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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:14 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

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

i was heading off down the h4-2 towards duke

when i came across..

what seemed to me at the time to be some sort of rehearsal

for a shakespearean tragedy


:? :? :? :? :?

i arrived just as it had begun and

"the hero was busy dying in the "arms" of the heroine

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and upon his demise she was to express her sorrow at his passing

and so she began to lament by his side.........."


oh dear !...........
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oh no !!!!
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then she collapsed from fatigue and sorrow by his side........
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he looked up as if to say....

"is that it ????????

is that the best that you can do ????????"

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then...

it was as though he was reading a script from "terrance and phillip"

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

or an excerpt from monty python's "i fart in your general direction"


:whistle: :whistle: :whistle: :whistle:
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he then proceeded to crack up with laughter

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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whaahaa haa haaa haaa

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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bhuwhaaaaaahaaahaaahaaa
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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rolling around in the sand...

with his limbs waving in all directions

in complete mockery of his co-star's thespian talents....
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so she had to try again .........

as she surely was not a tragedian

and her second attempt was a bit better

if not slightly overdone.......


oh no !!!!!!!!
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oh deary me !!!!!!!!
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oh !!!!!! woe is me !!!!
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oh horror of horrors !!!!!!!!!!
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was that better??? huh???..........
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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:55 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 ...............................

i arrived at duke to be greeted by a rather large group of zebra milling about around the water hole.

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they were rather skittish

and every now and then a wild kick

and an opportunistic bite would cause a bit of consternation

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standing still for a group photo....
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i headed back home to see if i could go and drop murphy off and head out again on a luckier route....

i mean........ the sun was shining and now there was very little to photograph

except this snake that seemed to be soaking up the sun, or shuffling off this mortal coil because it never budged despite the kruger morning traffic (any ideas on the identification of the snake?)

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back on the "black top" i had to stop to witness this pursuit across the road....

i thought it was one of those rutting type pursuits

where the male chases his desired mating target around the savannah .............................


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


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the difficulty here is that snails are hermaphrodites ...............

so who is who ???????

or rather, what is what...????

there does have to be coupling and a deposit of sperm needs to happen

for reproduction to occur but who is the recipient and who is the donor ??????

one thing about the snail that is common besides, the gender

is that the shell always twirls to the same right hand direction.....

(reminds me of a cement mixer)

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another fascinating thing about the snail is that it breathes through the same orifice that it excretes its body waste from

and that is situated at the front of its body

unlike the african, ..............the african land snail is illegal in the united states of america

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

i must admit that i felt an affinity with these snails because like me

they only have one foot

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:15 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.........................

i arrived at lower sabie parking area and managed to park in the disability parking under the marula tree at the top of the walkway to the reception and restaurant area.


there was quite a bit of a commotion in the canopy of the marula tree

and after a while.... i managed to get sight of a collard sunbird

trying to appease the hunger pangs of its now rather overgrown and demanding offspring.....


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the birdbath had a few bathers
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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:20 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
:) :) :) :)

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

it has often been said that people living on opposite sides of the rail track

can differ immensely in socio-economic status and therefore in values and behaviour as well...

:hmz: :hmz: :hmz:

i witnessed a similar example with two families on either side of the bridge

:roll: :roll: :roll:

here is the one family that i encountered on the southern side of the h 10 bridge over the sabie river...

(the south was always rough as a youngster in joeys)

the youngsters had decided it was time to bully one of their siblings by continually ducking him under the water....


a small group managed to get him under so the fattest could climb up on top and keep him down..
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he manages to get his head up out of the water only to be unceremoniously dumped back under once again...
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and what always happens during these bullying sessions which causes the most humiliation

is when they start laughing at the poor victim.


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

as you can see here the one brother seems to be trumpeting with laughter
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eventually they stop and allow the drenched weakling to get some breathing space......
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in contrast.........

the family on the northern side (the north was always posh as a youngster in joeys)

was conducting affairs in an almost military manner as they waited in a group at the edge of the water in preparation for a deep level crossing...

notice how orderly the proceedings are followed.... and notice too.... how small some of the members of the family are...

it is rather amazing to see how they all manage across the river

with most of them being totally submerged....... apart from their snorkels....

