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 Post subject: leachy's the solifugid, snails and storm clouds. Dec '12
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:36 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.......

due to the fact that my residential environment was being commandeered by a delegation of academics,

it became necessary or me to source alternative accommodation for a period of at least 10 days at the start of december.....

fortunately for me, i had the foresight to expect this event

and had transferred some money into the sanparks' account in exchange for 9 nights' accommodation in my "time share complex" in lower sabie

i was being accompanied, on this outing by my surrogate daughter jacqui

and her very able and super helpful husband rob, from the big city in gauteng, who were booked into a 2/3 bedder in the same complex.....

thanks to dorcus (she, of friendly smiles and co-operative nature) i found myself comfortably ensconced in the best one bedder in the complex...

and thanks to portia (she too, of friendly disposition) "the children" enjoyed uninterrupted accommodation despite a disjointed 2/3 bedder booking

:thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

with no great expectations, save for the desire to capture quality photographs we entered in 2 vehicles through the crocodile bridge gate........

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:07 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.......

a few frustrating tourist affected stops along the way..

one of which was at the mativuhlungu rock pool

adjacent to the s28 intersection

where we had glimpses of the resident mativuhlungu leopard.

he would have crossed the road after a group of kudu

if it were not for some dumb-ass in a bee-em who blocked his path forcing him to return into the chasm

:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

it happens.....

we did however come across this bit of interaction while in swaziland on the way to timbuktu.....

the rhino and the kruger livestock were actually rubbing horns at one stage...


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the bovine seemed very cautious and nervous........
:o :o :o

maybe he had also seen that video clip of the rhino bullying the buffalo........
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sunset dam was rather empty and disappointingly quiet with regard to bird life.....

not a single egret.... :( :(

not a single heron :( :(

and not a single fish eagle :( :( :( :(

was seen during the 10 days that we were there

on the first day i was up before the sun............

in fact the sun must have had a hangover 'cause the skies were grey and gloomy

:naughty: :naughty: :naughty:

there were a number of waders at sunset dam

i found this (what i think, is a ) common sandpiper.....

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it was behaving in quite a proper manner so i am not sure if it is a common sandpiper..

:hmz: :hmz:

and it seems to look different to this (what i think, is a ) wood sandpiper...

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and then this (witia ) ruff
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(is that not the name of dennis the menace's dog ?)

a three banded plover

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a very active little white fronted plover who almost ran out of frame before i could snap it up
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and.....

standing to one side was this dejected looking white crowned lapwing

i think he was standing to one side , not because he is so threatened but because he feels like an outcast.......

excluded from the company of plovers


:cry: :cry: :cry:

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then, something that i think might be of interest..

:hmz: :hmz: :hmz:

a diderick cuckoo.........

the less common green form


:hmz: :shock: :shock:
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what caught my attention before i left the vicinity of the dam

was this (witia ) sourplum tree.....

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looks quite tasty..........

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:33 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
:) :) :) :)

hey pumbaa and kingfisher person......

thanks for popping around......

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

:) :) :)

so..........

had a short idle along the mlondozi loop and in the vicinity of the "marshland" i passed this chap having breakfast

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and this chap..... ambling along pretending to be a mine sweeper

:hmz: :hmz:

as he swept is trunk from side to side along the surface of the road..

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now i know who is responsible for those zigzag marks on many of the dirt roads..


later..........

i found myself on the h4-1 just north of lower sabie

and peering through the thickets towards the river

i observed these teenage elephants practising

what looked to me at the time to be a faith healing ceremony...


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

the one youngster was lying on the sand bank pretending to be dead

and the other was "laying his hands" on the "inflicted" one

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and rocking to and fro and nodding his head up and down
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and ushering in the healing breeze with his flapping ears....
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and at the end it seemed to work .............................

:clap: :dance: :clap: :dance:

as loxodontalazarus.... raised his head in an effort to get up......
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there was a slight hint of sunlight in the evening

:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

as might be seen by the glimmer around this sandpiper at sunset dam.....
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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:18 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.....

one morning all three of us woke up early and headed off along the s28 to the ntandanyathi bird hide.......

this was the only thing worthwhile photographing..

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we then witnessed the most astounding interaction on the s 137 between an adult zebra and an impala foal.........

:shock: :shock: :shock:

the foal and its mother were busy enjoying the juicy grass all on their own-some

when out of the blue (or should that be green??)

:hmz: :hmz: :hmz:

an adult zebra started chasing the impala calf.......

