|This baby Mongoose is sticking close to Mom, who has an egg we left for her, in her mouth as they scurry across the yard.|
It’s ironic how our daily lives revolve around the arrival of visitors. Will we ever be able to stop scanning our surroundings every few minutes with the hope of spotting movement in the bush coming our way?
|The baby Mongoose completely tucked under the mom to ensure safety.|
Staying as quiet and still as possible, I carefully reach for the camera with the least amount of movement, and we wait. Most often we’re seated, Tom in his usual pillowed Adirondack chair and me, in my usual equally padded plastic molded chair at the table. Standing up as we wait is usually not an option.
|Louise and Danie suggested that we hold up an egg and show it to the Mongoose which Tom did, placing it on the ground nearby. Very shy, jerky motion must be avoided to prevent the Mongoose from running off. As soon as the Mongoose saw him put it down on the ground she immediately approached the egg.|
With baited breath we wait, when at a distance we spot the most subtle movement, asking ourselves if its only a wisp of a breeze or the guarded movement of an animal on its approach.
|Within seconds of placing the egg on the ground, the mongoose went to work on cracking the shell.|
|She managed to crack the remainder of the egg by banging it on the ground. She ate the entire contents including the spilled portion, leaving the shell behind. Later in day, the monitor lizard slithered by in a flash grabbing the empty shell but it moved too quickly to allow me to take a photo.|
With the protective railing around the veranda partially blocking the view, it’s necessary for me to stand to take most photos. Gingerly, I move one limb at a time in an attempt to stand, almost as if playing “pick up sticks” to avoid a sound or a single jerky motion which could easily scare off the least shy of the visitors.
With the two of us constantly on the lookout, it’s unlikely that we’ll miss an opportunity to view any wildlife in our extensive yard. When one of us goes inside the house for a few minutes, the other remains outdoors continuing the search.
|This Pied Crow stopped by to check out a second, yet untouched egg we’d left in the driveway for the mongoose family, cracking it open with his beak.|
We never fail to quietly alert each other of an animal on the move, from the largest Kudu weighing 700 pounds, 318 kg, to the tiniest unusual insect. I must admit that it’s hard to leave during the day, fearful that the yet to visit wildebeest (other than a fast dash through the yard) or a much longed for a second visit from the giraffe which may occur in our absence.
|A second Pied Crow appeared to keep watch while the first ate the egg.|
Silly, perhaps. But then, living in the bush with the animals is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, unless of course, that someday we’ll return. I can only hope that we will. I know that memories of this experience will loom in my mind with much longing for years to come.
|Suddenly, a flock of persistent small birds started dive bombing the Pied Crow forcing his friend to fly off to chase the little birds and for him to move to another spot in the yard. In a state of anger or frustration the Pied Crow “fluffed” the feathers on his chest while making loud noises. A short time later, he was able to return to the partially eaten egg to finish his lunch.|
As I sit here now, Tom only feet from me, our favorite warthog family of nne has just departed after yet another laugh inspiring visit. Each time they arrive, we immediately take a head count to ensure that the seven babies have avoided the interests of a predator. With a sigh of relief, we chatter at them with our high pitched voices and toss a few pellets their way, both of which they readily respond.
|The monitor lizard wanted in on the egg action. Elusive, fast moving and difficult to photograph, we’re always thrilled to see her. Check out that tongue.|
Surely, as the day wears on, we’ll continue to revel in the wonders of this magical place. The temperature is climbing and at some point we may be driven indoors to escape the summer heat and humidity. If so, we’ll continue to check the outdoors as often as every 15 minutes to see who has graced us with their presence.
Oops, I’ve got to go! There are zebras coming this way!