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:39 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...........

while i was so engrossed with the elephant antics

the skies all around were transforming into an ominous omen

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and i figured that the fit was gonna hit the shan

so i decided to head as rapidly as was safe and legal

to higher ground so as to try and capture the unfolding storm ..

i took the s29 mlondozi loop and stopped at the "vlei" for an update

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and then "sped off" towards mlondozi.....

as i was not on a game drive at this stage but was merely trying to get to the picnic site

i believe that "murphy" had probably decided not to come with me and do things his way....

being in a raised body vehicle had probably assisted in the sighting of this cheetah fellow

at the base of the road sign cairn

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initially it seemed as though he was about to head off.....

but then he was on top of his look out spot and looking for supper

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after seeking and sniffing he hopped off and trotted away into the grasslands
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and i continued on my storm quest.......

just before the turn off i had to slow down for this jakkals-laaitjie who seemed lost and afraid....

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on arrival at mlondozi the wind was pomping

so i put my camera on a tripod and started to take a hundred or so random shots of the south western horizon

in the hope of capturing a lightning strike...

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the storm was getting closer

and the clouds more threatening

but it was an awesome sight....

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:37 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.......................................

needless to say..(but i will say it anyway)

............ the water poured from the skies in great volumes


:shock: :shock:

on arrival back at lower sabie the rain had slowed to a drizzle

and i found jacqui and rob sopping wet scurrying around barefoot and sans rainwear ............


:hmz: :hmz:

during the storm.. they had been securing wendy and heksie's tents and gazebo in the camp site across the

way from our accommodation...


:gflower: :gflower: :gflower: :gflower: :gflower: :gflower:

it was obvious that the restaurant was going to be busy for dinner,

so rob carried the braai machine to the covered veranda at the old restaurant

where wendy and heksie joined us for a cosy braai and beverages


:cocktail: :cocktail: :cocktail: :cocktail:


amazingly..

during the deluge...

jacqui had rescued a small bat from a huge muddy puddle

and kept it close her body heat for almost an hour.....

and then.....

while sitting around the fire the bat crawled out from under jacqui's shirt and disappeared into the night.....

that was quite amazing...........................................................


:sup: :sup: :sup: :sup: :sup:

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:19 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...........................

jacqui and rob left early the next day and i headed off

after making tentative arrangements to meet heksie and wendy at croc bridge.........



then i observed ...............

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

it must have rained an awful lot the previous day !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

because there were at least two animals stuck in the tree tops.....

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on the way south .. this giraffe was searching for something in the undergrowth
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looks rather small next to its mommy...
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i ventured beyond duke waterhole and just before the intersection with the s 28

i caught sight of a pride of about 7 lion heading east with intent

one of them actually emerged from the undergrowth a while later at the turn off to ntandanyathi

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:12 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......

while hanging around the s28/s137 intersection waiting for the rest of the pride to appear

heksie and wendy arrived en route to croc bridge

so we all continued south on the gloomy and muddy s28

somewhere in the vicinity of macs waterhole

this family of jackal were interacting with each other.

there seemed to be a ritual of greeting before the fun began

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:13 am 
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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
:) :) :) :)

chasing each other all around the tree trunk
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this carried on for ages

and we moved on....

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:20 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.......................

i needed to get to komatipoort for supplies so left the two fundraisers on the s28 and moved on.

on my return to croc bridge

i was pleasantly surprised to see that wendy and heksie had met up with aat and ellie.........

this was remarkable 'cause the last time i saw aat and ellie was almost a year ago in the same camp......

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having posed for a group photo and exchanged pleasantries it was back to lower sabie.

this striped cuckoo

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and these two leopards
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and these mud wrestlers at the place where the young women bathe
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i popped around to sunset before camp and found this crocodile with his prize catch
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he had caught it right next to where i was parked

but then decided to swim all the way across to the other side

where he proceeded to try and beat it into submission......

