Thirty or forty of these infrequent visitors came to call…A pleasant soaking rain has started greening the bush!…A speedy resolution for a painful situation…

Impalas are fantastic jumpers. We watched this female jump into the air when she was startled by Broken Horn.

Yesterday afternoon, Tom beaconed me outdoors while I rested in the bedroom after another stormy night’s sleep due to this darned painful tooth socket to say we had 30 to 40 visitors of the same species. I assumed they were impalas since they are the only animals, other than birds and mongoose, where we’ve had such numbers in the garden.

Impalas are the most prolific antelopes in Marloth Park and also in Kruger National Park. They can give birth twice in one year and are healthy and sturdy animals. As mentioned in a prior post, over 100 impalas were relocated from Marloth Park to Lionspruit, providing more hunting opportunities for Desi and Fluffy, the only two lions in that game reserve located within the borders of Marloth Park.

I couldn’t believe how many impalas were in our garden and the surrounding bush when I stepped outside. It reminded me of a similar invasion we had in 2014 while living in the Hornbill house Rita and Gerhard currently occupy.

On that particular day, there were many more impalas, hundreds, much to our surprise. What an experience that was! But, yesterday, we were as thrilled as we’d been way back then. With many impalas recently moved to Liosnpruit and the possibility many were culled, it’s unlikely we’ll see hundreds of them in the garden anytime soon.

Impalas have such pretty faces and markings. A helmeted guinea-fowl manages to “photo-bomb.”

Here are some interesting facts about impalas from this site, you may find enjoyable:

“Impalas are medium-sized antelopes that look like a mix between a goat and a deer. They have long legs and necks and black, twisted horns. As members of the Bovidae family, they are related to goats, cattle, and sheep.

Size

Impalas weigh around the same amount as a large dog at 88 to 165 lbs. (40 to 75 kilograms). According to National Geographic, they grow to 33 to 39 inches (84 to 99 centimeters) long by adulthood and typically come up to the chest of an average-sized adult man. The male’s horns grow to 18 to 37 inches (46 to 94 cm) long.

Habitat

The impala is native to Africa and ranges from Angola, Namibia to northeast South Africa and north through Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya. According to the University of Michigan’s Animal Diversity Web (ADW), it lives in woodlands with little undergrowth and low to medium-high grassland. They also live in savannas.

Habits

Impala are diurnal, which means they are most active in the early morning and right before sunset. During the rainy season, impalas gather in groups of hundreds. In the dry season, the herds roam together to look for food. During the rainy season, males can be territorial and will herd females around a territorial area.

Groups of young impalas are called creches. According to ADW, these groups of offspring are like nursery schools for the young, and they play together and groom each other.

Diet

Impalas are herbivores, which means they only eat vegetation. Their diets consist of bark, leaves, wood, and stems.

Offspring

Before giving birth, a female will leave the herd. After a gestation period of six to seven months, she will give birth, usually to only one offspring at a time. After a day or two, the mother impala will bring her calf back to the herd. Baby impalas are called calves. Calves are weaned at four to seven months, and at 12 to 18 months, the calf is mature enough to have its offspring. Impalas usually live to around 13 years in the wild.

Conservation status

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), impalas are not endangered. Currently, the population is estimated at almost 2 million. Fifty percent of the population is found on private land, and another 25 percent of the population lives in protected areas. As a result, for the most part, the population is stable or increasing.

Other facts

Impalas are fantastic jumpers. According to National Geographic, they can leap as far as 33 feet (10 meters) and as high as 10 feet (3 meters). If impalas are running from predators, they are known to jump over obstacles in their way, such as large bushes or stumps, instead of going around them.

Impalas have reddish-brown hair with white fur on the underside of the chin, inside ears, on the belly and lips, over the eyes, and on the tail.

They also have black stripes down the forehead, tail, thighs, and ear tips. According to the University of Michigan, some scientists think they use these black stripes to identify each other. ”

They were all over the garden, close to the house, which is unusual for them.

Excitedly, I scurried about the veranda attempting to get good photos. However, impalas are very shy and cautious. Every motion I made sent them running into the bush. Instead, I decided to stay in one spot with the camera to ensure the best possible shots. They even reacted to the sound of the click when taking a photo. I have since turned off this feature.

As for today, I had booked a 10:00 am appointment with the dentist at the clinic in Marloth Park. Dr. Singh was off this week, and I couldn’t wait another day. The pain in the socket was excruciating, with no improvement over the past week. It has been nine days since the extraction.

With little sleep due to the pain, I had no choice but to seek help from another dentist in Dr. Singh’s absence. Fortunately, I was able to get an appointment for this morning with Dr. Lizannie, a 10-minute drive down Olifant Road, the only paved road in Marloth Park.

Tom waited for me in the car, playing with his phone, while I entered the medical clinic, fully masked, as always. After a 20 minute wait, I was escorted into the dental suite, where the dentist was waiting while filling out a health history form.

It took her exactly 30 seconds to diagnose my painful situation as a “dry socket,” I’d expected this after reading considerable information on pain after tooth extraction. In almost every case, I continued pain a week after the extraction due to a dry socket.

Every so often one of the impalas would pick up their head and look at me.

From the Mayo Clinic in the US, a dry socket is described as follows:

A dry socket (alveolar osteitis) is a painful dental condition that sometimes happens after a permanent adult tooth is extracted. A dry socket is when the blood clot at the site of the tooth extraction fails to develop, or it dislodges or dissolves before the wound has healed.

Typically, a blood clot forms at the site of tooth extraction. This blood clot is a protective layer over the underlying bone and nerve endings in the empty tooth socket. The chunk also provides the foundation for the growth of new bone and the development of soft tissue over the clot.

Exposure of the underlying bone and nerves results in intense pain, not only in the socket but also along the nerves radiating to the side of your face. The socket becomes inflamed and may fill with food debris, adding to the pain. If you develop a dry socket, the pain usually begins one to three days after your tooth is removed.

Dry socket is the most common complication following tooth extractions, such as removing third molars (wisdom teeth). Over-the-counter medications alone won’t be enough to treat dry socket pain. Your dentist or oral surgeon can offer treatments to relieve your pain.”

Dr. Lisannie explained precisely how she was going to resolve it. She would numb the area of the socket with several injections. With the gums so sore from the past nine days, I was hesitant about those long needles, but surely whatever she would do would be more painful than the injections.

