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 1 of 2
 [ 20 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: onewithnature NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH Oct 2010
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:29 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: 21550
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
Kaixo. :yaya:

It was a sign. At just after 10 a.m., sitting beneath a shade-tree amongst the green new-growth of Spring in our commonly-visited local park, my SO pointed at the Sun. I had never seen such a thing in all my days on Earth so, with fists blocking out the burning hydrogen-helium mass in the centre, I gaped at the strong circular rainbow that encircled the Sun. A second, fainter, semi-circular halo had formed below the main one. A few people had noticed too and were trying to take photographs, appearing to choreograph some silent rap-song with the usual body contortions as they attempted to oint their cameras at the Sun, but avoid their retinae being burned beyond repair.

I rushed home, with dog and SO in tow, to get my trustworthy camera - the one I've used the last three years - to try and capture this lifer phenomenon. Hoping the battery was still charged from our Kruger trip a week prior, I uncovered the digital box and, standing in the courtyard of our complex, pointed it skyward. It was more of a trial-and-error photograph as I tried to align the camera lens with the blinding light. Not the most spectacular photographs, but I managed to capture my first sighting of a "halo dog"!



So, what has this got to do with a trip report? It's a sign, a positive omen, a first. Must be a reason why it appeared for me! :wink: 8) Wait, I know ... with a little imagination, "halo dogs" change into "hallo dogs", which casts the mind back to this last Kruger trip. Yes, it is a sign: a TR must follow! I have no choice ... the nectar-sipping gods benevolently gazed down on my frenetic lifestyle, importuning me to just get it done already. :doh:

A trip report! :roll: My eyes flick upwards like a doll's as I wonder how I'm ever going to catch up on TRs. :huh: I mean, what about Primeval Pleasure? Still in the mix, still unfinished. Oh well, I'll do two TRs simultaneously! Just stop waffling so much, B; get to the point; scrape off all the unnecessary garnish; and get it done! Yehhhhh, no probs mites. TR to follow.

TR on the most successful and delightful four-day trip to Kruger ever! The story must be told. We were blessed with the nectar of the gods - that nectar I now share.



Image

Image


(Actually, you know, the halo here is a projection of my very OWN one ... :lol: :lol: :wink:



19000th post.

_________________
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)


Last edited by onewithnature on Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:30 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: 21550
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
Let's get this tale a-twirling -
The ears a-prickin', toes a-curling;
A wealth of wonders lies in store -
Chronicles to drop your jaw:
Seek the oyster with our pearling!



21st Oct 2010. Had had a modicum of sleep, what with trundling through Jo'burg traffic, catching up on all the minor things forgotten in the heat of the moment when, less than two days earlier, the decision had been finalised to go to Kruger! Finances had to be carefully balanced, but I figured: what the blazes, take your opportunities as they arise, for who knows when they might re-arise again. :hmz:

One-and-a-half hours in restless slumber - not the finest way to begin a trip, although coursing adrenaline has a way of over-riding even the droopiest eyes. Awoke at 10:10 on 20-10-10 - patently a sign, as I hadn't planned that! :dance: Pecked SO on the cheek, gently shook daughter - after some where-am-I-what's-going-on groaning and a lazy prying-open of drowsy eyes, the place was a hive of freneticism ten minutes later as unbridled excitement infused the spirits.

A self-proclaimed expert in boot-space packing, I had rammed everything non-breakable in a haphazard, orderly arrangement. :tongue: Then I shepherded everyone out into the cool, late-night air; whereupon, I rushed back into the house to fetch something I had forgotten, then back out at break-neck speed down the stairs and, just before starting the chock-a-block car, helter-skeltering back into the house to fetch the car keys! :roll: Eish, but excitement can do strange things to a normally normal person. :whistle: A few seconds later, though, and we purred out of the driveway, hopefully with my mind securely packaged between my ears.


