest (red) legs relative to its size

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at first i thought that this girl was bulimic

and exhibiting signs of self-induced vomiting.....

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but then i figured that she might just sucking on the algae
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it was pleasing to see that this chap was concerned about his weight

and had taken to jogging around the dam..........

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this elephant caused a bit of a stir when he came barging down passed the hippo to have a drink
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 Post subject: Re: under the weeping boer bean tree
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:01 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

some of the many reptilian occupants of lower sabie......
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took an afternoon drive and found that tusker from a few days ago....
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this cattle egret seemed to be a bit frustrated

'cause the buffalo that they were accompanying were not on the move

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it did, however, manage to find something to munch on...
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these reedbuck chilling in the afternoon shade.
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i was surprised to read that the lifespan of an ostrich

can be as much as 40 to 50 years.........

and that unlike other birds

the ostrich can secrete urine separately from its faeces........

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also that the scales on the lowest front part of the leg

are red on the male

and black on the female......

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alan davies from the television program "QI" reckons

that if you film an ostrich running

and then play it backwards..... it looks just like a person running......


:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

i took some time to sit and enjoy the approaching evening with the boons ........

looks like the kingfisher is planning to attack one of the watchmen....

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family time on the beach.....
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???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
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 Post subject: Re: under the weeping boer bean tree
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:08 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

so...

one lunch time on arriving at my lodgings i observed a "piece of wood" stuck to the sidewall of my car's rear tyre

so i pulled on it.......... and was alarmed to see that it was a humongous thorn
:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

and that the air in the tyre was rapidly escaping .... :shock: :shock: :shock:

so.. instinctively... i put it back where it came out and the air stopped..

or rather...... i could not hear it any more.
:whistle: :whistle: :whistle:

anyway..... i replaced the thorny tyre with the spare and the following morning i was up early and headed off to komatipoort

to have the faulty tyre repaired as i knew that murphy wanted to join me sometime soon

this is the culprit......

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an idea of the comparative size of this thorn...
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just after the second mativulungu loop road

there seemed to be a branch lying in the road...

but,, on closer inspection i saw it was in fact a

"panthera brownus" aka bushcraft kitty......


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and a while later....
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an early morning lookout ........
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when i exited at croc bridge at about 7:15

i was astounded to see the amount of cars that were in the queue to enter as day invaders.........

no wonder every sighting becomes a traffic jam......


:evil: :evil: :evil:

when returned i found these herons chasing each other around at the s28 junction.
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i took the s28

and saw this unfortunate impie with a bit of her flesh protruding from a nasty tear in her hide

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she was obviously not a member of this impressive harem

surrounding the proud ram in the centre..

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one cannot see the blossoms in this photo,

but this is a typical example of the shape of the tree wysteria.....

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on the road to the nthandanyati bird hide....

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back on the "great north road"

these two elephants seemed to be re-affirming a previous bond


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one night under the boer been tree

heksie and her mummy were telling me about a hippo that they had seen from the lower sabie weir

and that they were concerned about it's well being ........

i spotted the hippo and it was pleasing to see that it was sleeping peacefully in amongst the rocks

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it was also awesome to see how the different species can co-exist in harmony ...
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later that afternoon i spotted the collard lady from the lubyelubye pride resting on the beach.
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and these two fellas having an animated conversation

and grooming session on the top of an arboreal arch next to sunset dam

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think this guy might have been the victim of a falling kigelia ....

he had a nasty wound on his head......

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 Post subject: Re: under the weeping boer bean tree
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:23 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

so........

there was quite a bit of evening activity........

this was taken a couple of clicks away from lubyelubye

i think this is the lubyelubye leopard 'cause with the increase in lion activity on those rocks

the leopard has to find somewhere else to go for sundowners....

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got two rollers on the h10.

:dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance:

this lilac-breasted roller....

who was making quite a noise while sticking his head into a tree

and then flying away

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and this yellow-roller...

just sitting quietly next to the road...

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a thick-knee doing a display
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the resident swallows at the weir.
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and then the dreaded indian myna ...

or as it is now officially called......... the common myna..

i remember how devastated we were when we first saw them in the park a few years ago.....

it was a traumatic event

akin to hearing the recent news about the arrival of the "famous brands" outlets in the camps...

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

and this too shall pass.......

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this family from the "currie cup free territory"

had brought their own cape point boons along with them......

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????????????????????
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 Post subject: Re: under the weeping boer bean tree
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:34 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

so................................

it was about seven o clock in the evening......

heksie and maheksie had left

and i was sitting under the boer bean tree tanning some meat and contemplating my navel

when it struck me how quiet and empty the low cost housing complex was


:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:


a short while later a mini-bus taxi-type vehicle with a heavy duty trailer pulled into the parking lot

and i earnestly hoped that it was not an overflow from sanparks week


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to my relief it turned out to be another group of european visitors and their two guides

who started unpacking and moving into the surrounding units

the one guide, a girl with a southern hemisphere sheep farmers accent,

impressed me the way she could carry the crates in the dark

while holding her torch in her mouth ...................


:shock: :shock: :shock:


turns out that this group was with the same company as my previous neighbours,

but "hats off" to them for assembling their dining area on the outer perimeter of the units.


:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

early the next day

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i headed off to see how hippo at the weir was doing........

it seems that i had arrived during the hippos annual proctology inspection....


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it must have been quite an horrific ordeal

as the poor hippo's eyes had completely popped out of its sockets....


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so......... from the evidence on the doctor-croc's snout

there was still a bit of moisture in the anal cavity


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however on closer inspection of the hippo

there seemed to be an excess leakage of fluid from his ears and nostrils..............


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i think this hippo had shuffled off this mortal coil

and gone to meet its maker....


:pray: :pray: :pray: :pray:


from the weir one can see why many people just drove past the hippo

without spotting it at all ........


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there was another battle scarred hippo lying in the rapids

that had been there since the previous day


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a while later......... i was quite surprised to see the behaviour of this terrapin

it was either a carnivore

or it had been hanging out with the other leeches too long

and was practicing hemotophagia


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during the course of the day a few more jurassic residents started arriving......

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 Post subject: Re: under the weeping boer bean tree
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:58 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

so.........................

after the weir i headed off along the great north road...

these hyenae are part of a den which is about 2 k's from sunset dam


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and a short distance from there

i landed up behind the sanparks morning drive

who seemed to be chasing this big fella down the road

cause the faster he ran the faster they drove...

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until he stopped to mark off his territory on a few roadside bushes.
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back at the dam

a croc was cruising along ....

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before taking up his position in the sun

like a security guard at a municipal building.....

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with the croc out of the water

these two yearlings felt it was safe enough to have a drink in a nearby pool

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