In no time at all, I was numb, and she began scraping off the layers of the socket to reveal fresh blood which is intended to form a new blood clot to start the healing process all over again. The first clot never stayed in place.

Back home by 11:00 am, I didn’t take any more pain medication when I wanted to see how it feels when everything wears off. Now, at almost 3:00 om (1500 hrs), the pain is back, but it is nowhere near as painful as it had been before the procedure.

It’s expected I will be pain-free within a day or two. In the interim, no coffee, acidic foods, chunky foods, or wine until I am pain-free. Of course, I never felt like any of my light wine with this degree of pain, plus it’s not a good idea while taking any pain medication.

Impalas were getting along well with the kudus while they shared pellets.

I already made our dinner tonight. Italian mozzarella stuffed meatballs with sauce and cheese for Tom, and finely chopped chicken salad, using chicken breasts we’d cooked yesterday. I may try to add a small finely chopped lettuce salad on the side.

Hopefully, by this time tomorrow, I’ll feel much better when we head to Rita and Gerhard’s house for sundowners. If I’m still not 100%, I’ll drink room temperature iced tea instead of the wine I am drinking now and throughout the evening.

Sorry for the late post! Have a lovely evening!

Photo from one year ago today, September 22, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago today while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #183. Hans, our landlord, and next-door neighbor, invited us for dinner outdoors in their garden. He built a roaring fire to which he later added a grate to cook an entire beef tenderloin without charcoal or lighter fluid. Check out that moon smiling down on us! For more photos, please click here.

Funny little mongoose story with photos…

This morning, the mongoose’s fur got wet and they looked spikey!

Mongoose are funny little characters. Having been around humans in Marloth Park for all of their lives, they’ve become quite used to us. We take special care to avoid getting too close to them, but they wait at the screen door to the veranda for us almost every day. They carry several diseases, and their bite may cause a severe infection.

As carnivores, known for killing snakes and being immune to the venom, they always welcome visitors as the snake season is fast approaching. Snakes don’t necessarily hibernate, but their system slows down during cool weather. Thus, we’re less likely to see snakes during the cooler winter months.

The minute we put down the prawn scraps a mongoose arrived and alerted the others with her cackling that treats were being served. They all came running so fast, I didn’t have time to take more photos.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t condone killing snakes, scorpions, and other venomous reptiles and insects. They are all a vital part of the ecosystem of the bush. Add that we see no less than a dozen, often as many as 50 or 60, of the little furry creatures almost daily. We feel at ease knowing they’re keeping an eye out for venomous snakes and insects.

But, if it’s a choice of “them” or us, we let the mongooses do their thing with respect and admiration for their determination,  skill, and immunity to toxins. Subsequently, we don’t hesitate to feed them daily, inspiring them to come around as often as possible, usually two or three times in one day, then miss a day or two, only to return with considerable enthusiasm to see what’s on the menu today.

One after another came cackling toward the prawns, grabbing as much as they could fit into their mouths. We couldn’t stop laughing.

Here are some exciting facts on mongooses from this site:

“Mongoose are long, furry creatures with pointed faces and bushy tails. Despite popular belief, mongooses are not rodents. They are members of the Herpestidae family, which also includes civets and meerkats.

Size

There are 34 species of mongoose in 20 genera, according to the University of Michigan’s Animal Diversity Web (ADW). With so many different types of mongoose, sizes vary greatly. According to National Geographic, their bodies range from the dwarf mongoose at 7 inches (18 centimeters) long to the Egyptian mongoose, which is 2 feet (60 cm) long.

Habitat

Most species of mongoose are found in Africa, but some also live in southern Asia and the Iberian Peninsula, according to National Geographic. Some species of mongoose have been introduced into other areas of the world, such as the Caribbean and Hawaiian islands.

It happened so quickly; they were all gone in about two minutes.

Mongooses live in burrows made of a complex system of tunnels or in trees in many different types of landscapes, including deserts and tropical forests. The bushy-tailed mongoose, for example, lives in lowland forests near rivers. The Gambian mongoose lives in areas with grasslands, coastal scrub, and forests.

Habits

Some species of mongoose are very social and live in large groups called colonies. Colonies can have as many as 50 members, according to ADW. Other species of mongoose like to live alone. Banded mongoose colonies live, travel, and fight together as a team. They stay in one area for around a week, then move in a wave to another location, much like a flock of birds when they migrate, according to Animal Planet.

Mongooses are active during the day and sleep at night. Throughout the day, they chatter incessantly to each other and combine discrete units of sound somewhat like human speech, using vowel and syllable combinations to possibly coordinate group movements, foraging information, and other important messages.

Diet

Mongooses are omnivores, which means they eat both meat and vegetation. Typically, they prefer to eat small animals such as birds, reptiles, fish, snakes, crabs, rodents, frogs, insects, and worms. They will also supplement their diet with eggs, nuts, fruits, roots, berries, and seeds. To get into eggs, mongooses are known to crack the eggs against hard objects, according to National Geographic.

The pile of prawn scraps was dwindling fast.

Conservation status

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), most mongoose species are threatened but not extinct. Ironically, in the 1800s, mongooses were introduced to Hawaii and the West Indies to control rodent populations at sugarcane plantations. This introduction, in turn, caused many species of birds and other animals to almost become extinct.  The small Asian mongoose is listed as one of the world’s 100 worst invasive alien species.”

We enjoy visits from these humorous little animals. Their endless chatter amongst themselves truly sounds like conversations in the form of a high and low-pitched cackle. When they visit us, standing on the veranda, that cackle is different from those when they’re issuing a warning, such as when another band is approaching or an eagle or hawk is flying overhead. The variations are impressive, and if we listen carefully, we can detect the various tones. It’s quite entertaining and fascinating.

So on to our little mongoose story. On Friday night, while out to dinner at Jabula with Kathy and Don and Rita and Gerhard, I asked Kathy if we could share in some of the leftover prawn shells and tails from both hers and Don’s dinner. They laughed when we suggested this. “Why in the world would you want our leftover prawn tails that always go into the garbage at the restaurant?”

And then…they were gone, gone, gone. That little scarp that fell onto the veranda was taken a few moments later.

