Kruger National Park posted our video on their YouTube!!!…The reality of “haters” in social media…

Male kudu attempting to reach the seeds in the bird feeder.  He wasn’t successful.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Greater blue-eared starling.

Last week, after returning from Kruger we posted the following video from our YouTube site of two cape buffalos who’s horns became entangled during an altercation which may be found at this link.  Fine and good. 

We didn’t think much more about it until after we’d searched YouTube and hadn’t found much in the way of a similar situation.  We giggled at the prospect of getting lots of hits on the video and how fun it would be to track.

As mentioned in an earlier post, we don’t make any money on the video since we hadn’t “monetized it.”  As we’ve often mentioned we share what we find worldwide with whoever would like to see or read it.  That way, we prevent feeling like doing “this” is a job which would create stress and a sense of urgency we’d prefer to avoid in this amazing life we lead.

There are two hornbills in this photo.  The one was waiting her turn while the other was busy eating the seeds in the feeder.  They may have been a mating pair but refused to share.

When Kruger National Park, SANParks (South Africa National Parks), contacted us asking if we’d allow them to post the unique video on their website, we agreed, hoping by doing so we’d acquire more readers with whom we can share our world travels.  However, we didn’t have a lot of expectations as to any particular outcome.

Before we continue, I must add that we’ve been blessed over this past over six years since we began posting (start date, March 14, 2012) with very few negative comments or “haters,” those who look for opportunities to criticize literally anything they see online. 

Why don’t we get haters for our site?  The only reason we can imagine is that we “tell it as we see it” and we’re vulnerable, revealing our own flaws and foibles.  It’s hard to critique someone who’s critiquing themselves.  Avoiding haters was never our intent in being “open” but somehow, we believe this may have been instrumental.

Female kudus waste no time in letting us know what they want.

In our early days, a hateful commenter wrote, “How dare you spend OUR money traveling the world.”  Duh, YOUR money?  It was Tom’s 42.5 years of working on the railroad making contributions, along with the company, for his years of dedicated hard work.  It was never “taken” from anyone else. 

After that isolated hater, we haven’t felt any comments or questions posed our way have been from “haters.”  We’ve loved and continue to love the interaction with our worldwide readers which we receive every single day. 

Once we agreed with Kruger National Park to allow the video to be posted on their YouTube site, (click here to see) we never gave it much more of a thought.  Yesterday, we received an email that the video had been posted and is ready for viewing.

Last night, as darkness fell these three zebras stopped by for carrots, apples, and pellets.  Of course, there was a warthog in the background waiting for the leftovers.

We always reply to comments within 24 hours, except on travel days which may delay a response by a day or two.  Thank you to all of you out there who write to us and also to those of you who lurk at their leisure without comments.

This morning we decided to check and see how many hits the video had.  Less than 24 hours after posting it, it’s received over 2000 hits.  It’s not millions and most likely won’t be but its been fun for us.

Yep, the haters have arrived.  A select few are knocking our video and for the first time in over six years (except for the above-isolated case) we’re feeling the brunt of how impactful negative online comments can be. 

Kudus seem to be intimated by zebras due to their powerful kicks and thus, won’t join in on the snacks.

Generally, we have thick skins.  We have to in order to live this unusual life on the move, especially after so much time has passed.  But, like so many others who are subject to haters on a variety of social media platforms, it stings a bit to read negative comments and see “thumbs down” on something we’ve done without an ulterior motive and for the love and passion for wildlife.

Of course, we won’t let this impact the joy in our lives, nor will it stop us from taking videos of situations we find interesting and unique.  If you’ve never seen our YouTube page, please click here

We have dozens of fun, funny and unique videos with almost no negative comments or reactions.  I can’t tell you how often people write to us when they see a video they find interesting and always, we’re pleased and flattered by the positive response.

The zebras are aggressive with one another while snacking, often kicking and head-butting one another.

This is not unlike all the negative press worldwide about South Africa.  Haters are impacting tourism in this beautiful and wonderful country.  Sure, there is a lot of crime in some of the big cities but there was horrific crime only 30 minutes from where we lived in Minnesota which continues yet today. 

In evaluating crime in big cities throughout the world, one can evaluate the crime rates in big cities in their own country  As Tom always says, “Where there are tall buildings and lots of people, there is criminal activity.”  This is so true.

South Africa has so much to offer and the negative comments one can read at many news outlets if often an exaggeration of a few unique situations.  Let’s face it, we can’t believe the news anymore when the newsmonger goals are centered on sensationalism to make more and more money.

Little Wart Face was exhausted after chasing a female around the yard for about an hour, unfortunately for him, without any luck.

Well, anyway, I always promise not to get involved here in controversial topics and today, as usual, I’ll back off on this topic.  South Africa is a fabulous country to visit with most areas safe for tourists, especially if they stay away from the more crime-ridden areas.  But this is true in London, Paris, Auckland, Lisbon and New York.  The list could go on and on. 

We all must do our own research to discover what is best for our safety as we travel.  Some of the best resources are other travelers who’ve visited these countries and have enjoyed exciting and worthwhile visits to lands they never imagined they’d get to see.

If you go to Kruger’s link to our site here, you may or may not agree with the negative comments about our video.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  But behind every wildlife video is a human being who chose to share something they found worthy of sharing in one way or another, whether motivated by money, notoriety or for the pure joy of it (as in our case).

We’ve loved to hear your comments on this topic, if you so chose to post a comment at the end of today’s post or write to us via email.  Thank you for “stopping by” and sharing yet another little piece of our lives.  We appreciate every one of YOU!

________________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, May 31, 2017:

This was my favorite photo from Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia.  For more photos, please click here.

Late posting today…Busy time in Komatipoort and Lombobo…

“Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, if you like than you should have put a ring on it!”

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Mongoose are very clever little animals.  They stare at us to bring out some eggs which we often do.

OMG!  In a “notification” post I accidentally hit “Last posting today” when I meant to write “Late posting today!”  Good grief, that must have made those of you who read the short notification post wonder, ‘What the heck is going on?!!!”

No, this is not the last posting.  It’s a late posting.  It’s simply one more step the continuing documentation of our daily lives of world travel; some fascinating; some mundane; some educational; some adventurous and exciting and some, let’s face it, at times, totally uneventful.

We never tire of visits from Big Daddy kudus.

Today, was definitely not uneventful for us.  We’re back at the house at almost 2:00 pm and here I am just getting starting on today’s post.  Of course, I’m concerned about all of our readers throughout the world clicking on our link to still find yesterday’s post. 

