A fine evening in the bush with friends..Fun new video!…Check it out!…

Take a look at the new video we filmed yesterday morning.

Who’s in the garden this morning?

  • 2 wildebeest
  • 6 warthogs
  • 11 helmeted guinea fowl
  • 5 bushbuck
  • 22 mongoose
  • 2 kudus
  • 1 duiker

It’s a glorious morning. The sun is shining. The temperature and humidity are mild with a slight breeze. The animals have come and gone over the past few hours and we couldn’t be more content. Right now they’re all gone, but that’s going to change in a couple of minutes.

Two Go-Away birds drinking from the birdbath. Unlike many of the brighter forest dwelling turacos these are birds of an African open country and have drab gray and white plumage. In southern Africa, these birds are known as kwêvoëls, but they are also referred to as loeries with other turacos. The go-away-birds are named for their raucous “go away” call.

Last night’s dinner with Dawn and Leon was a great time. The food was good, the company superb and the three wildebeest in the garden all evening just added to the entertainment. I’d made an easy steak dinner with sides and spent little time in the kitchen while our guests were here, having prepared everything earlier in the day.

It’s a busy weekend in the bush with many holiday homes booked with guests from other parts of South Africa, few from overseas, due to pandemic travel restrictions in many countries. A band of 22 mongoose just stopped by and we offered them some leftover meat which they devoured.

Three wildebeest lying in the driveway, shortly before Dawn and Leon arrived.

We noticed that three of the mongoose had full pieces of white bread in their mouths which they weren’t eating, but carrying around in somewhat of a frenzy, wondering what to do with it. Apparently, some novice holiday renters have fed mongoose bread, which is not appropriate for their diet. In one instance, I watched a guinea fowl steal the mongoose’s bread and escape.

Sure, animals love “human food”, but in most cases, it’s not safe for them to eat. It’s always disheartening to watch that. Feeding wildlife, especially now that vegetation is diminishing by the hour, is good if it is appropriate for their way of eating. The best feed to supply the animals is game pellets. Fruits and vegetables humans eat may contain pesticides and other chemicals that are dangerous to animals (and humans too).

Wildebeest Willie is drooling over the veranda table begging for pellets.

On occasion, we offer them carrots and apples, which we wash first and cut into bite-size pieces. Imagine a bushbuck or a tiny duiker choking on a big piece of a carrot or apple. It would be horrifying to witness it, but it could easily happen.

Many don’t believe in feeding wildlife. Based on the fact that they are fenced in, living in this conservation without being able to wander towards greener pastures, we feel compelled to feed them. This is a hot issue here in Marloth Park with many different opinions and perspectives.

A hornbill eating out of Frank and The Misses container of seeds.

To cull or not to cull is also a frequent point of contention. We avoid controversy and do what our conscience dictates, which is to feed wildlife, food appropriate to their species. We don’t hand feed nor do we use troughs which are breeding grounds for TB and other wildlife diseases and illnesses which are always prevalent in the bush.

Last night we had good news that Rita and Gerhard will be arriving at Marloth Park on Sunday afternoon and we will all be heading to Jabula Lodge and Restaurant for dinner. Gerhard has been chomping at the bit over the prospect of ordering their spare ribs, which Tom eats each time we go for dinner. As usual, we always go to Jabula on Friday nights, which we’ll be doing again tonight and then again, on Sunday night.

A wildebeest resting in the garden, a common phenomenon of late.

We’re so thrilled to see Rita and Gerhard. We hope they will stay for a few months and of course we hope to be able to stay or return after June 30th when our current visas expire. Only time will tell.

A Go-Away bird sitting at the edge of the pool.

That’s it for the day, dear readers. Be safe. Be happy. Cherish every day of life!

Photo from one year ago today, May 14, 2020:

A small lagoon between Anini Beach and Ke’e Beach while we were in Kauai, Hawaii on this date in 2015. Please see that link here. For the year-ago post, please click here.

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