We explained how we brought them home from their last dinner with us at Jabula when they didn’t have any interest in saving them in a “doggy bag.” I said it would be fun to see if the mongoose would like them. After all, they eat crusty snakeskin, crunchy scorpions, and spiny centipedes. Perhaps prawn (shrimp) tails and shells would be equally appealing.

When we had dogs in our old life, they loved the shrimp tails but not the shells. When Ben and Wille smelled shrimp cooking, they twirled around in circles, hoping to get the uneaten tails. We always laughed over their interest in them. Why would mongoose be much different?

So, last Friday night, Don gave us his leftover spicy peri-peri seasoned prawn parts, and Kathy, who agreed to give it a try as well, took her own lemon-garlic shrimp tails in a doggy bag.  We added Tom’s leftover rib bones to the plastic bag. The last time we brought the scraps home and served them to the mongoose, they ate every morsel, every tiny prawn leg, and every little scrap.

On Saturday morning, I received a text from Kathy saying, “Jessie, you’re nuts! My mongoose hated them, and now I have prawn parts stinking up my garden.” Tom and I laughed out loud. We were lucky the last time they ate them?

Over the busy weekend with holidaymakers in the park, we never saw our band of mongoose again until Sunday afternoon when they arrived, looking into our eyes with their beady little eyes, wondering, “What’s on the menu today?”

I took this photo a few minutes ago. Mongooses piled up on each other on the veranda, since it’s raining. Too cute for words.

We grabbed the bag of shells and bones from the fridge and proceeded to first dump only the prawn scraps onto the pavement at the edge of the veranda so they wouldn’t be covered in dirt on the ground. Immediately, while cackling with fervor, they went after them, grabbing a chunk and running off a little way into the bush to avoid sharing their bounty with the others, kind of like a dog does when they get a special treat.

Well, leave it to me to take a before and after photo to send to Kathy. In a matter of a few minutes, the prawn shells, tails, and heads were gone, gone, gone.

After Tom noticed them drinking from Frank’s litter water dish, he said, “Those were Don’s peri-peri seasoned prawn parts. Maybe they liked them better than Kathy’s lemon garlic seasonings.” We couldn’t stop laughing. They were thirsty from the spicy prawns.

After they finished the prawns, we dumped the rib bones, and once again, they got busy, grabbing bones and heading to the bush to avoid having to share with one another. More cackling ensued. To say the least, it was pretty fun.

Again, this morning, they arrived looking like oversized hedgehogs with their wet hair standing up from the gentle rain falling in the bush. This time, with no leftovers, we cut up some paloney (a huge round loaf of meat) for them, and they were as content as they could be.

Cackle. Cackle. Cackle. It was a fun morning in the bush. Hmm…that reminds me. Soon it will be Halloween, our ninth anniversary of traveling the world. Time to celebrate.

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, September 21, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #182. The chef at the Blue Moon Cafe in Kenya in 2013, insisted we take a photo together! For more photos, please click here.

It’s a new day and a new dawn…

Wildebeests in the driveway. They eventually headed to the back garden for pellets,

To awaken this morning with considerably less pain in my mouth, I texted Kathy and said I could go with her and Rita to coffee at Stoep Cafe and later shop at Spar Supermarket. Last night, in awful pain, I’d written to her saying I doubted I’d be able to go since today when we needed to head back to Malalane to see Dr. Singh. Last night, the pain in the socket was awful.

As soon as I awoke this morning, I was excited when the Advil and Tylenol (Paracetamol) I’d taken before bed had worn off, and I was in minimal pain this morning. I jumped out of bed, letting Kathy know I would go with them after all. I showered and dressed for the day and tidied up the house, folded the laundry from the rack, and settled down with my laptop to start today’s post. I took one Tylenol to get me through the morning with the “girls,” which once it kicks in, I am almost pain-free for a few hours.

A photo from a few months ago when everything was green and giraffes were walking along the paved road in Marloth Park. My photo-taking appeared in the rearview mirror.

It helps to start the post before heading out, so when I return and put away all the groceries, it won’t take me too long to get it done and get to work on the corrections. I am now down to 42 pages of 20 posts, attempting to do one page per day. There’s no way I’ll be done by the time we leave in one month. But I’ll only have about 10 or 12 pages of 20 posts left when we arrive in Arizona, taking less than two weeks to complete.

Once completed, I’ll take a short break and then begin doing the three significant stories for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), something I have to do once a year going forward. I’ll do one a week and then be done, after which my afternoons will be free at last. What a great feeling that will be, after over a year of corrections on over 3400 posts and the time I’d spent in India working on the new site!

Torn Ear is such an adorable boy, even with his healed left ear injury.

With only one month left until we depart for the US, it’s time to start thinking about packing. We will go one big plastic tote with clothes we won’t need until we return 14 months later. In reality, since I need so many new items, it may not make sense to leave much behind. Once we start packing, we will know.

I just returned from the trip to Komatipoort with Kathy and Rita. We had a great time at Stoep Cafe while they had breakfast, and I had decaf coffee with the “crema” and real cream. What a treat! I didn’t eat for two reasons; one, I wasn’t hungry, and I always strive to avoid eating when not hungry: and two, there was no way I could rinse out my mouth after eating, which I do now, to clear any food particles from the sore tooth socket. I know, TMI, but it’s important to do when recovering from an extraction.

Although the nearby birdbath was a better option with clean water, Tom adds daily. A mongoose was drinking from the pool. There’s not a lot of chlorine in the splash pools in the park since animals often drink from them. We never use the pool.

With two weeks of groceries needed, Tom suggested he’d come to Komati to pick me up after shopping so Kathy and Rita wouldn’t have to wait for me. This only made sense since Rita didn’t need any groceries and Kathy only needed a few items. I would have felt rushed and concerned about them waiting for me when it usually takes about 40 minutes to shop for two weeks. It proved to be a perfect plan.

Only minutes after I left the market with my trolley filled to the brim, Tom was there and loaded the boot of the little car with our bounty, and off we went back to Marloth Park. In no time at all, we had everything put away, and I could get back to today’s post and hopefully get it uploaded before too long.

A mongoose was contemplating her next move, taken a few months ago when the grass was green.

When we returned, several bushbucks were waiting for us as well as no less than 20 mongooses peering into the veranda door, wondering where we’d gone. We had some treats for them, resulting in a funny story we’ll share with photos in tomorrow’s post.