Sorry for the inconvenience.  I’m typing as fast as my relatively uncoordinated fingers can fly across the keyboard in an attempt to explain why we’re changing the content of today’s story from that which we’d entered earlier today, discussing the issue of Bovine Tuberculosis in Marloth Park.

They are majestic animals, gentle and yet well aware of how powerful their big rack can be.

I must add that after this morning’s interactions with several wonderful people we received valuable information that changes our plan to post the Bovine TB story until we conduct further research which will be accomplished over the next week at the latest. 

This is a topic near and dear to our hearts based on our love and appreciation for the health and well-being of the wildlife in Marloth Park.  We’ll keep you updated on the progress of this upcoming story.

This male has been chasing after this female for weeks.

So here’s how the morning rolled out:  Tom’s laptop has been having monitor issues over the past few weeks after we’d returned from Zambia on the 18th.  Every so often, for no apparent reason at all, his monitor turns into a rainbow of colors and he’s unable to bring up his home screen.

Me, as somewhat of a geek, got to work trying to figure out a solution by utilizing online information some of which indicated it could be a loose ribbon cable.  Tom unscrewed all 18 tiny screws after we’d tried a number of suggestions, including a Windows 10 “system restore,” all to no avail.

These two young ladies stop by making intense eye contact, surely looking for pellets.

Opening the back of the laptop seemed a logical next step to see if we could tighten the loose cable.  No luck.  A total waste of time.  After several hours, we resigned ourselves to the fact that we needed to head to a tech store for help.  Ugh!  Usually, we’re able to resolve our own technological issues.  Not this time.

With Tom’s dentist appointment scheduled at 11:00 am with Dr. Luzaan Du Preez, one of the best dentists in the land, located in the little strip mall near Wimpy’s in the Spar Centre, we needed to stay mindful of the time. 

He needed two fillings replaced.  We’d decided to leave early to go to the market in Lebombo (10 minutes from Komatipoort) to purchase carrots and apples for the wildlife.  Before we walked out the door, we had an unexpected visitor, Kerstin, a new friend I’d spent a few hours with yesterday here in Marloth Park at her bush home.  

A banana farm the road on the way back from Komatipoort.

Kerstin had contacted me to get together to discuss our mutual world travel experiences when she’d seen a post on Facebook on the Marloth Park Honorary Rangers’ page a week ago when we’d done the story on alien invasive plants. (See this link for details). 

This morning Kristin delighted us with an unexpected visit but unfortunately, we were heading out the door when she arrived.  Surely, we’ll get together another time soon to continue our intriguing conversation.  She has quite an illustrious story of world travel.

In no time at all, we were on our way, first to the computer store, then to Lebombo, then to the dentist, then to the supermarket, then to the meat market and then, returning to Marloth Park, most likely a two-hour turnaround at most.

It’s always a pleasure to see one of our striped friends on the road.

At the computer shop, we were warmly greeted by staff member Samantha who immediately introduced us to Nico who looked at Tom’s laptop to inform us it wasn’t sensible to fix or replace the monitor.  Instead, he showed us yet another workaround which so far, since we returned to the house, seems to be working.  Tom merely has to press the screen with his fingers in a specific location and the screen returns in full.   


Nice people, thoughtful people, honest people.  What more could we ask for?  Where does one find service such as this?  If you need a computer repair anywhere near Marloth Park, Komatipoort and a number of surrounding towns, this is the place to go:

the TechSHOP
Office: 013 013 0310 / Fax: 0866 529 491
Shop 19, Komati Spar Centre
Rissik Street, Komatipoort
http://www.techshops.co.za


Arno Joubert

0722614324




Nico Joubert

0815782334

Yet, our visit to the Tech Shop wasn’t over.  As we packed up the laptop to head out the door, Arno stopped us saying he remembered us from “movie night” in the bush some months ago. A conversation ensued and somehow got around to the topic of Bovine Tuberculosis on which we’re hell-bent on getting our information “right” before we post the story.  He directed to Deidre who is the director of “Wild and Free” rescue, rehabilitate and rescue centre. 

Impalas are very shy around humans seldom visiting us in the yard.

He explained she’s currently involved with considerable research and study on Bovine TB and this was who we should see.  Once this post is uploaded, we’ll call Deidre and set up a time to meet with her at her facility and learn more about this important topic.

Once we were out the door of the Tech Shop, we were reeling from the kindness and consideration of people we’ve met along the way.  Off we went to Lebombo market where we purchased eggs for the mongoose, free-range eggs for us and carrots and apples, all at excellent prices.  Time was running short.  We headed to the dentist’s office.

Tom was taken in promptly for his appointment.  I joined him for a few minutes and then took off to grocery shop.  We’d parked the car close to the supermarket so once done shopping, I could put everything in the car and then walk the short distance to the dentist’s office which is coincidentally located next door to the Tech Shop.

Two males checking available treats.

While I’m grocery shopping, our dear friend Don (of Kathy and Don) approached me with a hearty hug and welcoming kiss.  They’d just returned a few days earlier from Pretoria and were excited to accept our invitation for homemade pizza at our house this upcoming Saturday night. 

Joining us will be Linda and Ken, our mutual dear friends from the UK who are returning to Marloth Park in the next few days.  I was thrilled to hear they all could make it but I was especially thrilled to discover this while at the supermarket in order to buy the items I’d need for the dinner party for six.

Well, wouldn’t you figure, Kathy had a dentist appointment, the same dentist, right after Tom’s appointment was completed at noon?  Another coincidence.  Moments later we spotted Kathy also shopping and the three of us engaged in delightful chatter.  When does one have such fun at the market.

Obviously, warthogs aren’t quite so shy near humans other than an occasional few.

By the time I’d gathered all the items to round out the upcoming meal, I loaded the groceries onto the check out counter, paid for the groceries and began walking toward to car to find Tom entering the market, done with his appointment and ready to load the car for me.  He was thrilled with the ease of his dentist appointment and was very relieved and cheerful.

After loading the car, Don found Tom in the parking lot and the two of them chatted enthusiastically.  Afterward, we drove the car across the lot to the meat market and made purchases to last for about 10 days.  After adding the bags of meats to the car, we ran into Kathy and Don again.  Her appointment was done and she too was thrilled with her first appointment with the good dentist.

They invited out for a drink at the bar at the golf course but with all the perishables in the car, we needed to be on our way.  We’re looking forward to seeing them all again on Saturday.

Male impala drinking from the cement pond in the yard.

Finally, we were on our way back to Marloth, anxious to put everything away while still reeling from the day’s interactions with the wonderful people we encountered along the way. 