For those who haven't seen this pic before, I think it gives a good introduction to the three protagonists to grace the pages of this tale:

From left to right: Onewithnature, Joie de Vivre, Siobain


Image

Okay, I confess, I juggled the three characters somewhat incorrectly :twisted: ... from right to left, back to the centre, then left to right and back to the centre should read:

JdV, OWN, S, OWN, S, OWN, JdV, OWN ... :lol: :lol: 8)

_________________
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)


Last edited by onewithnature on Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:22 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: 21550
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
We had woken up timeously, but my tiredness, coupled with my methodical reinventing of all security-breach possibilities and their solutions, meant we only got underway at 23h30. For once, the girls had to wait for me. :roll:

Then I had forgotten to refill the petrol tank, so that was another delay - which gave the opportunity for a quick purchase of orange Paddle Pops. The last straw that persuaded me to hand over driving duties to S was, after petrol tank full, I couldn't find the car keys again, and had tokolosh-like illusions that I had left them at home! Only to be sternly informed that I couldn't have reached the garage without them, then discovered them in the vehicle's console!! :doh: :doh: :roll: :roll:

Having not slept much the last three days, I realised that my male ego be securely imprisoned and the responsibility of driving handed over to S. Too, she was not tired at that moment, so agreed to drive until Middelburg. I tried to shut-off, but the rear of the car was oscillating like a pendulum as the tilt of the road through the East Rand varied substantially every few hundred metres - post-FIFA-World Cup "renovations" were in full swing (literally :twisted: ).

A half-hour into the trip and, past the Rhynfield offramp, the road opened up smoothly: finally, I could turn off the insistent brain-pump, but an unwise Red Bull I had consumed almost an hour ago had other plans. :slap: I was in a sort of twilight state, halfway between consciousness and torpor - if S braked or swerved slightly, my sleep process was retarded, and I appeared even more retarded as I pulled grimaces to make a chimp proud - all an expression of silent, extreme discomfort caused by lack of sufficient slumber.

"Oh, to sleeeeeeeeeeeeeep," I jackal-howled inwardly, the last part tapering off like Boccelli running out of breath. With a resigned sigh, I noted that sleep is yet another thing we take for granted! :hmz: :hmz: Granted, I still needed to sleep, but that seemed increasingly farther into the distance. No other recourse, so I curled up like a deformed millipede, my right knee banging itself tenderly against a projecting part of the lower seat. Finally, with the gentle purr of imaginary cats lost in the engine, I drifted off to Never-Never Land.

_________________
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 Nov 08, 2010 9:25 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: 21550
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
The approaching lights - and noxious odour of the chemicals spewing into the air from the Witbank mines - bestirred my slumber. It seemed I had barely fallen asleep when I was awake again.

If we have time, I usually circumvent the forty-rand toll-plaza at Middelburg, which saves a little money but, most importantly, allows us to take a breather from the 200km journey from Jo'burg.

A quick weight-loss stop at a garage, my aerobic leaping and stretching to loosen up spasming muscles, and I took over to negotiate the route back to the N4. If you don't know all the twists and turns, one can get lost in the large mining areas which, at night, is not easy to get out of! Luckily, I've been lost before, so knew where not to go! :wink: (Once, I'd been lost for almost an hour in Witbank - now known as eMalahleni - that trip, I arrived very late for gate open and I was so miffed that I vowed never to do that again!)

S took over from the N4 again, but I then drove up towards Lydenburg (Mashishing) and onwards towards Phalaborwa. Here is a strange night pic of a cow in a strip mall in Dullstroom. (Couldn't find any strippers that time of the night, though. :lol: ) Found it particularly odd that it had a Spanish-looking flag next to it - perhaps the cow had special milk that won the World Cup for the Spaniards? :twisted:

Image



I felt like a drunkard trying to keep my eyes apart as I meandered drowsily through the darkness. Probably looking more like this Zombie in Training :? :

Image


It rained around Ohrigstad, where we stopped again for a micturition-based weight-loss. :lol: When the dawn greeted the horizon, a flood of energy surged everywhere, prying my eyes wide apart in anticipation of the gates to Eden. It was as if my exhaustion had been purged from my body, replaced by a numbing excitement.