I cleaned three bunches of celery, saving all the ends and leaves for the bushbucks. They love the crispy and moist celery tops and will enthusiastically devour the batches we’ll toss out every few hours or so. When we clean vegetables, we share the miscellaneous stems and pieces with the animals providing them with much-needed nutrients. Of course, we always check to ensure nothing we toss is toxic for them and that the veggie scraps are cut to size and are easily digestible for them.

Tonight, we’ll stay in. We have several fun social gatherings planned for the upcoming week and weekend, which we’ll share as they occur. May you have a lovely week!

Photo from one year ago today, September 20, 2020:

Ironically, after Friday’s story on our first visit by a giraffe since we arrived here in January 2021, this photo popped up from the post one year ago, while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #180, On a Thursday morning in Marloth Park in 2013, as I stepped outside onto the veranda, camera in hand, this was the first thing I saw. Quietly alerting Tom, who was still inside the house, he rushed out to witness this same sight. And then, in minutes, they were everywhere, a dozen total. No words can describe our joy. For more, click here.

Two fun nights out on the town…Now, a quiet Sunday dinner…

One Wart is a frequent visitor.

In yesterday’s post, we were so excited by the visit of the three giraffes. I failed to mention the delightful evening we had Friday evening at Jabula with friends Rita and Gerhard, who’d just returned from a trip to Germany for two weeks, and Kathy and Don. The place was jumping with dinner guests, a “hen” party, and enthusiastic drinkers at the bar.

As always, we arrived at Jabula at 5:00 pm (1700 hrs), as did Rita and Gerhard. Kathy and Don always arrive at 6:00 pm (1800 hrs), after which we immediately took our table for six on the veranda. It was a chilly night, but everyone had dressed accordingly, and the conversations, excellent food, and drinks flowed with ease.

Mom and baby bushbuck stop by several times a day.

It was interesting to hear about Rita and Gerhard’s trip to Germany for his mother’s 98th birthday, the motivation behind their trip back to their birthplace for this special event. But, like us, being away from the bush for any length of time creates a longing we all share that is hard to describe.

The six of us together is a non-stop chat-fest. The girls sat at one end of the table and the boys, the other. It’s always fun to have some “girl talk,” something I’ve missed being away from girlfriends for so long. And, of course, it’s great for the guys to talk about “guy things.”  Not to differentiate the sexes, but let’s face it, sometimes women and men favor specific conversations over others.

Yesterday afternoon, Medium Daddy came to visit for quite a while. We kept the carrots and pellets coming, which he enjoyed.

The six of us have plenty of opportunities as a group to converse about a wide array of topics. With similar interests in travel, wildlife and nature, we never find lulls in conversations. We’ll attend a braai at Kathy and Don’s home on Wednesday evening, overlooking the Crocodile River. I suggested we each bring our meat, along with our drinks. That way, it’s so much easier for our thoughtful hosts.

Typically, we’ll bring a side dish to share, again, making it easier for the hosts rather than spending all day in the kitchen. We’ll arrive at 5:30 pm (1750 hrs), in time to watch and take photos of the sunset. No doubt it will be another lovely evening in the bush.

Last night, Tom and I returned to Jabula Lodge and Restaurant on our own. We feel it’s important to support the restaurant in any way we can. Dawn and Leon, the owners, have become special friends over the years. Dining there a few times a week, during times of Covid-19, is a small part we can play during these lean times for restaurant and shop owners.

Medium Daddy has a handsome face but hasn’t quite gained the confidence to chase away the warthogs when they steal his treats.

Besides, we always have so much fun there sitting at the bar. Tom sips on his brandy and Sprite Zero while I consume on my usual few glasses of low-alcohol, “extra-light” wine. There’s a steady flow of locals and visitors, and the conversations are always entertaining.

Last night for the first time since we’ve been in Marloth Park, we met three guys from the state of Texas in the US. It was unusual to speak to traveling Americans here for the first time in years, besides our friends, as mentioned above (Kathy, Don, Rita, and Gerhard), are Americans. It was the three guys’ first time here. We enjoyed hearing about how much they’ve enjoyed seeing the wildlife in Kruger and Marloth Park. They, like us, couldn’t believe such a place existed.

By 9:00 pm, we were back home to settle in our bedroom to watch a show on my laptop and eventually settle down for the night. After having loaded up on Advil and Tylenol (Paracetamol) before I went to sleep this morning, I found the socket still painful after the meds had worn off. Tomorrow, I will contact the dentist to find out why it’s been hurting for so long and what to do. I may have a dry socket.

Broken Horn, what a guy!

Tomorrow morning, I’m going with Kathy and Rita to Stoep Cafe in Komatipoort for breakfast, and then we’ll all go grocery shopping. Most likely, I’ll head back to the dentist on Tuesday if the socket is still painful. We’ll see how it goes.

As for today, I didn’t feel up to going anywhere with this painful situation. Instead, I am making one of Tom’s favorite low-carb dinners; mozzarella stuffed meatballs with homemade pasta sauce, topped with hand-grated mozzarella, a side of white rice along with a big green salad. I’ll skip the rice and have the meat, the sauce, and a salad. Of course, neither of us eats the starchy, carb-laden noodles that usually accompany this dish, but it’s so good, it doesn’t need them.

That’s it for today, folks. We hope you have a pleasant Sunday!

Photo from one year ago today, September 20, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #180. This photo was taken at our landlord, Hans’ construction site in Diani Beach, Kenya, in 2013, where branches were used as supports. For more photos, please click here.

Finally, they came to call, eight months later!!!…

When peering out the kitchen window, we saw this image in the front of our house.

Yesterday was quite eventful in our garden. While stopping in the kitchen to refresh his iced tea, Tom said, “Hurry, get the camera! There’s a giraffe in the driveway!”

We hadn’t seen a giraffe in the driveway since we arrived in Marloth Park in January when we moved into this holiday home. Six or seven giraffes were at the end of the driveway on the road, and we took several photos, hoping at some point they’d come to our garden for a visit. Now, eight months later, they finally came to call.

Not only were they in the driveway, but they were standing close to the house. The tricky part was taking photos since giraffes don’t interact with humans for food, like the other wildlife. They eat the leaves at the top of trees and don’t bend down for pellets or other food offerings from humans.

There were a total of three giraffes, two that stayed in the bush and the one that dared to get close to the house for the tree he found worthy of the risk.

