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 Post subject: onewithnature-A NEW DAY IS S-OWN- Dec 2010
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:22 am 
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In six days' time, we will return to the eden of all edens - Kruger! What awaits us is unknown, but a trip of indefatigable wonderment, irrepressible suspense, and immense magnificence is guaranteed to infuse our spirits.

Siobain and OWN
Will enrobe themselves
In this land of grandeur gowned;
And every day that is newly dawned
Is a new day gladly S-Own!


:D :D :D

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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)


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 Post subject: Re: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:55 am 
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Hi all

Just back from a fantabulous trip to Kruger!!! Sigghhhh, if I could stay there permanently ... :pray: :pray: :pray:
To leave the bliss of harmonious nature and return to less-than-civilised civilisation is always difficult!! One metre out the gate and paradise disappears in an instant.

Anyway, I have so very "much to relate to you all, but have decided to complete my other two trip reports - "Primeval Pleasure" and "Nectarean Niceties of the North" first. When those are done, I'll get to this one!

Kind Regards,
OWN.

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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)


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 Post subject: Re: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:56 am 
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Some themes that I will be covering in this TR to whet the story's appetite:

The Heartwarming Tale of Socuti;
Day of the Jackal (with apologies to Frederick Forsyth);
We Three Kings;
A Feline First;
Parade of the E.T.s;
A Booming Serenade;
A Feast of Foam Eggs; and
The Thick-Tailed Tank

Now to get those other TRs completed so I can focus on this one. :roll:

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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)


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 Post subject: Re: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:41 am 
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Siobain and OWN
Enrobed themselves
In this land of grandeur gowned;
And every day that was newly dawned
Was a new day gladly S-Own!


:D :D :D



And so this steam TR(ain) finally gets enough power to puff out of the creation station ... :dance:

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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)


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 Post subject: Re: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:21 am 
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Okay, let's puff away ...

As life always works itself out for the best, as I always believe, so it does this day, Tuesday 30th November 2010.

We had booked for this trip on Valentine's Day - no better day as a couple to go away to GOD's modern Eden - and so hadn't known when my daughter's prize-giving for her final year of primary school was going to be until a few weeks ago. If it had been any later than today, we may not have been able to go to the ceremony - or we may have had to skip some of our trip to Kruger - both of which would have been highly unacceptable; a lose:lose situation for everyone involved.

But, this evening, we go to Aimee's prize-giving and, as an indescribably proud dad, I encroach on an empty chair in the front row reserved for a teacher that never arrived, and clap wildly while filming my daughter receiving six gold certificates for various subjects, two books, and a floating trophy for Best Student of the Year.

An evening to store in the vaults of life's delight. My SO, Siobain, and I walk Aimee to the Honda CRV, which is fully laden - I was somewhat nervous leaving it like that during the ceremony, but trusted in the Almighty to take care of it and us - and drive Aimee home.

There are many hugs and temporary goodbyes with Aimee - she cannot come with us on our Kruger trip this time because, sadly, she has to still be at school a few more days before they break up for the year, and, in any case, she prefers not to break her perfect record of attendance.

So, with mixed feelings of jubilation at Aimee's achievements in Grade 7, sadness at leaving her behind, and excitement at going on yet another Kruger trip, we readjust our focus and, after a brief stop at the pharmacy for meds, steer the CRV onto the N12 to Witbank. It is 21h17 - the earliest we have ever left for Kruger - but a journey not to be delayed, especially because if I go to sleep now I am so tired that we may not wake up in time to make gate-opening! Therefore, we head out, determined to drive slowly, savour the journey there, and stop often for rest and refreshments.

Our trip, and this trip report, has begun ...

:dance: :dance: :dance:

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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)


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 Post subject: Re: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:51 pm 
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OWN, what great joy it brings me, to re-live these moments with you, and of course, from such an intellectual perspective!
It truly is a privilege to experience these moments once again with such eloquent, descriptive, poetic imagery. I am waiting in anticipation for the continuation of our wonderful journey!!!
:dance: :dance: :dance: :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:03 pm 
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As we fire up the pistons and smooth the engine-oil along the N12 to Witbank, I am trying everything from sudden bursts of open-window chills, to out-of-tune, raspy singing, to the serious limitations of driver-seat exercises, to keep myself alert and fresh-enough to negotiate the road ahead.