Whether it was the sweet cashier at the market, the friendly meat market owner who helped with our order, the staff at the computer store or our friends adding a special touch to the day’s activities, it was a spectacular day. 

After years on the move often without nearby friends or at times, overly friendly shopkeepers, we appreciate every moment of kindness and generosity of spirit we stumble upon in our day-to-day lives.

Every evening the bushbabies entertain us.

No more than a minute after we returned, we had more visitors, this time of the wildlife kind.  We put down the grocery bags and immediately got pellets ready for our animal friends.

Tonight, we’ll cook a nice dinner and prepare the veranda for another blissful evening in the bush.  Is it any wonder we love it here in Marloth Park, here in South Africa…here on the African continent and here, on this planet?

May you love it wherever you may be!

__________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, May 30, 2017:

Our two new pieces of luggage in easy-to-spot colors.  Tom chose the purple while I chose this peachy color.  Each bag is expandable and lightweight with four double-wheel rollers. (As it turned out these bags are holding up well after one year’s use).  For more details, please click here.

Busy day in Komatipoort…Impressed with medical care, costs and prescriptions in small town in South Africa…

“To graze on that many leaves, giraffes usually spend 16 to 20 hours per day standing and walking. Amazingly, giraffes don’t need much sleep despite their long days of exercising and eating. They often only get 30 minutes to 2 hours of sleep every 24 hours from the short naps they take throughout the day.”

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

This rather large gecko was a new visitor, spending most of the day and evening on the veranda.

Many tourists and part and full-time residents choose not to have vaccinations, other than the required Yellow Fever as mentioned in a prior post.  If we were “regular” tourists visiting Africa for a two-week holiday/vacation, we may have done the same.

Note the size of the gecko in relation to Tom’s water shoe.

However, as we continue to travel the world visiting many countries where certain diseases are rampantly escalating, we’d decided a long time ago to be cautious and keep vaccinations up-to-date as often as possible.

We’re thrilled to see birds stopping by our feeder.  According to our friend, Lynne these tiny birds are blue waxbills.

There were a few for which we’d fallen behind in getting boosters over this past almost six years.  When we met with Dr. Theo a few times over these past weeks (located at Rissik Medical Centre, 71 Rissik Street, Komatipoort, Komatiepoort, 1340, phone #27 013 793 7306), he diligently reviewed our vaccination records.

Each night I practice taking photos in the dark once the bushbabies arrive.

He made excellent suggestions as to how we can be up-to-date on all of those he deemed necessary based on our ages, health, and exposure through our travels and also that we should be re-vaccinated in 2022.

Proud giraffe standing in the bush as we drove past on one of our drives.

Yesterday was my turn for a grouping of vaccines compiled into two injections, one in each arm.  One of the injections was slightly more painful than the other and my arm was a little sore last night but is greatly improved today.  Tom experienced the same scenario when he had his injections last week.

Epipens cost in the US is ZAR 7531.07, (US $600) for a pack of two.  We purchased two yesterday for ZAR 2126.79 (US $169.44).  (In either case, these prices are based on out-of-pocket costs, not insurance paid).

As for any other medical issues we needed to address, with caution to avoid jinxing myself (slightly superstitious, I guess), my gastrointestinal issue is improving.  I am off all medication for this issue.  I feel discomfort if I eat too much at any one meal or drink too much liquid in any one setting.  But I am feeling better utilizing these limitations.

Yesterday, we purchase two EpiPens at the local pharmacy which did require a prescription from Dr. Theo.  See pricing on receipt posted here. 

Based on the improvement and Dr. Theo’s observation at this point there’s no need for a number of invasive tests.  Let’s face it, as we age, most of us find we must adapt to some changes in our lives to accommodate medical issues of one kind or another. 

Many of our readers have written describing how they’d love to travel the world but have, knee, hip and back problems that make travel difficult if not impossible.  Instead, they live vicariously through us which means so much to us both. 

My bill for multiple vaccines I had yesterday by Dr. Theo Stronkhorst in Kpmatipoort.  Tom’s bill was identical last week.  Our total cost for two office visits and vaccines for each of us was rand (ZAR) 1707.81 for a grand total of ZAR 3415.62 (US $272.12). 

We only wish everyone who desired to do so, could live this peculiar life, generally on the move.  We continue to be grateful each and every day that we’ve been able to continue on even with some issues along the way.  This gastro thing has plagued me for the past 2½ years. 

Now, this morning I can sip on my organic herbal tea and not suffer any ill effects.  This is a big deal.  I haven’t tried drinking coffee yet and have decided to give it several more months until I do working my way up to one or two cups a day, if possible.  I really do miss morning coffee!

Tom’s favorite bushbuck, “My Girl” is a frequent visitor.

During my doctor appointment, Tom went to Obara, the farm store in Komatipoort, to purchase two more bags of pellets.  Now, we have an inventory of three 40 kg bags, enough to last for weeks.  The animals continue to visit throughout the days and evenings.

This baby bushbuck has grown considerably over these past few months.

Today, the weather is perfect with clear skies with a cool and comfortable breeze wafting through the air.  We couldn’t be more content and at ease.  Later today, a drive through the park may be on the agenda!

May your day bring you contentment and ease as well! 

______________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, May 29, 2017:

Canadian geese are pretty birds but poop two pounds per day in the grass, a real nuisance for homeowners, particularly those living on a lake, as we did in our old lives.  For more Minnesota photos, please click here.

Observance for fallen soldiers on Memorial Day in the US…Filling in the blanks…While the world spins around us…

We moved the bird feeder further from the veranda which without our looming presence has attracted birds at last.  Our prize of the day was this hornbill who stopped by for some seeds.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Nothing like a croc to peak one’s interest when wildlife spotting on the aptly named Crocodile River.

Today is Memorial Day in the US, a special day for observance for fallen soldiers in any wars as described here from this site:

Memorial Day
Graves at Arlington on Memorial Day.JPG

The gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery are decorated by U.S. flags on Memorial Day weekend in 2008.
Official name Memorial Day
Observed by United States
Type National
Observances Remembrance of American soldiers who have died in military service
Date Last Monday in May
2017 date May 29
2018 date May 28
2019 date May 27
2020 date May 25
Frequency Annual
“Memorial Day or Decoration Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.[1] The holiday, which is currently observed every year on the last Monday of May, will be held on May 28, 2018. The holiday was held on May 30 from 1868 to 1970. It marks the unofficial start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.
Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day – Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, whereas Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans. It is also not to be confused with Armed Forces Day, a minor U.S. remembrance celebrated earlier in May, which specifically honors those currently serving in the U.S. military.”


We offer love and prayer for those who lost loved ones during wars, not only in the US but also all over the world. 

