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Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby hilda » Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:04 am

What a wonderful TR Johan! I have just finished catching up from page 1, and found it very interesting. Love your pictures, and you are indeed a very good writer! :clap: :clap: :clap: Looking forward to more! :D

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:12 am

Johan, your pictures are really quite amazing. I am wondering what camera you took with you that was light enough to carry, yet good enough to get such brilliant and sharp pictures. 8)

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby mel123 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:16 am

Lovely report Johan, it makes you want to be there so badly. :mrgreen:
I love the thickknee photo. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby ndloti » Mon Feb 27, 2012 1:44 pm

Ditto !

Tilandi wrote:I'm really enjoying your "trip" report Johan. Feels like I'm there with you guys. Thanks ! :lol:
Can't wait for the next post and photo's. :lol:
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby DotDan » Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:21 pm

JVR, you sure do love taking photo's of people, don't you? :twisted:

Great report, would love to do something like this one day :thumbs_up:

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:42 pm

MattAxel wrote:Really enjoying reading these JvR. I really wish I could go on one of these atlasing trips, but I just can't miss varsity :wall:


That we certainly can't have... But what about your holidays? We are planning some more closer to year-end...

Tilandi wrote:Feels like I'm there with you guys. Thanks !


I'll continue doing my best to take you "along", Tilandi. Thanks for the :thumbs_up:

joanm456 wrote: Wow!!! This is an awesome thread!! If I didn't live in the states I would join you and I'm not a bird person, but do love to hike, which I do often. Your pictures are awesome. I like the buffalo one especially. Your tribute to Duke was beautiful. I would like to have some of them robber flies in the states, they would get rid of a lot of nasty pests. Can't wait for the next bit. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


Thanks for all the kind comments, joanm456. Sorry, I can't help with translocating the robber flies... :lol:

JenB wrote:Excellent pics Johan! :) :clap:

'K, just pulling your leg... take your time.


I knew that! :lol:

hilda wrote:What a wonderful TR Johan! I have just finished catching up from page 1, and found it very interesting. Love your pictures, and you are indeed a very good writer! :clap: :clap: :clap: Looking forward to more! :D


I should get another post in tonight, Hilda. Thanks for the kind words. :thumbs_up:

Meandering Mouse wrote:Johan, your pictures are really quite amazing. I am wondering what camera you took with you that was light enough to carry, yet good enough to get such brilliant and sharp pictures. 8)


Unfortunately there is no secret recipe, MM. I carry my Canon 40D with a 17 - 40mm zoom for the scenery, peole shots and macro work. In my backpack is a 400mm f/5.6 prime that goes on the 40D when distance work needs to be done. Light, no!! Good enough for quality, definately!

mel123 wrote:Lovely report Johan, it makes you want to be there so badly. :mrgreen:
I love the thickknee photo. :thumbs_up:


Thanks for showing that you peeked in, mel. :thumbs_up: Maybe you can sign up for a trip later this year!?

ndloti wrote: Feels like I'm there with you guys.


Well, you nearly were... There is always those trips we plan come year end... :wink:

DotDan wrote: JVR, you sure do love taking photo's of people, don't you? :twisted:
Great report, would love to do something like this one day :thumbs_up:


What is prettier than pretty people? And aren't hikers the prettiest people around? :lol: The same goes for you, Danie... check out your calender for year-end! :wink: We can certainly make that wish come off your bucket list!
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Wild Blue Yonder » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:17 pm

[quote="DotDan"]JVR, you sure do love taking photo's of people, don't you? :twisted:

We were a rather photogenic group - as may be revealed by any "caught-in-the-bush-shower" pictures that appear.

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby arks » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:21 pm

Since such a hike is WAY beyond me — your listing of necessary gear for MM was most sobering! — I am enjoying this adventure vicariously :dance: A BEEG thank you for that, JvR! :thumbs_up:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby MattAxel » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:32 pm

Johan van Rensburg wrote:
MattAxel wrote:Really enjoying reading these JvR. I really wish I could go on one of these atlasing trips, but I just can't miss varsity :wall:


That we certainly can't have... But what about your holidays? We are planning some more closer to year-end...


If one of these trips gets scheduled during my holidays I'll definitely be on it!