Subsequently, they are as shy here in Marloth Park as they are in Kruger National Park. They tolerate cars passing, but don’t care to interact with humans on foot. When we opened the front door, I could barely get a quick photo when they thundered off, kicking up dust on our dirt driveway.

We decided to leave the front door open since it makes noise upon opening and be patient and wait. They were obviously after the lush green vegetation at the top of a tree close to the kitchen window. We waited patiently. Although we couldn’t get good photos based on their hesitancy around us, we managed to get the few we’re sharing here today.

After all, being within three or four meters of the giant animals is exciting in itself. Where in the world is that possible in the wild? Where in the world is that possible, close to your front door? Nowhere that we know, other than Marloth Park or another game reserve in Africa.

It’s hard to believe we can be so close to these majestic animals.

Once they’ve discovered such an “edible” tree, we feel confident they will return at some point. The question becomes: will we happen to be looking out the kitchen window to spot them when they do? In the future, we’ll make a unique point of looking out the front of the house, as opposed to the usual back garden where most of the animals visit. With the dense brush, it may be hard for them to navigate their way back there.

This holiday home consists of very dense bush surrounding the property lines. It’s an excellent factor for privacy and noise reduction but less appealing for giraffes and zebras who seem to avoid getting tangled in the low-lying branches, which warthogs, bushbucks, wildebeests, and kudus, who don’t seem to mind.  They’ll maneuver through any dense bush to get to some pellets.

We’d hoped they’d stay around longer. But, in their typical manner, they ate and moved on in search of more vegetation.

Whereas giraffes don’t bend to the ground to eat, although they bend to drink. Here’s exciting information about giraffe’s eating habits from this site:

“Four facts about giraffe’s eating habits:

The giraffe is the world’s tallest terrestrial animal and thrives on a diet of fresh greens. These curious creatures tower above the bushveld and, despite their gangly appearance and awkward gait, they move with ease through their environment. They survive in arid landscapes, savanna, and open plains; and vary in size and color depending on their region.

The next time you’re in a game viewer and come across a giraffe devouring greenery, take a moment to observe their eating habits. Here are four facts about a giraffe’s eating habits that will ensure you have a deeper understanding of their dietary habits.

1. Giraffes don’t need to compete for food.

Giraffes are browsers that feed off fresh shoots and leaves, and their height advantage means they have access to plenty of foliage that other herbivores cannot reach. The only other animal that can reach into the giraffe feeding zone is the elephant. The pachyderms stretch upwards and reach branches with their trunks, also allowing them to grapple lush greens outside of the zone of other browsers. The male giraffe is always in an enviable position, given that they are almost always taller than their female counterparts! There’s not much competition for food sources with these delightfully curious terrestrial animals.

2. Giraffes eat old bones.

When herbivore animals eat bones, it is commonly referred to as osteophagia. The reason for digesting such unpalatable items is purely to supplement their diet with calcium and phosphorus. If their diet lacks nutrients, giraffes will bend down to the ground to scrounge for old bones. They will then chew/twirl the bones in their mouth to extract as many minerals as possible.

Goodbye giraffes! It was great to see you here!

3. Giraffe’s favorite food is acacia. But acacia trees talk. 

The bushveld is dotted with African acacia trees, which have juicy leaves and a thorny spine. Giraffes use their prehensile tongue to grip the leaves and extract the greenery without disturbing the thorny bits. Because this is their favorite meal, it means that our tall creatures tend to journey towards belts of acacia. Acacia will release an excess of tannins when under threat from overfeeding, and this compound leaves the greenery tasting incredibly bitter. The other trees will recognize the tannin release as an alarm system and follow suit. Giraffes activate the natural alarm system in acacia trees – a truly fascinating fact!

4. When a giraffe drinks water, it’s quite a process. 

Giraffes only drink every few days and gain most of their moisture from their herbivorous diet. When they do drink, they approach their water source with caution. They scan their environment for potential threats, hesitate, stand for a while, and then decide to drink. The giraffe will open its legs quite wide, bend its knees and lower its neck to lap up water, which leaves them in quite a vulnerable position and at the mercy of predators.”

In any case, we are thrilled they stopped by, and we’ll make every effort to spot them again when and if they stop by to munch on the green trees in the front garden.

Have a lovely day!

Photo from one year ago today, September 18, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #179. Our glass table was set and ready for our dinner guests in Kenya’s outdoor living/dining room in 2013.  The landlord, Hans, and his wife, Jeri, were coming for dinner. With no Windex or glass cleaner in the grocery stores, I’ve had a heck of a time cleaning the glass tabletop. I asked Hesborn, our houseman, how he could clean it so well with no streaks. He said he uses soap and water on a rag, drying it with a dry towel. I tried this method, only to end up with streaks. For more photos, please click here.

Sad sighting in the bush…Oh, good grief!…Tooth extraction socket is infected…

This morning, in the garden when we spotted this injured kudu, we immediately contacted the rangers. Hopefully, soon, they will find her and have the vet help her out. It’s heartbreaking to see such an injury.

This morning, after a painful and fitful night due to pain in my extracted tooth socket (more on that below), I did what I always do upon awakening, say good morning to Tom, who is always up before me, and then check the action in the garden. There were the usual bushbucks, including Stringy, Thick Neck/Bad Leg, Spikey, and Holey Moley, and the frequently visiting four adult female kudus, including my favorite Bossy.

Immediately, they approached the veranda when they saw me as I thought about the big bags of carrots on the kitchen counter. I asked Tom to toss some pellets while I got the carrots. Before I turned on my heels, I noticed something unusual about one of the kudus. Her right eye was bleeding.

Her eyelid is hanging there. It is heartbreaking to see. We’re hoping the ranges will get here soon. We’ve done everything we could to keep her here with the other female, but sooner or later, they wander off.

To keep them around long enough so I could take a photo and send it to Jaco, the head ranger in the park, I grabbed the bag of carrots, and we both started tossing chunks to them. I grabbed the camera while Tom continued sending carrots their way but struggled to get a good shot of the injured eye.

After waiting patiently, I managed to get the photos we’re sharing here today. I sent them to Jaco via Facebook Messenger, and within a few minutes, he acknowledged my message in which I’d included two photos and our address. Hopefully, sometime today, they will find her since they hang out in specific areas, and the vet can treat her. I imagine he’d clean it, try to sew it back in place, and treat her with antibiotics. They dart the animals to provide such medical care.