Although we are far away from our home country, we still hold this special day in high regard for those who served our country.

Most on photo safaris long to see the “cats.”  But sightings aren’t all that common.  While in Kruger last week, we spotted this cheetah at quite a distance, too far for a good photo.

In the US, this is a national holiday where all public businesses and buildings are closed and yet many stores remain open for big spring sales of clothing and merchandise.  Most often citizens celebrate by holding barbecues, picnics and also traveling to other locations to visit family members and friends.

Sometimes we scramble the eggs and place them in a bowl.  At other times, Tom places a half dozen or so on the ground letting them figure out how they’re distributed.  It’s funny to watch them pick up the egg and bang it on the ground or on a tree root to crack it.

Camping, boating, and fishing are common in many states during the three day weekend, especially in our original home state of Minnesota.  This is also a time when traffic accidents (and other incidences) are prevalent with the high volume of vehicles on the road.

May everyone observing this special day have a safe and stress-free experience while many take advantage of this time off work or school. One can never be too careful during these high-risk times.

This is a Hadada ibis.   It’s a very noisy bird we hear overhead each night at dusk.

Here in South Africa, it’s another Monday.  Last night’s massive rainstorm, miraculously without any power outages in Marloth Park, was a much-needed blessing for wildlife.  Water holes, ponds, and rivers are replenished with much-needed sources for the wildlife and locals.

Even our small cement pond in the yard is replenished today from the heavy stream of rainwater last night.  This morning the sun is shining, although a little overcast and the birds are singing their special tunes.

Between the helmeted guinea fowl, the dozens of mongoose and much more, we can hardly keep up! 

We’ve had a plethora of visitors all morning including kudus, guinea fowl, mongoose and bushbucks keeping us busy up until a while ago when I needed to sit down to get to work on today’s post.

“Wildebeest live in large herds, composed of animals of both sex and their offspring. Life in the herd provides protection against predators. Main predators of wildebeest are lions, hyenas, cheetahs and African wild dogs. During mating season, breeding groups composed of around 150 animals will be created.”

We had a human visitor this morning, our friend Kathy, who dropped off some grocery items we hadn’t been able to find at the Spar or other supermarkets in Komatipoort. 

She and husband Don, both great friends of ours just returned from their home in Pretoria.  She shopped for me in the much more well-equipped markets in this bigger city with a population of over 2 million.  Thanks, Kathy, for shopping for us!

“The heaviest land mammal has a weight up to 6 short tons (5.4 t), the African elephant. This enormous mammal measures approximately 24 feet (7.3 m), and eats 500 pounds (230 kg) of vegetation like grasses and leaves a day.”

We reimbursed Kathy for the expenditures, chatted for a bit and she was on her way.  Soon, we’ll be planning some social time together while they spend a few weeks back here in Marloth Park.

Watching elephants from the Marloth Park side of the Crocodile River.

In an hour, we’ll be off to Komatipoort for my final doctor appointment for vaccinations.  We’ll stop to purchase more pellets, visit the pharmacy for a few items and return to Marloth Park to spend the remainder of the afternoon on our usual drive, in search of more wonders of this spectacular area.

To our friends, family and readers in the US, have a safe Memorial Day and stay well and happy.

______________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, May 28, 2017:

In Minnesota, it was raining in sheets during the drive back to our hotel around 8:00 pm, typical for this time of year.  For more details, please click here.

Mating season in the bush…A memorable dinner party at the bush house…

Wait until you see how many animals came to call last night in this video including 
Wart Face who’s pictured here.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Tom set up our new bushbaby stand on a tree close to the veranda.  We purchased it a Daisy’s Den for ZAR 100, (US $8).  Now they’re sufficiently close for better photos. 

There’s never a day that passes without something magical occurring in our surroundings.  Whether it’s the appearance of a bird we’ve never seen before, a visit from our favorite wildlife friends, making new friends or spending time with old friends.  It all matters to us.

Yesterday and last night fit right into this premise when we had a mind-blowing day and early evening in the bush, later topped off by the warmth and love we felt at our hosted six-person dinner party.

Warthogs make a train-like noise when they approach a female during the mating season.

Meeting Louise‘s parents, Estelle and Johan was as easy as it could have been.  This kindly couple who live near Cape Town felt like old friends.  Not only did they already have a nickname for us, even before they met us face-to-face of “Tom and Jerry,” they easily slipped into the comfort zone of playful banter and teasing.

As shown in today’s photo, Estelle had beautifully crocheted a sweater vest for me, having never met me and it was perfect.  Tom called it “sexy” when I tried it on, wearing it for the remainder of the evening.  I sometimes forget how old I am and being called “sexy” is all a girl can ask for from her beloved mate.

It’s evident when male warthogs are ready to mate.

Sometimes its easy to forget about how meaningful and precious a little love and attention from friends we make along the way can have such a profound of our psyche. 

It was quite a night.  We all enjoyed the meal we prepared but more than anything, the easy laughter, the rich-flowing conversations and the warmth toward one another set my heart spinning as it always does when we spend time with our friends here in Marloth Park and, in other parts of the world as we continue on our journey.

Yesterday morning, four “Big Daddy” kudus stopped by with one female, all vying for her attention.  They were more interested in her than pellets.

And then, them…the animals, they came in droves as if to say,  “We’re here to dine but also to gaze into your eyes,” hoping to show whatever morsel of connection one can glean from a wild animal, maybe more than we can ever imagine.

When Tom’s “Little Girl” bushbuck shows up daily at the edge of the veranda, we both feel a special affinity with her, in the same way, when “My Girl” kudu stops by several times each day.  Sure, they’re motivated by food.  Aren’t we all?

Kudus sniff the female to ensure she’s ready to mate.

Isn’t that, in essence, why we plan a dinner party, an evening event centered around a good meal?  But, it doesn’t end there.  It’s really just the beginning of the connection and we don’t believe for a minute that it’s a whole lot different with the wildlife. 

They too, share in some sort of magical connections with us humans, not only revolving around the food.  Sure, we respect they are wild animals and must be treated as such but who’s to say we can’t embrace a special connection?


This male was the “king pin” and kept the three other mature males away.  Check out the size of his neck which enlarges during mating season.

Dreamer, that I am, some may say I’m a fool for nurturing such a belief.  It takes living in an animal kingdom, such as this, to grasp the full meaning while accepting such a premise.  I’m not the only one around here

This was particularly the case when last evening, shortly before our lovely dinner guests arrived, that we had 13 warthogs, 30 helmeted guinea fowl, a handful of mongoose, and a mating pair of francolins, whom we affectionately call “Frank and Mrs. Frank” all in the yard simultaneously.

