An elephant ritual on the Crocodile River…A rainy morning in Marloth Park…

The following elephant photos were taken as we stood at the Crocodile River overlook area on the Marloth Park side of the river.  These photos are presented in order of their occurrence over a period of approximately 40 minutes.  Our knowledgeable guide Chase, was at my side explaining the elephant behavior as it transpired. 
The first Elephant was waiting on the Kruger Park side of the Crocodile River.

Early this morning we checked the veranda to see if the weather would allow us to sit outdoors on the veranda all day. After seven cloudy days in a row with cool weather, we have few complaints.  But today’s rain will be the impetus for the first day we won’t  be able to spend the day outside since September 2, 2013.

This elephant began his trek across the river from the Marloth Park side in order to get close
to the awaiting elephant.  The river is loaded with Crocodiles who seldom attack adult elephants.  Boating on the river is strictly prohibited. 

Back out on the veranda, we looked around deciding if we will be “in” or “out,” preferably “out.”  There in the driveway stood two adult warthogs staring at us, as if waiting to see what we’d decide.  

He’s getting closer. (Chase explain this was definitely a male).

A pang of sadness washed over me watching them stand there soaking wet, their goofy sideburns flat against their homely faces.  “Sorry, Mr. & Mrs. Warthog,”  I said aloud, “Today you’re on your own.”  They turned and walked away as if they’d known what I’d said. 

Almost there.

It’s the rainy season now.  The lush greenery gets greener with the rain providing food for most of the animals in Marloth Park. Plus with too much shade from the trees and vegetation on the grounds, there’s no way for us to lay in the sun here, for our former one hour a day Vitamin D sessions.  Cloudy days are fine with us. 

Closer yet, after a few minutes of standing in place.

The multitudes of visitors we’ve had so far indicates that the clouds have little bearing on their desire to stop by, although today’s rain may be a deterrent.  We shall see.

Oh, oh.  What’s going to happen next?

Last night, we cooked dinner, after dining out three nights in a row.  When Louise had grocery shopped for us (thank you again, Louise) before we arrived, she’d purchased a slab of sirloin steak that required trimming and cutting.  I’d never bought such a slab, instead buying the “already cut’ steaks, ready to cook. 

The elephant on the shore is sniffing the arriving elephant.  Both males, this could result
in a scuffle.

Yesterday, I trimmed the fat and cut the meat into enough steaks to last for three nights.  The entire slab cost ZAR $179, US $17.54, which translates to ZAR $59.57, US $5.85 per night for both of our sizable servings.  Not too bad.

Finally, the Elephant on the shore walks away, satisfied that the approaching Elephant is no threat to him.

The steaks were flavorful and tender after leaving them in a marinade for a few hours. Adding a good sized bowl of our homemade coleslaw, Brussels sprouts, green beans and sautéed whole mushrooms, we had a delicious meal which we’ll repeat again tonight and tomorrow, using the remaining steaks to avoid re-freezing.  Three nights of steak and repeat sides?  No problem for us.  Simple is good.  Simple is easy.

Moments later, a third Elephant begins it’s trek across the river arriving from the Marloth Park
side, once again, to the Kruger Park side.  Is he a threat to the others?

After dinner, we watched a few shows, the most recent episodes of Homeland and Hostages and, episode four of The Amazing Race (we’re catching up).  Commercial free from Graboid, each hour long show lasts approximately 43 minutes.  Whether we dine in or out, we equally love the time we spend together. 

The three lephants get into a scuffle, determining who will be the dominating male.

Today, we share the remaining photos of Monday night’s visit to the Crocodile River.  Far from the wildlife, we did out best to get good shots but we apologize if they aren’t as clear as we’d like. With the limitations of our camera, we can only shoot from so far away.  Hopefully, these will prove to be worthwhile.

Alas, the decision was made and the three elephants proceeded up the hill in harmony, (Sorry for the blur.  My shoulder was killing me and I could no longer hold the camera steady for these long distance shots).

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with the photos of our eight batches of visitors in one day, an exciting day, we’ll always remember.  If we never went on another safari (which we will, of course), we’re content living in Marloth Park with Mother Nature’s wonderland surrounding us.

A hippo finally made an appearance above the water.
Two Cape Buffalos on the Kruger Park side of the Crocodile River.  Most likely, these are Retired Generals, banned for life from the herd when they couldn’t gain dominance over another male.  They hang out together due to “safety in numbers.”

Comments and responses An elephant ritual on the Crocodile River…A rainy morning in Marloth Park…

  1. Anonymous

    Hello Jess and Tom,

    I loved the elephant pictures, what an experience that must have been.

    That is amazing that you have spent everyday outside since September. Today must have been difficult with your warthog friends waiting for you to come out and play; so cute.

    Your steak meal sounded really good. I was wondering how you cooked the green beans and the brussel sprouts. You make cooking sound easy, it is a struggle for me. Especially trying to decide what to cook.

    So sorry your shoulder was hurting when you were taking pictures. I hope you can get relief soon.

    I did not realize you watched the Amazing Race, I am so sorry that I talked about it a few days ago. I hope I did not ruin it for you.

    I am sitting here now watching Survivor. Do you follow that show?

    I am supposed to be wrapping presents and not lounging in front of the TV. It sure would be easier to give gift cards. But we have the grandkids over on Christmas Eve and first celebrate Aunt Chris' birthday, my youngest daughter. Then Dan is Santa, can you vision that, and he has each child sit on his lap and gives them a present. Even the 14 and 12 year olds sit on his lap. It is a fun time. After Santa leaves, we give out presents from Dan and me and my daughters hand out their presents. So it would not be as much fun giving gift cards. But when the little ones grow up, we probably will start. Or if we were on the other side of the world, we would give gift cards.

    This will be the first year my middle daughter, who now lives in Germany, will not be with us. Hopefully her baby will be born by then; the baby is due Dec 20th. But her first baby was 2 weeks late and this one is heading that way too. She said nothing is happening yet. We sure will miss them.

    Hope you get more visitors so we can see the pictures.

    Stay safe,

  2. Jessica

    Hi, Pat!
    Tom reminded me yesterday after I'd posted that I made an error in stating we've been outside since September. He said we'd been outside since June 16th when we arrived in Tuscany. We spent most of our time outside there also. There were no screens on the windows so we decided it was better to be outside and get bit by flies than stay inside (no AC).

    Don't give the Amazing Race thing a thought. We'd already seen who'd won from reading the news. So no big deal. We are watching Survivor but staying on top of the current episodes. We've already watched the upcoming season of Downton Abbey that has played in the UK but not US, using our Graboid downloads.

    What a wonderful Santa Dan must be and how fun for the kids and grownups, too. What an excellent family tradition!

    Wait until you see who came to visit via today's post and more to follow! We're on Cloud 9! We have many day's posts backed up and still no time for house photos. They will follow when we have a quiet day.

    Let us know when new grandchild is born, Best of luck to you all

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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