Yesterday, I suddenly had had visions of what could happen if years of my loaded photographs would disappear along with the hard-drive it was encoded on if some opportunist, self-employed material-borrower (the euphimistic thief!) decided to invade our homely space whilst we are away. It was a strange thought, perhaps encouraged by the last-minute stress of getting everything shipshape for our two-week induction into paradise? When immersed in civilisation, and when not in perfect harmony with the natural world we were designed for, strange thoughts and things can happen.

Things mostly take longer than anticipated to complete to a degree of suitable satisfaction - this I have learned from decades of almost-too-late packing, planning, preserving, and generally persevering. :roll:

So it had indeed been when following my instincts - on a whim it must be said - to store all my photos on back-up DVDs: I had initially calculated I'd complete it all within half a day - this dragged out to the entire day, and then doubled in time-consumption by the moment we were readying ourselves for my daughter's prize-giving! This in between all the other last-second, frenetic preparation activities! :roll:

The physical result for my physique was mild exhaustion, if such a thing exists. Not the smartest way to begin a trip to Kruger, but a dozen :rtm: 's wouldn't help at the moment. Hence the shoulder-rolls, the inhalations of frigid air, the toe waggling and foot rotations, and the out-of-tune cooing.

Siobain has reservations about driving the East-Rand part of the N12 at night, so I oscillate the vehicle at 60 km/h along the rough, rocking road through the construction areas. The effort required to prevent the car careening into a bright-yellow barrier fuels my adrenaline and temporarily wakes my senses. Siobain, though wanting to snooze, is too afraid to doze in case I lose concentration, and provides some alert conversation to assist me in preserving both our lives. :clap:

Once we pass Springs, the road levels out and I continue burning the adrenaline reserves until halfway to Witbank. Finally, I know it is no longer safe to continue - I feel my eyelids slowly shutting in on themselves despite my encouragements not to, just like a teenager refuses to listen to a parent. :naughty:

Siobain, still fresh and alert, takes over the wheel as I pass first into a world of hopeful images of what we may see in Kruger, to a deeper canyon of dreams, where I am consciously unaware that I am still part of this world.

I only awake close to Lydenburg when my bladder decrees it is time I deflate it, or suffer the consequences. We take the opportunity to draw money at an ATM and, as the sleepy town becomes almost comatosed, I take to driving once again to afford Siobain the opportunity of some presient dreams.

80km per hour is the uppermost speed I achieve, mainly because the road is badly potholed in places, and there is always the fear of slamming into a rustic-village cow or goat standing on the road. :wall: Despite my intentions otherwise, I am sleepy once again by Ohrigstad, so Siobain - who is much more durable at night than I (could be the double-X gene?) - drives through to Phalaborwa, which we are delighted to approach as the sky begins to lighten.

There is something incomparably exciting - like being infused with the new scent of fresh honeysuckle in Spring - in slipping unobtrusively through the lowveld with its unique bush all around. It is as if we have already entered Kruger, despite being sixty kilometres from the official boundaries. It reminds me how this entire region was long before mankind encroached himself upon it.

After filling up with petrol at a Phalaborwan garage, and freshening up in the restroom - where I take the opportunity to change into my shorts and T-shirt, don my traditional Kruger takkies, and delicately arrange my camera and binoculars side-by-side around my neck - our excitement levels expand like an explosion as we see the familiar thatched arch of the Kruger gate ahead.

There are two families before us, but the staff are both friendly and efficient in the wood-smelling coolness of the reception area, and by 05h40 we effect a smooth entry onto the H9. The road is equally smooth, and as the tyres hum on the warming asphalt, all the stresses of civilisation are gone in an instant. All that is is what is before us - timeless, tantalising, tremendous.

What will be our first ...?

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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)


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 Post subject: Re: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:12 pm 
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Yes, Katja, it's amazing the subconscious communication that happens between mind and body, the psychological and the physical. A change in viewpoint can make all the difference - in this case, it was literal, as just seeing the pre-dawn break over the Krugeresque landscape immediately lifted my spirits, which made my soul override all illusions of exhaustion and pump through just the right amount of hormones to keep me from bursting with excitement!

A surreal, supreme sanctuary is Kruger!!!

_________________
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)


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 Post subject: Re: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:26 am 
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Okay, so sometimes Kruger grants one a whirlwind first day, and sometimes a more low-key, steady introduction.