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

the mother was as surprised as we were

and tried to place herself between the obnoxious equine and her baby, but to no avail..........

the zebra merely increased his resolve and with his quirky alarm yelps

the three of them sped off into the distance at quite a "rate of knots"

:? :? :? :? :? :? :?

we tried to follow but they were exceeding the speed limit on dirt roads

:naughty: :naughty: :naughty: :naughty: :naughty:

we did, however hear the pursuant noise of the zebra for quite a time after that

:hmz: :hmz:

so we stopped and soaked up the things around us.....

:whistle: :whistle: :whistle: :whistle: :whistle: :whistle: :whistle:

these two flutterbys on a cornflower vernonia
(fascinating plant)

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this beautiful flower (identity needed)
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and a blister beetle and the same flower.
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this scarab and company of "greenbottles" on this (witia) scat from one of the 3 large cats found in this area.....
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then.................

we stopped at that random pool on the southern side of the s130 close to the h4-2......

often, a spot with loads of activity.....

it seemed quiet at first ...

:| :| :| :|

then i spotted this sandpiper speeding by..

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and what followed....

was a high speed pursuit of the girl that would be the mother of his chicks


:dance: :dance: :dance:
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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:20 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
:) :) :) :)

she eventually relented and landed in the water behind some reeds.....

where he proceeded to begin...... what looked to us as an attempt to drown her..

:shock: :k :shock: :hmz: :hmz: :hmz:

(not too different to when we were young boys and we used to go to the municipal swimming pool and chase the girls around the pool and into the water and attempt to "duck" them under the water)

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yes.....

that does look like a crocodile in the water next to them ????????


:hmz: :big_eyes: :hmz: :big_eyes: :hmz: :big_eyes:

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:40 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 these 20 shades of grey

:redface: :redface: :redface: :redface: :redface:

we moved on

and a while later found these impala

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and this impala doing her llama impersonation......
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so.....

:hmz: :hmz: :hmz: :hmz:

if this is the expression an impala has when alarmed ...

so an alarmed impala looks like alarma or rather like a llama......

when alarmed.....


:hmz: :hmz: :hmz: :hmz:

and then.......

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

the piggies amusing themselves

as they would run away whenever a vehicle stopped....

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then return to graze...


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and then run away again as the vehicle drove off......
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then......

off to my random waterhole on the s21 where i was entertained so much the previous december.........

:cam: :cam: :cam: :cam: :cam:

i arrived just in time to see this dagga boy at the end of what must have been an epic struggle against

dick terrapin and the tail eating terrapins......

the stuff that TNA wrestling is all about........

:think: :think: :think: :think: :think:

( do your own one here.......
T ................................
N ............................
A ................................. )


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as you can see he has two of the terrors attacking his lower back

while the rest of the armada are attacking from below

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lurching up from the murky waters to get a grip on his nether regions

:evil: :slap: :evil: :slap:
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eventually he succumbed

:( :( :( :(

and was pulled back into the water


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with the victorious shell clad villain firmly in place


then the winged peckers arrived and they had a lot to say about this bout.. :rtm: :rtm: :rtm: :rtm: :rtm: :rtm: .............
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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:35 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...........................

having been dragged down into the water

the bovine settled down

to watch the splash and dash display

presented by the woodland kingfisher...

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as though on cue..........................

this display was an encore of the 2011 show....

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:07 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.............................

it is actually a very peaceful, yet busy little pond this one

and there is not a wide selection of parking for the discerning photographer

so my nose gets slightly out of joint when i arrive there and find

someone else parked in the prime photographic spot


:x :naughty:

someone else in my parking is easily overcome

:pray: :pray:

as i suppose he was there before me....

but................................ when the occupant in question is sitting there

and reading a book and not even utilizing the strategic photographic benefits of the parking then i become somewhat peeved.....


:evil: :evil:




the absence of sunlight had already excluded my shots from any awards

and then i remembered the predicament that the buffalo was in

and i realized how fortunate i really was

so i just sat quietly listening to the bovine blues and pecker accompaniment

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the noise of some other oxpeckers drew my attention to the newest visitor.......

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they both seemed to be enjoying the experience.......

:k :k :k :k :k :k




a while later this tall horse came and stood right beside me and nibbled on the tree i was parked next to
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and a small nursery group made themselves comfortable on the grass nearby...
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it was getting late so i headed back for home

and managed to capture this kite

with what looked like an insect nest in his yellow bill

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:hmz: :hmz: :hmz: :hmz:
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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:55 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.........

some of you might be aware of the resident troop of baboons

that roost in those majestic ficus trees in the vicinity of the tented camp at lower sabie


every evening these critters make their way home at around the same time


:dance: :dance: :dance:


and usually along the southern bank of sunset dam...

