First time visitor stuns…Gentle musings on a busy morning in the bush…Two must-watch videos…

Notice the train-like mating noise Wart Face makes when approaching
this female, one of two moms that stop by each day.
The interaction with wildlife is not only educational but also humorous.
Each day, we spend hours watching their behavior.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

As shown in this photo (not ours), a genet appeared last night while we were packing to go inside for the night. Unfortunately, I’d already put away the camera. By the time I went back inside to get it, the genet was long gone. Now, I suppose, we’ll be hell-bent on seeing this lovely cat again and taking our photos.

We’ve had few quiet mornings in Marloth Park since we arrived two and a half months ago. Whether it’s the four dozen helmeted guinea fowl that live in the bush surrounding our house, a single kudu or a forkl of kudu, a sounder of warthogs or Frank (the francolin) and his wife, it’s always a busy morning.

A good-sized turtle was crossing the road.

Often, they begin to appear once we’re up and about, but on a rare occasion, as soon as we open the giant wooden doors to the house, a variety may be awaiting us. “What’s for breakfast,” their eyes ask as they stare at us. Wildlife in Marloth Park is used to being fed.

A part of this outrageous adventure are the sounds in the bush both day and night, including an indescribable variety of bird calls, cricket chirps, impala barks, hog snorts, frogs croaks (only the males’ croak), and the frequent sounds at a distance, often hard for us novices to decipher. In time we will learn.

Three young monkeys were playing in the dirt in front of the veranda.

For now, we sit back in a perpetual state of wonder, rarely ever missing a beat. The rustling in the bush is often a good indicator that an animal is approaching. My finely-tuned hearing is quick to pick up on a pending arrival, for which I quietly alert Tom while we both wait in anticipation as to who will grace our presence in the next minute or two.

They are highly social and spend considerable time playing with their troop-mates.

With Tom’s years of hearing loss from “working on the railroad,” with difficulty hearing certain tones, he’s often dependent on me to let him know someone is approaching.  But, then, his keen eye often spots action in the bush long before I see it. We’re a good team as observers of wildlife in the bush (along with other things).

Monkeys use rocks and boulders as tools to open nuts and fruit.

One may ask, “What do we have to gain from this?” Other than the joy of knowing we’re providing some sustenance for the wildlife who often suffer during droughts, why do we have this peculiar passion that we and many homeowners and visitors to Marloth Park and nature reserves throughout the world also possess?

As wildlife populations diminish worldwide due to human intervention and a natural cycle of life, death, and extinction, we’ve added the experience of seeing and being entrenched in the beauty of nature and wildlife, which our great-grandchildren may never be able to see.

Monkeys such as this Vervet come by in troops, swinging through the trees and carrying on in our side yard.  Vervet monkeys are smaller and less destructive than baboons.

Perhaps our stories and photos here will provide them with a peek into “what it was like” decades ago to help them have a better understanding of cyclic changes in nature precipitated by myriad forces often beyond our control.

This monkey picked up this pellet off the ground and wiped off the dirt before eating it.

Did “humankind” wipe out the dinosaurs? No. Nature did.  And maybe, just maybe, nature naturally has played such a role over the millennium. Once, humans weren’t on this earth. Will one day we be gone as well? We don’t know, nor can we accurately surmise or assume we can change what is yet to come in our destiny.

This is a blue-tailed day gecko we often see close to the river.

Meanwhile, many of us are allowed to play a role, however small and seemingly insignificant in the realm of things, that may or may not impact the future. If doing so brings us peace and purpose, then the effort and dedication were valuable and meaningful.

Our cute little bushbuck baby with her mom on the left is growing up quickly.

Some may say, everything we do is for our pleasure. And, we’d be foolhardy to deny that reality. But, if somehow, through our daily stories and photos, we can provide a moment of pleasure to others throughout the world who may be reading our posts, then this daily commitment was all worthwhile. For this, dear readers, we glean our greatest joy.  For this, dear readers, we thank all of YOU. 

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

The coral reef in the Isle of Pines was exquisite. For more details, please click here.

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