Even Frank and Mrs. Frank have been working at building a nest in the bush in our yard.

We were excited by the display, some of it centering on mating, some of it on celebrating our handfuls of tossed pellets, seeds, carrots and apples and some of it, just for the fun. 

I must admit, I took the above very jittery video.  I just don’t have the steady hand required for great videos, mainly for emotional reasons as opposed to any physical limitations.  I get so enthused I can hardly focus on my subjects.  So be it.  It’s been almost six years and I’m still struggling with videos.

Louise’s dear mom Estelle crocheted this lovely vest for me.  I couldn’t love it more.  It will look great with a safari shirt or a tee shirt and jeans!  Thanks, Estelle!  You’re the best!

However, I keep making them.  I can’t help it.  Occasionally, I get lucky as I did with the horns-stuck-together video from a few days ago in Kruger National Park.  Click here for that post

As a matter of fact, Kruger National Park, SanParks (South Africa National Parks) contacted me asking permission to post our video on their site.  Once it’s live this upcoming week, we’ll post a link here.

In the dark, this adorable male duiker visits, eats a little and hunkers down for the night.

For today?  Feeding the seeming endless flow of visitors, working on Tom’s computer that’s having monitor issues, enjoying some delicious leftovers from last night and, if it doesn’t rain, a drive in the park searching for more and more and more.

May your day also be filled with wonders!

_______________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, May 27, 2017:

Historical government building in Victoria, British Columbia.  What a beautiful city!  For more details, please click here.

Plunge, twist and release…To vaccinate or not to vaccinate…A visit to a local river view restaurant…

 
Yesterday afternoon, the view from the restaurant, aptly named, Amazing River View located in Marloth Park.  They appear to have good food at decent prices along with free WiFi.  Guess we’ll be heading that way again one day or evening soon.
“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
Beautiful sunset two evenings ago on our return drive from Komatipoort.

It was on March 28, 2012, that I started a series of many vaccinations as we prepared to travel the world.  The first dose I received is documented here on that long ago date.  Tom started his injections a few months later, work schedule permitting.

Many travelers come to Africa only receiving the required-for-entry Yellow Fever vaccine, preferring to take their chances on many other potentially communicable diseases. 

While seated at Amazing River View restaurant, we zoomed in for a few croc photos while they basked in the warm afternoon sun.

Many residents we’ve asked from South Africa, USA and other parts of the world, have stated they do not get any vaccines or take any malarial prophylactics.  None seem to have contracted any major disease during their time in South Africa.

We took a course of Malarone over the past few weeks (which goes by many different names in many countries) in preparation for our trip to Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. The final, one pill a day course ends today. 

Cattle egrets love to hang around with large mammals, eating their scrap and insects.

At that point, we’ll be winging it for malaria instead diligently applying repellent with DEET three times a day on all exposed skin. I know, many people object to the use of DEET and suggest we try many other non-chemical repellents.  Unfortunately, after trying many “natural” repellents, we still got mosquitos bites.


Are mosquitoes rampant here in Marloth Park?  Not so much.  Having been here since February which was still summer when we arrived, (summer ends on March 21st in this part of the world), the mozzies weren’t too bad. 

This croc was lounging in the tall grass along the river.

Wearing repellent day and night and by using a variety of candle-lit insect repellents near our feet at night, we seldom are bitten.  Overall in the three and a half months, we’ve been here, I’ve received no more than a dozen bites.  Zero bites would be ideal but not necessarily do-able in this type of climate.

Once we arrived in Africa we knew it was time for booster vaccinations although many, such as Yellow Fever, are only needed once every 10 years or according to Dr. Theo Stonkhorst, is good for life. On Thursday, we headed to Dr. Theo’s office for our vaccinations. 

Serene view from the restaurant often includes wildlife sightings.

When I asked Dr. Theo if any of the vaccines contained the preservative Thimerosol to which I have an allergy, he read the accompanying literature but didn’t feel comfortable giving me the vaccines until he verified the ingredients with the drug company that Thimerosol wasn’t included in any of the shots I needed. 

He checked on Friday, leaving me a text message suggesting I return on Monday for my shots when he discovered none of the vaccines contained Thimerosol.

We could hear hippos from this location but they were hidden behind the vegetation.

We’ve decided not to list which vaccines we received other than the typhoid booster.  We feel that decision if best left to your doctor and/or travel clinic.  Age, potential exposure, the location of travels and health conditions play a role in determining which vaccines, if any, other than the required Yellow Fever are appropriate for you.

Tom went ahead and had his vaccines on Thursday. We left the doctor’s office waiting to determine my fate based on the Thimerosol allergy and if, in fact, it is a preservative used in the vaccines. As it turned out, it was not. On Monday at noon, we’ll return to Dr. Theo’s office when I’ll have the balance of my injections.

This fast moving bird made it difficult to get a good photo.  Thanks to our friend Louise in Kauai Hawaii for identifying this bird as an African jacana.

Tom had two injections (each containing a few different vaccines), one in each arm, with no ill effects.  Much to our shock, the bill for the office visit and the vaccines was only ZAR 1700 (US $136.01).  In the US, this cost could have been eight or nine times this amount.

A tiny island of blooming vegetation in the Crocodile River.

As mentioned in several of today’s captions, yesterday we had a great afternoon visiting the restaurant referred to as “Amazing River View” aka Serene Oasis, located on the Crocodile River only five minutes away. 

An Egyptian goose standing on a mossy rock in the river.

We’d intended to do our usual drive in Marloth Park, on which we embark every other day. But, when we drove into the beautiful park where the restaurant is located, looking for a working ATM (both machines at the two shopping centers were “out of service,” most likely out of cash on a Friday) and we saw the restaurant had an ATM, we decided to get cash and enjoy a beverage while overlooking the river.

Once we entered Marloth Park, we spotted a few giraffes close to the paved road.

It was a wise decision.  We had an excellent experience sitting in the outdoor bar where we had perfect views of the river.  By 4:00 pm we were back “home” to finish a few items for our dinner planned for 7:00 pm on the veranda.  It was a great day and evening.

Tonight, Louise, Danie and Louise’s parents are coming for dinner.  We were up early making preparations for the big evening meal, again on the veranda, enjoying the arrival of a wide array of visitors and of course, each other’s company.

Giraffes in the bush shortly before sunset.


To those in the US, have a safe and sound Memorial Day weekend and for everyone elsewhere, you do the same.