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quite a large fish indeed !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and what impressed me was how high the croc lifted himself out of the water in his efforts to stun his prey..

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:32 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................................................

while cruising around the mlondozi region

playing "hide and go seek" with the sun

i heard the unusual

ak-er-ak........

rak-kak........ (not to use an afrikaans accent here)

kacker

call of the european roller up above and there were a number of them flitting about ...

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i enjoy the way they split their tail feathers when slowing down..... :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
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they were high and low.
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and these two magpie shrikes

having a nervous chatter in the gusting wind before flapping away

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a while later .......................

a headless big bird..........


:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:34 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:21 pm
Posts: 324
Location: slowveld
:) :) :) :)

this little steenbokkie caught my attention as it was fairly close to the road..
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only then did i see the kori bustard
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and then for the first time ever in kruger

i witnessed this magnificent bird actually flying


:big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

after visiting the kalahari and seeing an abundance of flying bustards i was convinced that the kruger bustards were a walk only variety
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just before the sabie river weir

this amazing python was demonstrating the art of rectilinear progression

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i would imagine that there are a lot of unpleasant "smells" along this busy stretch of tar road
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it was my friends.. the fund raisers.... last night in lower sabie

so i popped around to have some "ox blood" with them....


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was fun.........

:tongue: :tongue: :tongue: :tongue:

got quite legless .....

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

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:22 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......................................

i was up and about nice and early

and caught this sunrise shot of the resident fish eagle

at the bend in sabie river as it heads east from the h4-2

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and i took a left turn on the s130 to the random pool on the right

where i was amazed by this family of gyppos

with their brood of fifteen fluffy chicks....

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and.......... at first glance..............

:slap: :slap: :slap: :slap:

what looked like an mfezi..... foaming at the mouth.....

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more evidence of the sun struggling to make it's way through the clouds
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nothing much else of any consequence.....

:whistle: :whistle:

until the wetlands adjacent to the ntandanyathi hide junction...

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in the far off distance i focussed on this fine looking feathered fellow foraging about on the floor of the dambo

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

at first i thought it to be a vulture... as it clumsily waddled about in the long grass,

but on closer inspection via swarovski i saw it not to be so

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then after a long while it relocated onto the branch of a tree

after much deliberation and investigation i concluded that it should be a juvenile fish eagle

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the excitement of this spectacle had me plumb tuckered out

so i headed back on the s28 towards home........

a short distance down the road this group of zebra

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and this little chap with an awful amount of scars for a lad of this stature

i guess it is indicative of life in the south.......

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two members of the group were cavorting about trying to bite each other on the fetlocks
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and kicking
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and rearing
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and laughing
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and necking.......
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looked more playful than forceful .....................

:k :k :k :k

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:13 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.....................................................................

just down the road from sunset dam a traffic jam.................

boring........
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so i turned around and headed for the weir and the h10

at the "waterfall" this green-backed heron....

posing

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fishing
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grooming
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then moving off.....
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this sneaky fellow

trying to lure the vultures down from the sky......

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a lip smacking meal for this kudu bull
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and then

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the hairy nocturnal nuisances

that love to run over the toes of unsuspecting campers

seated around their campfires at night

the solifugid ..............aka........ the roman spider

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 Post subject: Re: the solifugid, the snails and the storm clouds
Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:35 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.......................................................

the dung ball with the single mushroom from pg 12 of this tt had

had sprung forth another 3 ...

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soon there would be a forest.....

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?????????????????????

with all the available ambient light heading towards me

this brown snake eagle made for a fascinating silhouette sequence

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on the way back home i stopped on the weir

there was this elephant crossing the sabie river in the vicinity of a resident pod of hippo..

did you ever, as a child have to walk somewhere when you were feeling quite scared ?

i have..... and i remember that...

to make it easier i would make a noise or sing out loud

this guy was doing the same..

while entering the flight or fight zone of the hippo

he splashed and trumpeted away as if to increase his confidence while near them...

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back at sunset dam the "sunset tree" was a hive of activity.....
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