(Next: Through the Cooking Glass)

_________________
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: Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:49 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: 21550
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
We stopped at a filling station at the bottom of the Abel Erasmus Pass - the stunning yellow crags not being seen due to the rain and pre-dawn darkness. The air was fresh and cool, and with a few seconds of hyperventilation, I could smell the Lowveld bush all around. It was official now: we were in Kruger country!

JdV (whom I shall, from now on, abbreviate as A, to avoid confusion with S or I (me, OWN) :doh: ) was moaning softly on the back seat - all wrapped up in swaddling linen - at the shock of cool air that flooded the car as I opened my door. S had had a good rest and was also now stirring up her excitement levels for the final stretch to Kruger. I had enjoyed the quiet along the road as both lay sleeping.

After waking up the filling-station attendant - who was horizontal in a parked minibus taxi :huh: - and having some quick flask coffee, I smiled with bursting bliss as we wended our way towards Phalaborwa.

Dawn silhoutted the towering Transvaal Drakensberg mountains to our right, revealing strange body-and-face-like shapes. The other side of those mountains lies the Blyde River Canyon. No time for that this time, though, and with the entire contents of the vehicle now fully awake, we appreciated the mass of acacias, mopane bush, and granite outcrops that flooded the landscape.


A typically beautiful post-rain, dawn sky in the Lowveld:

Image


I had deliberately left home early to make the Phalaborwa gate by its 05h30 opening, but, realising we weren't going to make it in time (short of recklessly speeding, which I refuse to do :naughty: ), we relaxed and coasted along, knowing it was still early enough to enjoy the wonders of Kruger's awakening.

Phalaborwa was a town barely bestirring. Past the huge, steel-grey dumps; a quick left and right; the landmark, pristine palms; and then onto the unbending approach road to the gate. Past the army base on the right - poor people there, I always think; so close to Kruger, yet so far :( - and, at 05h55, after a friendly welcome from the gate staff and efficient processing of our entry permit, and a short toilet break, we could hardly contain our excitement as we slipped gently through the boom.

Kruger was at our mercy! :D :D :D

_________________
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: Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:48 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: 21550
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
(DAY 1, morning, continued)

Past the waving, smiling boom guard (nothing to do with dynamite, I'm told; although his personality may be just that :D ), and, immediately, pristine Kruger bush set in on both sides. We could still see the gate when our first animal we saw: as in 80% of cases, a herd of impala. Promising ourselves to stop for everything this park has to offer, we ground to a halt and admired their gracefulness and beauty, especially those innocent, wide-eyed looks that Disney captured in its cutest characters over the years. Yes, now that you mention it, we could be in Kruger-Disney. :hmz:

Entering the gate half an hour later, we realised, beats the sometimes frustrating queue-wait when there at gate open. Our entry had been far more relaxed as a result - something we may consider more frequently in future, especially in busy times.

A few hundred metres after the impala, I unhesitatingly slipped left onto the gravel S131.

"I have a feeling," I said, not quite knowing if it was tiredness from the trip concentrated in my xiphisternum (that small hollow below the rib-cage), indigestion, or a guidance from the universe.
"You must always listen to your feelings," S said, supporting me, which tilted the balance away from xiphisternum and indigestion.

I began to sing in a soft tone. I never much considered myself a singer, and responses at karaoke have always borne that out. Still, I felt obliged to share my feeling with others:
"I've got a feeling
That today's gonna be a good day"

I mumbled, using poetic license to alter the original lyrics of 'Tonight's gonna be a good night'.

Then, more confidently, I belted out (much to the consternation of S & A):
"I know that we'll have a ball
If we get down and go out
And just lose it all
I feel stressed out
I wanna let it go
Let's go way out spaced out
And losing all control"


Finally, at the top of my husky voice, I chanted (the words much easier now to remember :lol: ):
"Let's do it, let's do it, let's do it
Let's do it, and do it, and do it
Let's live it up
And do it, and do it, and do it, do it, do it
Let's do it, let's do it, let's do it
'Cause I gotta feeling (Ooo-hoo)
That today's gonna be a good day
That today's gonna be a good day
That today's gonna be a good, good day!"