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Photo from one year ago today, May 26, 2017:

A year ago today, we arrived in Minnesota for a six-week family visit and rented this SUV.  As a former owner of this model, Tom was thrilled with this new Ford Explorer.  We couldn’t believe all the technology in this rental car, more than any we’ve seen throughout the world. As it turned out we rented this car for the full six weeks for only $50 more than a tiny economy car from this site:  www.rentalcars.com  For more photos including the hotel where we stayed, please click here.

My boys…What can I say?…It’s a glorious day in the bush!”…A few more Kruger photos…

We waited patiently as the giraffe made her way across the dirt road in Kruger.

 “Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

There he is…Scar Face has returned after a three-week hiatus. 

 With Louise, Danie and her parents coming for dinner tomorrow night, I decided to work on a bit of food prep this morning.  I had a late start after actually sleeping until 7:30 am, a rarity for me.  Tom was up at 5:30, as usual, unable to sleep any longer.

Greeting the balmy day couldn’t have been more perfect.  The sun was shining, the temperature was ideal and a slight breeze wafted through the air every so often.  Now, at noon, the perfect weather continues.

It’s looking better but it may take awhile longer for his injury to completely heal.

Of course, our day has been brightened further by the arrival of one group of visitors after another; Miss Kudu and baby; Mrs. Warthog, auntie and two babies; a couple of dozen helmeted guinea fowl; and then…pure delight.
 
At around 9:30 am, Tom called out to me while I was busy in the kitchen, to immediately come outside.  I was anxious to get out any way to begin working on today’s overdue post which I always do sitting at the big table on the veranda enjoying the sights and sounds of nature along with whatever visitors come to grace us with their presence.  Mornings are particularly busy.

Often, when animals in the wild are injured, they seem to know how to take care of themselves without intervention from humans.
I wiped my wet hands on the legs of my jeans, as I rushed outdoors, unsure of what to expect, anticipating that Tom was summoning me to see birds at the old bushbaby stand which we’re now using as a bird feeder, since we purchased a new bushbaby stand a few days ago from Daisy’s Den.

My heart stopped in my chest when there stood Scar Face, as Tom said, “Your boy is back!”  I literally squealed like a pig myself when I saw him.  He and I made our usual penetrating eye contact.  Oh, how I’d love to know what he’s thinking.

Its always a joy to see zebras whether here in Marloth Park or in Kruger.

Most likely he was hungry and was looking for apples, pellets and perhaps a few carrots.  (Warthogs are finicky about carrots.  Some like them, others do not).  Scar Face will eat a few. 


Luckily, yesterday after a shopping trip to Komatipoort and Lebombo (where there’s a market with the best carrots anywhere) we purchased plenty of carrots and apples some of which I’d already cut up. (Thanks, Louise for your help in the carrot matter). I grabbed the bowl from the refrigerator anxious to get back out to him.

A face only a mother could love!

Tom and I stood on the veranda tossing handfuls of apples and pellets to Scar Face while he voraciously devoured them as quickly as we could toss them out.  With the holiday season over for now and many homeowners off to other lands, it could have been days since he’d had much food other than his usual foraging.

With winter approaching and little rain, the pickings are slim for many of the animals and they surely appreciate a hand out of pellets, fruits, and veggies from whoever happens to be around.

Each time we enter Kruger we see at least one elephant, oftentimes many more.  We never tire of seeing the magnificent beasts or another other wildlife for that matter.


Why we hadn’t seen him since a week before we left for Zambia (we were gone one week) and now back a full week as of today, we’ll never know.  Maybe he came by while we were gone and gave up when we weren’t here.

Its impossible to read the minds of wildlife and although they’re “creatures of habit” like us humans, their patterns may be inconsistent as they wander through the 3000 hectares (11.58 square miles) that consist of this unique and magical conservancy where animals roam free.

Cape buffalo resting in the vegetation in Kruger.

He looked better although it will take many more months for his injury to fully heal.  He seemed otherwise healthy and when he was done eating and heard a noise in the bush, he took off an amazing pace. (Warthogs can run at a pace of 55 km, 35 miles per hour when chased by a lion).

Hopefully, now that he sees we’re here, he’ll return as regularly as he had the first months we were here.  Gosh, it’s so easy to become attached to these animals even when we don’t touch them or interact with them as we would a pet in our home. 

This is a female giraffe based on the hair on her ossicones which males do not have.

These are not pets.  They’re wild animals and although some have become used to humans in “their” territory, they still behave as wild animals.  It would be unwise and unfair to them to attempt to “domestic them.”  Doing so could ultimately result in their eventual demise.

Some disagree with feeding the wildlife.  We understand this concept.  However, many residents of Marloth Park have been providing pellets and/or vegetables and fruit to them for decades and they’re continued to thrive.  We’ve followed suit especially when we see the vegetation drying up as winter rolls in.

Tom’s hair had become unruly prompting him to get another haircut sooner than usual.

On Wednesday, Tom had his hair cut and is thrilled with the result.  Yesterday, as mentioned above, we headed to Lebombo and Komatipoort to shop for groceries, buy pellets at Obaro, stop at the pharmacy for a few items and see Dr. Theo for our appointment for more vaccinations.  More on this in tomorrow’s post.

He had it cut right here in Marloth Park at a busy salon near Daisy’s Den where we buy birdseed and other items.

Today, we’ll stay put while we continue to prep for tomorrow evening’s dinner party.  It will be fun to meet Louise’s parents and to share great conversation and good food and wine!

May your day be filled with happy surprises!

___________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, May 25, 2017:

Sun filtering through the tall trees at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia.  For more photos, please click here.

Exciting Kruger visit with astounding video…Play on words…

Please watch our video of a very unusual cape buffalo occurrence.


 “Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

This warthog’s tusks are almost a full circle.

Yea, I know…we’re running out of adjectives to use to describe our experiences.  Or, perhaps, we ran out long ago.  I look up words on a variety of online thesaurus’ searching for new or different words to use. 

These two cape buffaloes, horns stuck together, were close to the dirt road, making it easy for us to get these photos.

Alas, all I see are the same adjectives we repeat over and over again, such as;  stunning; spectacular; stupendous; amazing; unreal; unbelievable; heart-stopping; heart-pounding; breathtaking; astonishing; surprising; and on and on.

The anguished look on the faces was disheartening.

What can we do to describe over-the-top adventures we encounter almost on a weekly, if not daily basis?  Not much really, unless anyone out there has a better idea.

They could have been stuck for minutes, hours or days for all we knew when we stumbled upon this dreadful scene.

Even if we ranked an experience on a rating system from one to ten, in a short period it would be as redundant as the above over-used adjectives in almost every one of our daily post.