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby JenB » Mon Feb 27, 2012 4:35 pm

ROFL! Wild Blue Yonder! :lol:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby anne-marie » Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:16 pm

wow super :D
nice pictures... and rest :clap:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:01 pm

Wild Blue Yonder wrote:
DotDan wrote:JVR, you sure do love taking photo's of people, don't you? :twisted:


We were a rather photogenic group - as may be revealed by any "caught-in-the-bush-shower" pictures that appear.


Yup! A taste of things to come... :lol: :lol: :lol:

arks wrote:Since such a hike is WAY beyond me — your listing of necessary gear for MM was most sobering! — I am enjoying this adventure vicariously :dance: A BEEG thank you for that, JvR! :thumbs_up:


All my pleasure, arks. I enjoy the reporting bit nearly as much as the real thing. It kind of embeds the experience, if you know what I mean. :wink:

For various reasons some people are just not cut out for such a bush experience. My empathy lies with those 'mites who would dearly love to do it, but cannot because of physical inability.

anne-marie wrote:wow super :D
nice pictures... and rest :clap:


Merci beaucoup, anne-marie

At this stage Brenden started exploring the area. His keen ears picked up a smattering of subdued warbled notes from an isolated thicket. It was the second time we had encountered this phenomenon. Try as we may, a glimpse of this bird turned out an impossible mission. This was the second occasion where the team was stumped for an ID, we believe it to have been the same species, maybe thrush nightingale… but only maybe.

We ended the day's birding with the SABAP2 list now standing on 127.

Ants had moved into the camp area in a big way. Maybe they were there before, but for some reason they had become extremely active. At “our” waterhole we were attacked by these very fast running, aggressive Pugnacious Ants. I am certain that they have a way to communicate for wherever we tried to gather water, they would appear as from nowhere… Their bite is quite painful. They certainly had me hopping about.

That was not the end of it. Back at the camp we had to contend with a different ant infestation… black sugar ants had found the smallest opening in my zip-locked bag of dry rations. I wasn’t going to give up on my meagre supply of energy to a darn bug! I shook them up until they were distraught and then opened the packet's zip-locker. They poured out of the opening. When the stream of ants diminished, I’d repeat the process. I continued until no more ants were visible. I’m sure there were a couple of corpses in the bag, but what the eye doesn't see the heart won't grieve over…

I have mentioned the bush shower before. It certainly deserves mentioning again – after a hot day’s exertion nothing beats the refreshing bush shower’s magical powers to restore the sparkle.

Image

For this last evening in the bush, Brenden again built a cairn of wood, this time a little different… We were going to start the fire without modern fire-making aids. Brenden and Julie had fashioned one of those friction contraptions where continuous twisting of a rod (spindle) onto a flat piece of medium-soft wood (hearth board) would carbon up and eventually form a coal that could be nursed onto fine, dry material taken from elephant dung. Careful fanning of the tiny ember would cause the fine kindling in which it was cradled to burst into flame. Learning to make fire by friction creates a connection with the past that gives a taste of what life was like at a time that covers all but the last two centuries of man’s history on Earth. Success brings with it feelings of excitement, satisfaction and pride. The very first time you are able to produce a viable coal, transfer it to a tinder bundle, and then blow it into flame, is a day you are not likely to forget. You will also discover that the thrill of making a fire by friction does not diminish – the same excitement is experienced each time you do it.

I held the hearth board down while the others took turns to turn the spindle. We got to stages were we produced smoke… and I thought at one stage I saw a glimmer appearing in the fine char that was collecting on the dung cradle. Alas, the hole in the hearth board went all the way through before the coal became significant enough to use. The verdict: the woods used were not of the correct density / hardness.

I hope we get it right NEXT time!

So, to the rescue came the flick of the Bic!

Image

My final meal was the Chinese chicken dish. Yyyyyyuk! I ate about a quarter of it before I sealed the bag to dump it later when we got back to Shingwedzi. From here on in it were dry rations and ant corpses for me!
Last edited by Johan van Rensburg on Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Sky » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:51 pm

Hi Johan

Great TR

Makes me very :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
It sounds and looks amazing

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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby Brenden » Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:04 pm

Wild Blue Yonder, I hope JvR has been in contact with your agent regarding the modeling fees involved. :cam:
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Re: Atlassing Kruger... on foot!

Unread postby hilda » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:18 am

That means we will have to wait till your next trip in March before we will know whether you actually got your fire going without the "flick of a Bic"! :D

Ants can be very annoying! They are like dust - get in anywhere! :roll:


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