I knew the Black-Eyed Peas would be proud of me.

"You chased away all the animals!"
A put on her sad face - a very convincing one, I might add.
"Okay, let's not make a noise now - I want to enjoy the peace and tranquility," I noted.
"You start," suggested A.
I obliged :redface: as all six eyes were directed into the slowly-passing gaps.


This steenbok a-lickin' presented herself in full view:

Image



One of those amazing spider's nests, looking like an untouched, cobwebbed scene from an Indiana Jones movie. Are these the nests of the famous rain spiders, I wonder?:

Image

_________________
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)


Last edited by onewithnature on Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:58 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: 21550
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
The bush was exceedingly dry. Thick with debris and hibernating shrubs, but xeric to the extreme: we marvelled how it hadn't been destroyed in a great conflagration this last winter. Wondered at it, but were beaming that it hadn't, for the landscape had an inexplicable allure, as if something, anytime could walk through and surprise us!

I had slowed to a crawl - or was it a stagger? - expecting something to happen. I believe that, when you expect, you get - as will be borne out as this TR progresses. :wink:
The secret is to expect nothing, but everything, and then you will always get what you deserve! :huh: Paradoxes are fun :lol: ;keep reading ...

Then, ahead, we saw two emerging tuskers strolling the dirt road, butts a-waggling. S said she had heard of two tuskers that are seen together in the area, but couldn't remember who they were. We decided to get suitable pics for Aat to identify, but, as we approached, they annoyingly decided to veer off through the bushveld. The one in front was more impressive than the one behind, however the latter obviously was consciously jealous of this fact because he deliberately sought to block our view of his larger-tuskered buddy! By the time we got close enough to capture them clearly on a pixel canvas, the Lesser had sprinted deep into the veld, and we could barely capture the Greater, his tusks largely obscured by his ample buttocks!

Here is the Greater's best side-rear portion (not enough detail, it turned out, for Aat to make a positive ID :( ):


Image

_________________
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 Nov 15, 2010 11:49 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: 21550
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
One of the beauties of having A with us is that she insists on stopping for every animal, big and small, even if we've seen that species a dozen times in the last five minutes. Sometimes, the car doesn't make it out of first gear for half an hour!

Correctly, though, A explains that each animal has its own personality, own looks, and own behaviour, so it is not one we have indeed seen before! :roll: :hmz:
"Just like my own OWN," she adds; "there is no-one in the human species quite like you ... no-one N'OWN!"

:wall: :wall: It is obvious that a teenage-girl's mind is far superior to a middle-aged man's; my neurons cannot compete in speed, networking ability, efficiency, or creativity: it's a sad fact of life (from my perspective). :( I wisely keep quiet, because my more than 20 million hours of practice has the same effect a gerbil would on a honey badger ... an infinitesimal amount. :roll:

A herd of seven male kudu crosses the dirt road half a kilometre away; by the time I get there, most have sidled in between head-high bushes that look as if they're sporting horns of their own. Luckily, I thrill to watch all seven of these proud bachelors through my binocs, although I manage to capture a couple on camera:

Image


A says she has never seen so many male kudu before in one spot; I tell her neither have I. We are beaming like schoolchildren that have been given some candy floss. A mass of spider nests in the bushes reminds us that candy floss can take on many forms.

Soon, we turn onto the H14, which skirts the dry Shikombo river bed. I am not used to such parched conditions; so, as the sun's rays begin to pierce my sensitive skin, and my throat is as scratchy as an acacia in winter, we decide to stop off at Ngobeni waterhole for refreshing frozen water.

As we enter the slip road to the waterhole, the landscape takes on a whole new meaning to the word "oasis"! Psychologically, my throat soothes itself and I am able to swallow hard in appreciation a few times as I feast on the comparatively lush area.