“Guffaw,” I say (nice word to use), I’m going to stop thinking about my overuse of these adjectives and just go with the word(s) including all of the above and more, that most effectively describes what we’ve seen and done.

They tried desperately to become un-entangled to no avail.

So here we go again…attempting to describe yesterday’s self-drive in Kruger National Park in search of unique wildlife experience.  Oh, I’ll admit, a nice giraffe, zebra or elephant photo op does get blood pumping through our veins eliciting a certain degree of enthusiasm. 

We felt helpless.  There was nothing we could do other than report it and our location at the time.  Would something be done such as tranquilizing them to get them free?  But, most likely this wouldn’t be safe when there were dozens of other cape buffaloes in the area.  They can be very dangerous animals.  “It is widely regarded as a very dangerous animal, as it gores and kills over 200 people every year. Also known as Black Death, the Cape Buffalo can be extremely dangerous, and is said to have killed more big game hunters than any other animal in Africa.”

However, a large “parade” of elephants excites us more, as does a “tower” of multiple giraffes, as does a “dazzle” of a dozen or more zebras.  For us, “onesies” aren’t quite as stunning as numbers have the potential to be. 

It seemed hopeless until another buffalo came along.  Check the above video as to what the other buffalo did to help.

The exception to the above may be in spotting rhinos; leopards, cheetahs, and of course the often-sought lion or lioness and cubs.  Then again, there are such mysterious creatures such as the pangolin, porcupine, aardvark, and wild dogs including many more nocturnal unlikely-to-spot animals even the most experienced guide seldom spots.

Another buffalo approached wondering what was going on. Check the above video as to what the other buffalo did to help.

For us going into Kruger is all about our so-called “safari luck” or as one may say, “pièce de résistance” when we have the opportunity to encounter something very special to us, which may be mundane to the more experienced participants in safaris throughout the world.

Then again, we’re no slouches in having had animal viewing experiences over the years.  One need only peruse our site’s 2124 posts (as of today) to see how much we’ve actually seen in these past 5 years and 7 months since we began our journey.

They have sad faces when content.  But under these circumstances, they looked more miserable.

So, after driving through Kruger yesterday, having no safari luck whatsoever other than sighting lots of impalas (typical), a few wildebeest (a little less typical) and a few zebras (always nice to see but more common), we resigned ourselves to the fact that for once, and only once so far in our numbers of trip to Kruger, we’d leave with few interesting photos and/or videos.

Alas, as we began the return drive on a dirt road back to the Crocodile Bridge forgoing the paved road with the more decent little rental car, we stumbled upon today’s highlighted story, the entanglement of two cape buffaloes who’s horns must have become stuck during an altercation over supremacy.

After they were free, they immediately started grazing.  Who knows, maybe they hadn’t eaten in days?

Upon returning from Kruger, I checked YouTube to see how many other videos had been posted with cape buffalo horns entangled in one another, let alone when another buffalo came to their rescue.  There were none.  This must be unique.  This is the kind of sighting we long to discover.

Dear readers, revel with us in today’s video for which there is a lack of redundancy (at last) and, I doubt I can come up with any appropriate adjectives to describe this sighting.  I’ll leave that up to you. 

Turtle crossing the road in Kruger.

Please pass this post and/or video on to your family, friends, and neighbors.  Maybe, we can get it to go viral.  We won’t make money from it going viral.  That’s not our intent.  But we can add to the list of “amazing” readers we have throughout the world.

Have a stupendous day!

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Photo from one year ago today, May 24, 2017:

Busy port in Skagway, Alaska.  For more photos and Alaskan cruise final expenses, please click here.

An exciting drive in Marloth Park…Back from Kruger…Great day…Lots of safari luck…

This was our first sighting of a good-sized herd of cape buffalo we spotted from Marloth Park yesterday, on the banks of the Crocodile River.  There were from 24 to 30 in the herd.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Tom’s “Little Girl” bushbuck has been so happy he’s back, she comes to see him each day.

After yesterday’s huge response from our readers on our story on invasive alien plants, (please see our post here if you missed it) we’re making every effort to expand our knowledge through education about biodiversity in Marloth Park.

We managed to capture these photos through the electrified wires in the fence that separates Marloth Park from Kruger Park.

Of course, we’ll continue to share photos of our visitors as they arrive, our trips to Kruger National Park and any other areas we may visit on occasion.  But, conservation issues are constantly in our minds as we revel in this magnificent place.

We waited patiently while attempting to get a few face shots.

We often ask ourselves, “How long can this keep up?” Will the animals always be here or will the effects of the human footprint eventually impact the numbers of animals in Marloth Park? 

Yesterday was hot and humid so it’s not surprising they congregated near the water.

We’re on a mission to discover more and currently we’re working on a new story we’ll share in the next week that may surprise you.  It certainly surprised us.  Please check back for more.

Instinctively many wild animals rest in close proximity to one another as a defense from predators.

After this great sighting, we continued on our way content we’d had a good day.
In the interim, we’re having a blissfully busy week since our return from Zambia last Friday evening.  The days are flying by so quickly we can hardly keep track.  Isn’t that typical when you’re having the time of your life?

Hornbills spend a lot of time on the ground as well as flying and in trees.

This morning, after preparing tonight’s dinner to later be baked in the oven, we decided to take advantage of the exquisitely sunny morning and head to Kruger National Park.

Of course, it’s equally exciting to see ostriches.

Now that we have our “Wild Card” which we purchased for one year, we can enter the park as often as we’d like at no additional fees.  We try to go at least once every two weeks and are seldom disappointed, especially when “safari luck” kicks in.  Today was no exception.  Tomorrow’s post will contain some amazing scenes we captured.

An ostrich’s mouth stays open in order to cool off since they have no sweat glands.  They are able to tolerate high heat.

As for the rest of the week, yesterday, Tom had his haircut and is happy with the outcome.  Tomorrow, we go to Dr. Theo in Komatipoort for the balance of our vaccinations and boosters.  For Saturday evening, we’ve invited Louise and Danie along with Louise’s parents from Cape Town for dinner at our place.

It’s always such a joy to see the giraffes in Marloth Park.

Tomorrow, we’ll grocery shop for the first time since we returned, managing to dine on items we already had on hand in the deep freeze, adding a few items from the Marlothi Center’s mini mart.  Plus, we’ll head to Obara to purchase more pellets, the pharmacy for odds and ends and a quick stop at the biltong (locally made jerky) store.

Female giraffes have tufts of hair on their ossicones where males do not, mainly since they use these small horns in combat for dominance.

Our friends Kathy and Don return this weekend and surely we’ll see them soon once they are settled in.  Well, the list could go on and on.  Need I say, we’re content with the level of activity since we always make time to relax and unwind.