This is what we saw upon first spotting her. Upon closer inspection, we took the above photos.

We may never hear back regarding the outcome, but we can only hope she’ll be found and treated somehow. It was heartbreaking to see. They are such sweet and gentle animals, and it’s hard to see them suffering for any reason. It’s hard enough right now that they constantly search for tidbits of food when the bush is so dry.

Surprisingly, most of the wildlife looks healthy, with few ribs protruding from lack of food. Thank goodness, so many of us feed regularly. The only nature we see looking too lean are those with some illness, injury, or impediment of some sort that prevents them from foraging. If this poor injured kudu isn’t treated, this may happen to her if she gets an infection.

Yesterday, four wildebeest, none of them Broken Horn, who’s a loner, came to call, coming right up onto the veranda to the door, looking for us.

Speaking of infections, the socket where my tooth was pulled on Monday has become infected. The second day after the procedure, I was feeling pretty good. But, on Wednesday, the pain escalated, and I began to be concerned. I contacted Dr. Singh, and he ordered antibiotics, Z-Pack, the 3-day 500 mg dose. I started them yesterday afternoon, at 3:00 pm. I’m also taking prescribed probiotics several hours after the one pill dose.

But last night was unbearable. I hurt so much my ear was hot and red, and my face was swollen. It came on suddenly, in a matter of 24 hours. Dr. Singh had suggested I take antibiotics on the day of the procedure but after taking them for five days a few weeks ago, in a feeble attempt to heal the pain in the tooth after the root canal had been done in that same tooth. But, I said, “Let’s try it without antibiotics.”

We didn’t dare go outside. Wildebeest horns can be deadly.

It continued to hurt when I chewed on that side and brushed my teeth. In the past year, I’ve taken antibiotics four times due to issues with two teeth. When the antibiotics didn’t work this last time, resulting in the tooth being extracted along with all the pins in place from the recent root canal, done in June before we left for the US, I hesitated to take antibiotics. Of course, I hesitated over another round.

This time my decision was wrong. I should have taken the antibiotics on Monday. I was in deep trouble in excruciating pain by Wednesday night that kept me awake for the past two nights. On Thursday, I contacted Dr. Singh’s office, and he prescribed the Z-Pack, which I took promptly at 3:00 pm (1500 hrs). After a horrible sleepless night taking several Paracetamol and Advil spread over several hours, a cold pack on my face, frequent salt water rinses, I finally drifted off.

We’ve never seen them be aggressive to us, but we are cautious. On many occasions, we’ve seen them go after other animals when competing for pellets or carrots. Otherwise, they leave others and humans alone unless threatened.

This morning, I awoke to a 50% improvement in the pain and can’t wait to take the next dose this afternoon, followed by several probiotic hours later.

Tonight, with Rita and Gerhard back from a two-week trip to Germany to see family, we’re scheduled for dinner at Jabula with them and Kathy and Don.. I will spend the majority of today resting and taking it easy. Besides, with the current Covid-19 curfew, we usually leave Jabula by 8:30 pm (2030 hrs) and will be back home hoping for a restful night.

So, folks, there’s our past 24 hours which were challenging to say the least. Hopefully, my situation will continue to improve over the weekend, and Ms. Kudu will get the treatment she needs.

Have a pleasant weekend.

Photo from one year ago today, September 17, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #178. In Fiji in 2015, our neighbor Sewak drove us up this outrageously steep hill in his truck for this view. For more photos, please click here.

Changes of our future plans…Covid-19 rules the travel industry…

A helmeted guinea-fowl and her chick, looking for pellets at the edge of the veranda.

This morning we received email notifications from Celebrity Cruise Lines that two booked cruises in and around Japan in 2022 have been canceled. The first sailing and the third of these three cruises we’d booked in this area will be canceled shortly. Now, we are down to five booked cruises instead of eight, all due to Covid-19.

We had planned to fly from Florida to Singapore a few weeks after our friends Karen and Rich’s wedding on February 11th. With all three of these cruises canceled, we’ll need to find where we’ll go when we leave Florida. Tom is currently researching our options., considering other potential cruises to fill the gap.

A giraffe was taking a rest.

Here again, Covid-19 is the determining factor on where we’ll go and what we’ll do. With the Schengen visa, we are only allowed to stay in most European countries for 90 out of 180 days. Also, we’ve already spent a lot of time in Europe in our past travels. Our current interests don’t necessarily lead us in that direction.

For now, our inclination is to travel by sea as much as possible, so that is the path we are researching at this point. But, due to Covid-19, many countries have instituted many restrictions impacting ports of call during cruises. There’s no doubt in our mind that the Japan cruises were canceled due to fears of infection in and around a country of such a vast population.

A male duiker, photo taken during the summer when the vegetation was lush and green.

Are we worried if continuing our world travels makes sense at this time? Not really, However, we must consider the risks each country presents whenever and wherever we travel, including our upcoming trip to the US, which has the worst Covid-19 statistics of any country in the world.

As of yesterday, here are the stats for the US from this site:

Total Cases: 42,479,780

New cases: 164,509

Total Deaths: 685,023

New Deaths: 2282

A dung beetle pushing his ball of dung on his search for a mate to join him.

Statistics show that 54.7% of Americans are fully vaccinated, the highest globally. Yet, they have the most, newest cases and deaths of any country in the world, based on information from this site.

You may ask, why are we going back to the US right now? For several reasons. But our biggest motivator is attending our friend’s small wedding in February. Since we were going back for that, we decided to spend more time with Tom’s siblings in Arizona and for me to meet up with my sister Julie who lives in Los Angeles, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

A few months ago, a mom and baby bushbuck when there was still some green vegetation in the bush.

During this US visit, we won’t be visiting Minnesota. It will be winter there, and neither of us cares to tackle the cold, the ice, and the snow. Once we know more about upcoming cruises, we’ll plan another time to be in Minnesota and Nevada to visit mine and Tom’s family, which surely will be during fall, spring or summer.

For now, we continue to consider where in the world we long to visit and how and when it will be possible based on current travel restrictions due to the pandemic. We’ll have plenty of time while in Arizona to work on this further.

Enjoy the day!

Photo from one year ago today, September 16, 2020:

This photo is from the year-ago post while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day # 177. Sunset view from the third floor of Hans’ house (owner of the house we rented next door) in Diani Beach, Kenya, in 2013. We were thrilled to take photos of the progression of the sun’s setting on the horizon. For more photos, please click here.