Image


To the left are some large, very green trees and we switch off the engine so that we can breathe in the beauty. S is scanning a huge tree on the left to locate a calling oriole, but she is unable to. I stare at the tranquility and soak up the solace.

However, we must always remember that tranquility in the wild is a temporary state. :hmz: As my eyes lazily scan the water and banks, I suddenly see something quite odd ...


(Next: The cold-blooded food-chain)

_________________
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 Nov 16, 2010 9:34 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: 21550
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
Not wishing S and A to get worked up over little, I first stare carefully through my binoculars at the "thing". Initially, I can't figure it out: it looks like the upper arc of a deflated soccer ball from the FIFA World Cup after Bafana Bafana had disgustingly cast it aside due to their lack of progression past the first round.

Back to the pool. Initially, there was a mirror of still water. Then, an unusual pattern of powerful turbulence:

Image


Only a large animal can generate that kind of water swirls. But what? My initial thought is of a crocodile, but, to-date, I haven't seen any evidence of one in the peaceful pool. :hmz:

Then, something appears in the middle of the seething water:

Image

It looks like a ... :huh: ... remnant of a Bafana soccer ball! :roll: :wall:

Immediately, I alert S and A. They swivel their focus from the hiding oriole to the action before me.
"Ye know, that soccer ball looks like a strange-looking something," I say, quite unnecessarily, as my words of 'wisdom' just add to the confusion.

Everyone is staring at the "something" in a somewhat puzzled manner. Then, a second something arrives beside the first, which is bobbing around weirdly - actually, more like oscillating along its arc length, like a grandfather-clock's pendulum.

Image


"It's a croc, Dad" A notes, while S and I are agreeing in unison, our heads nodding slowly up and down and our eyes narrowed to better fathom the situation.
"It's a first for me, dad," A continues; "a bodyless croc with a head that propels itself! Never seen that before." I laugh.

It does look strange as no croc tail can be seen, reminding me of those artificial crocodile-head pond floaters! Then, as we gawk at the somethings, the non-croc one spreads itself out:

Image


and, as in chorus, we all suggest together ..."Water Monitor!"

But, what are a water monitor and a crocodile doing in the same pool of water together?

_________________
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: Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:13 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: 21550
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
"Gosh, that's a strange looking water monitor," suggests Siobain. "Can't see the head or legs."
We stare dumbfounded at the "thing". It is bobbing gently like a buoy, following the rhythm of the wavelets that wash over it.
"Maybe it isn't a buoy," Aimee notes in a thoughtful tone; "could be a girl!" Typical Aimee paronomasia. :clap:

"Wavelets?" I want to know where the disturbance is being created from.
"Must be the croc," says Siobain, and we both agree.

But, where has the croc gone. Obviously submerged. Then the croc's head appears next to the "thing's", and they seem to be going on a watery treading session in the Park, the best of friends, having a fine chat on the stupidity of humans. They bob together, conversing peacefully, it seems.

Image


Then Croc disappears under the water again, while "Bob" bobs pacifically, showing off some reflective colours:

Image


Little do we know that the serenity is about to change! Croc appears and, quite rudely, proceeds to seek a grip on Bob's body! :big_eyes: Fine friends indeed. :huh: :rtm:

Image


"Oh my gosh," we all murmur together, wondering what is transpiring.
"They're fighting!" suggests Aimee.
"It looks like the monitor is dead," says Siobain, her eye sockets glued to the binoc ones.
"Noooo, this is just too weird," I mutter, contemplating that we may be seeing our first live kill in Kruger. I am a conglomeration of excitement, nervousness, and dread at the idea.

Bob doesn't seem to be trying too hard to resist Croc's devious actions. Croc tugs at Bob and both disappear beneath the surface.

"And now?" I mumble, highly puzzled.

Then, SUDDENLY ...