Mostly Egyptian geese on the distant shore of the Crocodile River.

The evenings are especially relaxing while sitting outdoors on the veranda waiting for a wide array of visitors to arrive and of course, the dependable arrival of the dozen bushbabies living in the trees in the yard.   No, we haven’t seen Scar Face yet but we continue to remain hopeful. 

May you have a pleasant evening as well.  We’ll be back at you soon!   
                    _______________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, May 23, 2017:

This day, one year ago, we arrived in Sitka, Alaska. We were the only ship in port and the crowds in the town weren’t bad.  For more photos, please click here.

An education in a totally new area for us…Sharing the urgency…

Resultado de imagen de photo famine weed

Famine weed, found throughout the world is a deadly and destructive invasive plant.  See below for details.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Baby, mom, and dad ostriches out for a leisurely stroll in Marloth Park.

There’s no way that in a few short hours of education that we can appropriately describe the ravages wrought by alien invasive plants throughout the world.  All we can do today is share a little bit of information we learned after a chance meeting of Marloth Park Honorary Rangers, Uschie and, Evan Powell yesterday morning.

Although its impossible to conquer all of the alien plants in Marloth Park in order to protect wildlife and humans, the dedicated Marloth Park Honorary Rangers spend considerable time (their own free time) pulling out invasive plants.  In the case of “Mother of Thousands” every last bit must be pulled since it will regrow from even the most minuscule portion left behind.

We were doing the usual, sitting on the veranda on a gorgeous sunny day, watching wildlife while I prepared the day’s post.  Invasive alien plants were the last thing on our minds.

Tom heard a ruckus on the dirt road in front of our house and decided to check it out.  He thought it might be a special animal sighting which gathered a bit of a crowd.  he was surprised by what he saw.
 

Image result for world map invasive plants
This map illustrates how alien plants have infiltrated countries all over the world.

As he walked toward the voices he found seven or eight people sitting on foldable camping-type chairs bending over and hand-picking and pulling plants from the dry ground in this particular case, the Mother of Thousands, bryophyllum delagoense, as shown in the photo included here today.

Curious, he started talking to Uschie and Evan to discover they are a  part of a dedicated group of Honorary Rangers who try to destroy the wrath of alien invasive plants in Marloth Park.

Today, we can share but a glimpse of the devastation to both wildlife and humans.   In most cases, humans are unaware of the dangers that lie within alien invasive plants many of which are planted by homeowners here in Marloth Park and throughout the world.

When I noticed Tom was gone for quite awhile, I grabbed the camera and headed to the dirt road to encounter this same scene as Tom had stumbled upon. 

Uschie immediately greeted me and explained the nature of the group’s work.  Fascinated by their combined dedication, we started asking questions of Uschie and her husband Evan, who both dedicate almost all of their days in a variety of ways in protecting Marloth Park’s biodiversity.

As Tom and I listened to the depth and breadth of their work, they invited us to their home to learn more enabling us to write somewhat of a story on this tragic situation that could ultimately change everything we know and love about Marloth Park.

At 2:00 pm we arrived at Uschie and Evan’s fabulous bush home.  The grounds surrounding their lovely property are highly conducive to the free roaming and grazing of the myriad forms of wildlife in Marloth Park.  They, like us, offer pellets and bird seed, welcoming many species to wander about freely in a natural habitat.

After sharing some stories of how we all came to cherish this special place, they invited us indoor to watch a highly professional and educational presentation they use when educating local residents.  Some are interested…some are not.

This presentation revolved around the vast spreading of one of the most toxic and proliferating invasive plants in the world known as Famine Weed, Parthenium Hysterophorus which has spread to many parts of the world as shown in the map below.


Image result for Parthenium hysterophorus global map
World map illustrating the spread of Famine Weed, Parthenium Hysterophorus.

Need I say, we were both shocked by the influence this deadly plant has had all over the world, let alone here in Marloth Park.  From the brochure, “Alien Plants of Marloth Park” a copy of which I have as a reference, the following is stated about Famine Weed:

  • Annual weed
  • Very dangerous, invasive plant
  • Toxic to humans and beasts
  • Pale green, hairy leaves
  • Small white flowers
  • Skin and respiratory irritant

Control:

  • Pull our wearing gloves
  • Preferably before flowering
  • Do not transport
  • Bury deep

Continuing in the well-prepared brochure; Why are alien plants a problem?

  • They are highly adaptable and vigorous plants with no natural enemies.
  • They will grow in many areas.
  • They use large amounts of water and therefore reduce available water to the area.
  • They overwhelm our indigenous plants and lead to loss of insects, birds, reptiles, and mammals.
  • They invade and destroy lands that could be used for livestock, farming, and conservation.
  • These plants are often poisonous to humans and animals.
  • They increase the heat and intensity of fires.
  • They increase the risk of erosion and flooding by killing of the local bush.

What more can we say to share our shock and sadness over this awful situation in Marloth Park, South Africa, all of Africa and even in our own continent of North America and other parts of the world?

Parthenium weed: Parthenium hysterophorus

Famine weed, Parthenium Hysterophorus

Why do we write this story today?  For one reason only…in hopes of creating interest and awareness for everyone who reads our posts in taking the time to research issues of invasive alien plants their area, including the citizens of Marloth Park.

If you have questions regarding invasive alien plants in Marloth Park, please contact Uschie or Evan Powell, Marloth Park Honorary Rangers at marlothparkhonoraryrangers.co.za or Facebook at www.facebook.com/marloth parkhonoraryrangers.

Suddenly, with this new information, we have an entirely different perspective of the hard work of the Marloth Park Honorary Rangers and the responsibility that property owners must possess in aiding in the process of obliterating this toxic issue as much as is humanly possible.

The Marloth Park Honorary Rangers spend endless hours harvesting invasive plants including this “Mother of Thousands,” bryophyllum delagoense which is described in “Alien Plants of Marloth Park as “succulent, grey-green tube-shaped leaves with dark spots.  Orange-red trumpet-shaped flowers forming chandeliers at the top of the stalks.”

We won’t harp on this topic here but from time to time, we may share the progress that is transpiring here in Marloth Park from the dedication of these hard-working individuals.

Thanks to Uschie and Evan for welcoming us into their home and sharing this vital information with us and besides,  the four of us hit it off famously as we look forward to some social time together as well.   

As world travelers, we, too share a responsibility of creating awareness regarding this urgent situation as we move from country to country.

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Photo from one year ago today, May 22, 2017:

Hubbard Glacier was outstanding!  For more details, please click here.