Deluding myself in an attempt to be tough…A busy domestic day!…

Broken Horn just can’t get enough visits to our garden, even napping when he needs a restful break.

Of course, I wouldn’t say I like to whinge about this and that in posts. But, we always promised to be honest, vulnerable, and tell it like it is. Our readers couldn’t say that we see the world through rose-colored glasses and try to paint a picture of us always being tough and strong.

Yes, there are times we are tough and strong. As I’ve gone through the corrections these past few days, rereading every post about when I had open-heart surgery, I’m reminded of how tough and strong we’ve been. I experienced an awful recuperation requiring more surgery during the summer heat here in Marloth Park with no aircon in the living areas and many power outages at night.

A giraffe munching on treetops in Marloth Park.

Today, on this hot day with the hole in my mouth still hurting, mozzies seeking out my flesh, leaving me unable to sit outdoors, I am stuck in the bedroom with the fan. It is sweltering, and the mozzies are on a rampage on the veranda. Tom sprayed, but they won’t quit biting me even with loads of repellent on, so I had to come indoors to sit on the bed with only the fan. I don’t want to use the electricity required to run the aircon during the day since we use enough at night to sleep.

It will be 100F (38C) within an hour, and the oven has been on while I was baking Tom’s muffins, now a weekly routine. I’d rather he’d eat homemade muffins instead of the chemical-laden junk in the market. But, today, on this hot day, the house feels like an oven after the actual oven was on for over an hour, making two batches of muffins.

Tiny has yet to visit since we returned from the US at the end of July. I look for him each day. We hope to see him before we leave again.

Not only did I make a double batch of blueberry muffins, but I did three loads of laundry; I made everything for dinner, including a big batch of sweet and sour cabbage, which is cooking now, and seasoned the pork chops for Tom and the chicken breasts for me.

I’ve continued with the corrections in the past several days, with 45 days left to go. I’ve tried to pick up the pace to get done before we leave in 36 days, but I’d have to do them into the night, and I have no desire to be working in the evenings.

This project has kept me on my computer from morning until 4:00 pm (1600 hrs) every day when I throw my hands in the air and stop for the evening. Yesterday, our web developer wrote to tell me I have to start working on the new SEO posts. I explained that I couldn’t begin until we are settled in the US after I have completely finished all of the corrections.

Two zebras in the road on the way to Jabula for dinner.

Recently, amid all this work, I finally got our taxes done and sent them to our accountant in Nevada. At least that nagging task is off of my mind, that was looming for many months.

The hole in my mouth where the tooth was extracted is still very sore. It’s only been 48 hours since it was removed. I need to be patient. The Advil-type pills I have to take every six hours require I do so only after eating. I don’t eat every six hours when I’m rarely hungry other than dinnertime.

Last night, around 2:00 am, when the pain awoke me, I had to go to the kitchen to eat some sour cream to coat my stomach before taking the pill. It had been eight hours since I’d eaten anything. I don’t eat during the night, ever! This same thing happened this morning when I had no interest in eating upon awakening and, again, had to get something into my stomach before taking the pill. Again, I swallowed a few tablespoons of sour cream.

A giraffe with uneven ossicones! I wish I’d gotten a better photo of his teeth!

I will be happy when the pain is gone, and I can eat when I’m hungry, as always, and won’t have trouble chewing as I have over the past many months since that molar starting hurting, after the root canal was done,  and now with the darned thing extracted.

Ah, listen to me whinge. Sorry about that. Tomorrow will be a better day. The temperature is supposed to drop dramatically tomorrow for a high of 75F (24C), and hopefully, I’ll be further along with the improvement in my mouth.

Several of our friends and readers have written that they’ve contracted with Covid-19 after being vaccinated. So far, their cases, although uncomfortable, haven’t been severe. We pray for their imminent recovery and the safety of those who’ve yet decided to get the jab.

Have a pleasant day! I promise to be more cheerful tomorrow!

Photo from one year ago today, September 15, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #176 while dining in a cave in Kenya in 2013. Another view of the seating areas in the bar, depicting somewhat of a Moroccan theme, which was ahead for us at this point when we’d booked a holiday home in Marrakesh, Morocco, a mere six months later. For more photos, please click here.

Its a new day!…Whew!…

Thick Neck/Bad Leg with mud on his horns from digging for food.

If I had to judge how I’d feel based on how I felt yesterday, today would not be a good day. But, miraculously, I awoke this morning feeling great with no pain or discomfort at all! How could that be when yesterday, after returning from having my tooth pulled when the anesthetic wore off,  I was in agony and could barely write a word here.

As it turned out, the tooth wouldn’t come out. Dr. Siingh and his assistant had to hold onto me for leverage while he yanked and pulled, only to have a small portion of the tooth come out. This was a tooth that had a root canal a few months ago that continued to hurt. He assumed it was cracked, which didn’t show on the scan.

Several bushbucks were in the garden this morning.

While I lay there wondering what would happen, I could hear him pulling out each of the root canal pins one by one. It was unnerving. Luckily I didn’t feel pain, only lots of pressure and rocking back and forth. Finally, he had to use a drill and a laser to cut away the remnants of the tooth.

Before getting the tooth out, he seated the new crown in another tooth, which went well, requiring no anesthetic. Thank goodness, that is done! It was a relief to have that resolved after the temporary crown kept falling out every few hours over the past week. Eating, drinking, and talking were a challenge.

This morning, Stringy was laying down in the garden.

Finally, the cracked tooth was out, and we were back on our way to Marloth Park from Malalane, a 35-minute drive. I had a wad of gauze in the space, biting down to stop the bleeding. After returning to the house, I had made similar wads using paper towels when we didn’t have any gauze. It didn’t seem as sanitary as gauze, but the bleeding didn’t stop for about two hours.

Then, the numbing agent wore off, and the pain began. It was awful. I was literally climbing the walls. I took the prescribed Advil-type (narcotic free) pills I’d been given but got little relief all evening until finally, exhausted from the ordeal, I konked out, only awakening in pain a few times during the night.

We had to pick up Frank’s seeds from the ground. Otherwise, the bushbucks will eat them.

