Hansel and Gretel style…Dropping pellets in the yard…Visitors have arrived….Happy Valentine’s Day

There she was yesterday,  a pretty kudu, standing by the watering hole in the yard of our holiday home. She nibbled on pellets and hung around for some time. Female kudus usually weigh about 463 pounds (210 kg), while male bulls may be well over 661 pounds (300 kg).  Only the males have long spiral horns. Tomorrow, we’ll share male kudus we spotted while out on our nightly drive.

Over four years ago, when we lived in Marloth Park, we purchased the approved pellets residents can feed the wild animals.  With the recent drought resulting in less vegetation for the wildlife to eat, the pellets are a nutritious food source.

Kudus are muscular, agile, and strong.

Louise had picked up a 50 pound (23 kg) bag of pellets, which were waiting for us when we arrived.  She dumped them into a giant trash bin with locking handles which we’ll keep indoors to avoid the baboons from getting into them. 

The baboons are very crafty and could quickly figure out how to unlock the interlocking handles.  Although many tourists “get a kick” out of seeing the baboons, they are an awful hazard and can tear up the interior (and exterior) of a house in minutes if they manage to get inside or on the veranda.

She was enjoying the pellets we’d left on the grounds surrounding the property.

It’s our responsibility to ensure they don’t get close to the house by not eating outdoors, feeding them pellets, or making them welcome in any manner. They are the only animals we’ll avoid in this Conservancy.  The others are more than welcome to stop by.

And stop by they have, especially after we began dropping the pellets, Hansel and Gretel style, while walking up and down the dirt driveway and around the house, scattering the pellets as we go. 

This was one view of her from the table and chairs on the veranda. As shown, we have two grills, one gas and another wood burning which we’ll take advantage of soon. Notice the chairs made of tires encircling the fire pit on the ground.

Well, wouldn’t you know, no more than an hour after we laid down the first batch of pellets, we had our first visitor, shown here today in our photos, a lovely female kudu?

Kudus may travel in groups referred to as a “forkl” or herd, particularly the females. The males are often loners, although they may be seen in herds of two, three, or more. We’ll share all of these instances as we move along.

At times, she stopped nibbling pellets and looked directly into our eyes.  What a sweet experience!

This morning as soon as we got situated at the long table on the veranda, I loaded up a plastic container with pellets to begin my twice daily “pellet dropping,” once upon awakening and another around 2:00 pm. 

Doing so should keep the visitors coming. Of course, we’re thrilled to be able to provide them with a bit of sustenance. Once they become used to our offering, they come by regularly during our three months in this house. Most likely, during our second three-month stint and beyond, we’ll repeat the same process, regardless of which holiday house we occupy in Marloth Park.

Although a little cautious near us, she wasn’t intimidated by the little rental car parked in the driveway.

We’d mentioned discussing our recent grocery shopping trip at the Spar Supermarket in Komatipoort. Not unusual in Africa, we had trouble finding some everyday items (to us) such as celery and Parmesan cheese. 

We spent US $317.08 (ZAR 3,760.88) at Spar plus, after the meat market, the biltong shop, a 12-pack of beer, three bottles of wine, and the total grocery bill to get us started was US $401.46 (ZAR 4,761.71). 

She was a lot bigger than she appears in this photo, although we suspected this female might be only one or two years of age.

We have enough beef, chicken, pork, and lamb on hand to last for the next two weeks, and we’ll only need to return to Komatipoort for vegetables and incidentals. We plan to return tomorrow to check out the Shoprite store to see if we can fill in the blanks for our upcoming planned recipes. 

Tonight, we’re planning dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day at Jabula Restaurant and to arrange for my birthday party next week on Tuesday. It will be fun to return and see owners Dawn and Leon and get the party planning underway. I don’t want a big fuss. We’ll be hosting several appetizers and cake and utilize a cash bar for the drinks.

Our first helmeted guinea hen (take from afar, resulting in a little blur).

As for Valentine’s Day, we wish all of our family, friends/readers a very loving day filled with reminders about how to share this special day with those you love. We won’t have any trouble figuring that out around here!

Photo from one year ago today, February 14, 2017:

Cute restaurant in Franklin, Tasmania. For more photos, please click here.

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