The latter is true with this trip - and so I post a few getting-into-the-mood photographs as we head up to Shingwedzi. However, don't be fooled that this trip is not going to throw out sideswiping surprises and poignant moments! All of those to follow as this TR gains momentum, puffing that thick steam higher and higher into the tranquil sky ... :D :D :D


Let's start with the prizegiving night:

Image

"Let me give you a proud-dad peck?"
"Nooo, later, dad - I'm a teenager now."
"Yes, but just a quick one, on the cheek."
"Okay, but later - when we're not in public!"
(Sighs and thinks, 'She's grown up so quickly - too quickly?)


Image

"The Paunchy and the Slim" ...
so taken am I by my SO that I forgot to pull my muscles taut; funny how it flows to the front. :hmz:



Okay, enough of the intros, let's move on to the animals, which is why we're here, isn't it? :roll:

Image
The sky that awaits us as we enter the pearly gates.


Image
"Headless Horns" - no sign of a carcass anywhere; just lying in the centre of the road. :huh:


Image
"Marauding Matabele Ants" ...
Although an unusual name in most parts of Africa (where they are known as army ants, driver ants, safari ants, or siafu), I know these insect columns as Matabele Ants (comprising part of dozens of Dorylus species). They are aptly named after the Matabele tribe that swept through southern Africa in the early 1800s destroying everything in their path. This column was tiny, as they can number up to 20 million individuals.


Image
"Receding Zebra"


Image
"Marshalling the Prey"


Image
"Blooming Beautiful Bloom"
(Does anyone know what wild flower this is?)


Image
Geometric Designer Legs (Mopani)
I enjoyed the unusual weaving patterns.


Image
"Caught Unawares" ...
A foreshortened, unsmiling view is seldom flattering; at least the purple and ruddy slops are complementary! :lol:


Image
"Stencilled Giraffes"
These two, looking initially like lovers, turned out to be rival males "necking".


Image
Our neat, clean, accommodation at Shingwedzi


Image
"Bending Over Backwards", so excited was I about this superb part of the camp, close to the fence. The only downside was that the laundry was close, but at least a cacophonous racket only escaped from there for about an hour each day.

_________________
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)


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 Post subject: Re: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:53 am 
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Though only on the first day of this trip, we have been driving continuously for a good 16-or-so hours, so are particularly fond of making like a cabbage and just vegetating.

Our accommodation is delightfully cool and screened by palms and other vegetation, so it's off with the footwear to neutralise the moist mould that may find happiness being born between the toes. I also divest of my shirt and revel in the peace and privacy that envelops us.

Image
Our yellow ribbon tightly tied and ready. Note the palms in the background, because this will be part of an unexpected drama that will unfold in a few days' time!
(Yes, we'll get there - patience please. :naughty: )


Image
This lizard is sharing the coolness of our chalet's interior with us.


After an hour's rest, we take a short drive out the back gate and along what my sister used to call the "Garden-of-Eden road"; entirely justified for its tranquil, watery beauty and thick vegetation that sometimes surprises with a trumpeting elephant, skittish nyala, rapidly transiting leopard, lions on the river banks, or tssessebe and big tuskers.

This evening is relatively quiet game-wise, but a peaceful introduction to Eden after our dusty, sweaty journey earlier in the day.


Image[/url]
These impala calves are playing as if predators don't exist - innocence is indeed bliss.


Image[/url]
Black-headed oriole. Although common, not a bird I see often, so though not a good pic, good-enough for record purposes. One of my favourite birds in terms of sound and colours. :D


Image[/url]
This elephant calf also seems enveloped in Eden's peace, lazily munching on grassy vegetation. Mom is somewhere around. Luckily we don't inadvertently get between her and baby. :roll:

Back at camp, we relax again, firing up the braai and enjoying some steak and wors. A perfectly calm evening, although the mossies seem to find my vulnerable body parts with ease. :whistle:

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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)


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 Post subject: Re: A NEW DAY IS S-OWN
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:21 pm 
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Delene D wrote:
P S: That tree may be an African Wattle (Peltophorum africanum) The only one that looks anything like it in my book "The Wildlife of Southern Africa - A field guide to the animals and plants of the region" Edited by Vincent Carruthers. Has anyone any ideas if this is the right idetification???

PPS; This book goes with me to all the Parks I visit - I can recommend it. My one was printed in 1997 so I guess an update is due.


Thank you, Delene, for the identification. :clap: :clap: I believe you're correct!

Excellent book, yes; I'm sure the wattle was around in 1997, as were all the other animals and plants of the region, so I think the 1997 edition is perfectly adequate. :twisted:

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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)


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