I’d taken the prescribed medication again before I went to sleep, but it wore off during the night, and when I awoke, it was too soon to take another. Eight hours had to pass. At 5:00 am, I played a game on my phone and drifted off back to sleep amid the discomfort. I awoke at 7:00 am, and much to my surprise, the pain was gone.

Wow! I hadn’t taken the Advil-type tablet since 11:00 pm and haven’t needed to do so today. I guess I’m recovered, just like that! I am thrilled this is over. I was dreading it for days. I haven’t had a tooth pulled in more than 54 years, shortly after my son Richard was born. In “those days,” they said a woman would lose a tooth for each child born, which has since been proven to be a wive’s tale.

Spikey’s horns are growing as he matures.

Tom had an easier first day when two teeth were pulled a few weeks ago, which has since healed. When we return to Marloth Park in 15 months, he’ll see Dr. Singh to get implants for both missing teeth, which shows when he smiles. My tooth was the last molar in my bottom right which doesn’t show. There is no point in doing anything about that.

As they say, “It’s hell to get old.” These issues are a by-product of aging, often resulting in problems with teeth and other body parts. But, the alternative? Nah, not so good. It’s the way it is. All we can do is continue to strive to take good care of ourselves in every possible way, some of which are easier to do than others.

In one way or another, I’m looking forward to leaving for the US again in 37 days. The roads where we’ll be staying in Apache Junction are level, allowing us to go for daily walks easily. Also, it seldom rains in the desert, and the weather will be comfortable and sunny most days during the winter months.

Regardless of how hard it is to leave Marloth Park, I keep reminding myself of the good parts we’ll enjoy being back in the US for a total of four months. And, of course, we’ll be looking forward to our future itinerary as we now consistently add to the list.

Have a happy, healthy and fulfilling day!

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

One year ago, this photo was posted in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #175. We were fortunate to see many rhinos while in the Maasai Mara in 2013. For more photos, please click here.

Off to the dentist once again…Busy morning in the bush…The animals are hungry!…

A rock for a pillow.

In a few minutes, we’ll be leaving for my dentist appointment when finally, I’m having that recently root-canaled tooth pulled. It just wouldn’t stop hurting, and there was no point in adding a crown to a painful tooth. Since it’s the last molar on the bottom left and won’t be visible when I smile or laugh, pulling was the best option.

Since I had the root canal only a few months ago, Dr. Singh explained it could require “surgery” to pull it out if it doesn’t come out quickly on the first try. I am not looking forward to this.

Thick Neck/Bad Leg hangs around most of the day and night.

My plan today was to start preparing today’s post, hoping to complete it when we return. Hopefully, I will feel fine and will be able to finish the post. If not, I will write a short update, add what I have written thus far, and be back with more tomorrow. I am hoping I don’t need to take more antibiotics. I’ve had enough of them in the past year with the teeth issues.

Once I am done today, if all goes well, I won’t have to return to Dr. Singh until we return in December 2022, when I still have one silver amalgam filling in my mouth. I want to be removed, once and for all. Over the years, I’ve had all of them replaced with white porcelain.

Kudus and bushbucks in the garden this morning.

This morning was quite eventful in the garden. At one point, we had no less than 20 wild animals in the garden. Without rain yet, the bush is so dry the animals have nothing to graze upon and are subject to people like us feeding them. Several bushbucks live in our garden, always looking at us for more food. It’s heartbreaking. We can’t possibly give them enough food to get them through the day.

However, they will make it to the rainy season, from what we can tell. They all look healthy and surprisingly well-fed. On Friday night at Jabula, we met Gary, one of our neighbors, and he sees and feeds many of the same animals we see and feed. We laughed over their characteristics. Each animal has its unique personality, and it’s often easy to distinguish one from another. We all laughed about Broken Horn, This Neck/Bad Leg, and Holey Moley.

Lots of animals were looking at us this morning.

Gary wasn’t quite sure who Little is, but then again, he may not have been looking for his distinguishing marks and characteristics, which for me is hard to miss. When he approaches, he always heads to the side of the veranda, closest to where I sit. He’s very bossy and will come up onto the veranda if we don’t respond to his visit. Gosh, soon we’ll be gone, and he’ll have to find someone else to pester several times a day. (Not that I mind at all).

A few readers have written inquiring about how hard it will be on the wildlife when we leave. Once the rains come in the next month or two, everything will be green, and eating pellets and vegetables offered by humans won’t be necessary to survive. But, they are resourceful and will wander to other locations where residents are feeding.

We couldn’t toss out the carrots and pellets quickly enough.

At that point, any pellets tossed their way are comparable to treats one would give their pet, not necessary for survival but fun for us humans to show our love and devotion.

Last night, we cooked burgers on the braai, directly on the grates. This morning, a dozen or so mongooses climbed up the back of the braai and started nibbling on the remnants of the meat and fat. Soon, Vusi or Zef will arrive and clean the braai as they do each day after we’ve used it. But it’s always funny to hear the mongooses moving inside the gas braai. It’s another of those humorous experiences we discover in the bush.

As I looked out the window in the kitchen, I saw the kudus in the front garden.

Right now, three mongooses are drinking from Frank’s little container of water. As carnivores, they don’t eat seed or vegetables, but on occasion, they’ll run off with a piece of cabbage, celery, or carrots, playing with it but not eating it.

Right now, only 15 minutes before we depart for Malalane, Tom is watching overtime for last night’s Minnesota Vikings Game. If it’s not done in time for us to leave, he’ll watch it when we return later on.

When they heard the commotion in the back, they moved to the rear garden with the others.

We have returned from the dentist in Malalane. I’m not up to writing much now, but I’ll be back with more tomorrow. All went well, but right now, I think I’ll take it easy and watch the latest episode of Season 11 of The Walking Dead and lay low for the remainder of the day.

It’s a beautiful warm, not hot, sunny day. The animals returned when we did, and they were looking for pellets and seeds. We are attending to them now. Tomorrow is another day, and surely I will be fine by then.

Three kudus in the front garden munching off a little tree with greenery.

Have a pleasant day!

Photo from one year ago today, September 13, 2020:

One year ago, this photo was posted in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #174. As we were sitting in our outdoor living room in Kenya that morning in 2013, while writing, seven goats jumped over their stone wall behind our garden directly into our garden, only a few feet from us. They decided to dine on the lush leaves of the hibiscus bushes in our yard. For more photos, please click here. For more photos, please click here.