_________________
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: Wed Nov 17, 2010 11:32 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:38 pm
Posts: 5208
Location: Johannesburg
Award: Avatar of the Year (2012)
This was a truly wonderful sighting and OWN managed to get some wonderful photo's, he is holding out on the best one's at the moment, but I'm sure he'll share them soon! :D

We would have liked to stay and watch a bit longer, but something he reminded me of this evening which I had forgotten, is that it was really hot, almost 40 degrees C with no breeze in sight, and I was the one melting on the sunny side of the car. Image

_________________
He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has. ~Henry Ward Beecher


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTH
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:49 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: 21550
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
Then suddenly ...

Out of the water, like a mythological basilisk, rises a column of raw crocodile power, its jaws attached to the hapless "thing".

Image


The thing does not move - seemingly helpless to retaliate - and the combination of scaly reptilian head and slithery thing-flesh, side by side, indeed looks like the resurrection of a terrible Greek creature, whose gaze could be lethal, turning its innocent onlookers into stone (or, worse, after-dinner delights). :roll:

The crocodile rises higher out of the water ...

Image


... lifting the upper part of the thing with it.

Though we are not entirely sure, we are more-or-less convinced that the "thing" is a water monitor.
"I don't see any legs," notices Siobain.
Though I am enthralled at the developing reptilian adventure before me, my brain still churns out an appropriate answer:
"What! You don't appreciate my legs any more?" :huh: And the :huh: is steeped in feigned shock.

The tension is broken as we giggle at this ridiculous aside from the car driver.
"Well, they're more hairy," says Siobain.
"And less scaly," notes Aimee.
"A legacy," I try.
"More like a leg-a-lake," suggests Aimee.

By now we are laughing so loudly that we're afraid the crocodile-thing hybrid might attack us. Two Scottish-looking males in a car behind us are bewildered at the combination of human laughter and bizarre saurian scene before them. (Or, perhaps their tartans are knotted together. :twisted: )
"Shhhhhhh," I whisper vehemently, and we turn back to the matter at hand.

The crocodile rises even higher out of the pool ...

Image


"Something is happening," I state superfluously.

Then, something does happen!

_________________
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: Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:56 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: 21550
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
At this point, an addendum is in order, so as not to mislead the mites.

To be honest, while we were watching the whole crocodile-"thing" unfold, we had weighted up our options as to what the "thing" was. The more we looked at it, the more we were convinced it was the underside of a water monitor lizard. True, there were no legs, but then we figured that they could have been removed already by the croc.

We went away knowing it had been a special sighting, but with the concurred thoughts that it was indeed a water monitor and a croc. With these same thoughts in mind, I applied them to this TR without question.

Then, and without warning, I was reminded of the tremendous knowledge base that we have on the SANParks forum! There are some very clued-up mites out there and I have always felt honoured to share anything nature-wise with them!

It was Elsa who first planted the idea that the "thing" is not a water monitor, but actually a snake :shock: . Lockie concurred, whereupon Crested Barbet furthered the thoughts by posting pertinent information about this awesome reptile.

Puzzled, I looked at Siobain, and we began to recogitate on our original deductions.
"Well, it didn't have legs," said Siobain; "and it had a long body, too long for a monitor."
The more we thought about it, the more it seemed likely that the "thing" was indeed a snake, and more likely an African Rock Python!

Never having seen this snake in the wild (and unable to recall having seen it in a snake park or zoo), I decided to pm some mites whom I knew were clued-up on snakes: Imberbe, Oddesy, and Rusty Justy. In less than two days, all of them confirmed that the sighting indeed included an African Rock Python! Then I saw Nico's phenomenal video of this snake, one that he saw near Olifants, which confirmed the markings we had seen in the water.

We were both gobsmacked and excited at this lifer! So was Aimee, who beaming from ear to ear, breathed: "Wowww, Dad; that's awwwesome!"
"Pity it wasn't alive when we saw it," I said to them, and that was the one thing that could have improved the sighting a little.