:dance: :dance:

along this southern bank of the dam,,,

is an old leadwood surrounded by a small variety of

saplings......


:whistle: :whistle:

one of these astoundingly flexible saplings became the jungle gym for a group of "bobbejanne" on their way back home from work one day......


there seemed to be a number of ways that the "janne" amused themselves on their "jungle gym"

one might start by jumping onto the end of this bendy growth and ride it as it got closer to the ground..

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sometimes someone would try and spoil it for you and tug on the tree until you fall off and then chase you away..
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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:59 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

sometimes you could jump onto the branch
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and sway up and down for quite a while
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dangling... and hanging upside down
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before some bully jumps on with you...

:evil: :evil: :evil:

and dislodges you into the dust

:x :x :x :x
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and then attacks you in fit of jealous rage....

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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..

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:08 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...........................

out early the next day despite the overcast and dull sky

headed out on the h10 towards the general direction of the nkumbe view site

these bush chickens with their brood of chicks

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and then a close up study

of the eating habits of a giraffe

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seems to have a lot of branch material with those jaws full of leaves
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baby pops her head out from behind

:big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

to investigate the barrages from the canon

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seems that this jackal has been spending too much time with the browsers
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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:09 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
:) :) :) :) :)

thank you philip :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

good to see you here again..... :clap: :clap: :clap:

:) :) :) :)

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

as i mentioned earlier.......

i was trundling along the h10

passed the turn off to mlondozi picnic site................

passed hillside and the s 129 turn off...............

passed the muntshe water hole and the muntshe loop turn off...........

and just after the mlondozi water hole

there was a gathering of bodies way up ahead in the middle of the road.


:hmz: :hmz: :hmz: :hmz:

upon closer inspection it turned out to be

mommy lion and 4 of her offspring

busy with their morning meeting


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it was just them and me

what bliss.


:D :D :D :D :D :D


i watched as the young'uns seemed to coerce their mother into the suckling position

with her "bones in the light"

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one cub even used this opportunity to lick her in the face as if to say

"thank you mommy..... now i am going to the tastier part of your body"

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they stayed there for a short while until she got a bit agitated

and put an end to the milk fest.....
(they did seem a bit old to be still suckling on their mother)

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there seemed to be quite a lot of yawning and snarling going on

as they ambled along the road towards me

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:12 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
:) :) :) :)

and then they just plonked themselves down again

and took turns in yawning

i even had to suppress a yawn or two myself.......

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they then proceeded to groom and bond with each other for a while

and then they just nodded off to sleep in the road

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quite a lot of time went by before another car arrived on the scene

and it passed me on the left and then continued

way into the comfort zone of this chilled family

who then slowly got up and moved off the road in front of the impatient tourists

i was hoping that the lioness would actually take a bite out of the tannie's arm that was

protruding from her open window as she tried to photograph the group with her mobile phone

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:26 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.........................................

having spent a blissful time with the family in the road

i moved on......

and barely 500m down the road i met these two sisters.

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i do believe that they could sense the presence of the mother and her cubs.

:hmz: :hmz: :hmz: :hmz:

they then sauntered off into the long grass

and showed why they frequent the area

and also shows why you should not step out of your vehicle

even though you think there is nothing lurking nearby.................

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and how they also make use of the high ground

just like their slender spotted dog-like cousins...

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it started to rain ...................................

so i turned around and headed for home

but had to stop and admire the ever present emergence of nutrition from so called waste.....

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later that day i set off for the random water hole

and passed this korhaan

who seemed to be preparing for a bit of show off time

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this colourful bee-eater
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and on arrival at the waterhole

this starling was busy having a wash in one of the puddles in the parking area

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just before some "ding bat" came and plonked his silly little car there.......

:naughty: :naughty: :naughty: :naughty:


don't people know that there might be living organisms in this water....

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:30 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
:) :) :) :)

i waited a while to see if the woody might return for a splash and dash ..............................

but the only visitors were the swallows

drinking on the wing.....

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this gyppo couple going for a paddle
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there were also these "red goats" practising for jousting season
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on the way home i came across this (witia) yellow weaver

:hmz: :hmz: :hmz:

or perhaps a canary.....????????
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any suggestions anyone.....


and this red-backed shrike sporting his zorro mask ..............................
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