However, in Kruger, you take what you get with appreciation and thanks! And we did. Now that we think about it, the snake must have been dead a while, as it was bloated, floating near the top of the water. Too, it seemingly had flipped over as the markings in the pics are very light. Some of the scales had been removed, also suggesting a more advanced state of death.

Anyway, there is more to come regarding this incident; which I will post tomorrow. :D

Thank you to all you fantastic fellow mites for sharing your knowledge, joys, experiences, comments, and humour with us. We feel privileged to be amongst this elite band of fun-loving, nature-appreciating people - you all make life so much more lucid and special!!! Take a bow, everyone, for you are indeed all amazing people ...
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

_________________
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 Nov 21, 2010 9:27 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: 21550
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
... "Something is happening," I state superfluously.

Then, something does happen!

The towering crocodile slips slowly back into the water, disappearing for a good three minutes. All is still. Not a movement, and the water surface has returned to an almost glassy state.

Then, the water begins to boil and, not ten seconds later, the croc rises again from the pool ...

Image


... this time a large croc-sized bite of a cavity visible in the hapless rock python's structure.

The stately saurian then stretches the python against gravity, the pair now rising like the Lady of the Lake:

Image


Suddenly, the crocodile flips over into a rapid, powerful barrel roll ...

Image


... and, our vision is filled with flying water droplets, blurred snake- and croc-bodies, and spouts of clear pool water. Less than a second and they are plunging waterward again, to crash against the surface in a tremendous spray of white water:

Image


We are, to put it mildly, gobsmacked! We have enjoyed over 45 minutes of breathtaking thrills, and seen a rare sighting at a time when it wasn't expected. Aren't most amazing sightings just like that? When you look hard for something, it seldom shows itself; but, when you relax and take whatever Kruger dishes up for you, you're sure to be surprised beyond measure!!! :D

The sun has been rising steadily and, without cloud cover to curb its strength, poor Siobain is being baked like a pretzel. A very good-looking, curvaceous pretzel I might add. :wink: :littleangel:

Still in a daze, we slowly drive off, returning to the H14, the sun making patterns directly on the windscreen. Our heads are up, our hearts are thumping healthily, and we glide through Kruger with high hope for the trip ahead!

_________________
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 Nov 22, 2010 6:08 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: 21550
Location: Midway between the infinite and the infinitesimal!
Award: Musketeer of the Year, Quiz Whiz of the Year (2012)
... Still in a daze, we slowly drive off, returning to the H14, the sun making patterns directly on the windscreen. Our heads are up, our hearts are thumping healthily, and we glide through Kruger with high hope for the trip ahead!

It is around 9.15 and the sun is reminding us who is boss already: climbing into the early-to-mid thirties, and five hours before maximum temperature. :slap: Siobain is grateful that the sun is no longer blazing down on her.

We cross the mighty Letaba River eight kilometres before the Shimuwini turnoff, and are thrilled that there is a decent amount of water around:

Image


We revel in the peace and tranquility that infuses this world - such a disparity with the noxious toxicity to the senses in a city! I maintain that one of the major factors that has contributed to me remaining in Johannesburg's unhealthy environment is that I can periodically escape from it into the all-encompassing contrariety of rustic quietude, harmony, and quiescence of the bushveld. In essence, the soul is purged by the concordant melody of the primeval ecosystem we all were designed to be a part of. Unnatural, manmade environments ultimately suck the spirit of joie de vivre from our existence, and I cannot live an effective life without living a life of joy, appreciation, and love of all things Godly!

To find this Eden, one must go within and merge with the incomprehensible magnificence of God's Creation. The external trigger for me to achieve such meaningful introspection is a perfect symphony of song only to be found in the wildernesses of the world: Kruger is one of these, and right now I am there to let it work its healing miracles on my being!

Here is but one expression of the consummate genius of it all - a simple flower to some, but an expression of encapsulated perfection to me:

Image

_________________
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 1, 2  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


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 bushwackedblonde at 05:23:30 Submitted by kcilliers at 05:19:30 Submitted by bushwackedblonde at 05:56:12 Submitted by haileyidaho at 20:17:05