Load shedding shortly…Trying to hurry and get post uploaded…Rental car challenge…

This wildebeest came up onto the veranda to let us know he was looking for some pellets.

Who’s in the garden this morning?

  • 12 warthogs – inc. Little, Lonely Boy, Lonely Girl, Fred and Ethel, and others
  • 8 bushbucks – inc. Thick Neck, Bad Leg, Spikey, and others
  • 11 kudus – inc. Bossy, Baby Daddy, Medium Daddy, two youngsters, and others
  • 5 wildebeest – inc Crooked Face, Hal, and others
  • 32 helmeted guinea-fowl
  • 2 Frank and The Misses

Tom was chasing Little this morning, spraying him with water from an orange spray bottle to keep him away from Frank and The Misses’ birdseed in the little container on the veranda. He comes right up onto the veranda and eats from the container making an awful mess. Besides, he’s well-fed by us; pellets, carrots, and apples.

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I can’t help but laugh when this happens, although I say, “Little, don’t eat the seeds each time.” Pigs are smart and can quickly learn commands, not unlike a dog. Pigs are listed as smarter than dogs, as the 6th most intelligent land animals on the planet.

I suppose it’s one of the reasons I like warthogs so much. They make eye contact and respond to being spoken to, tilting their heads, stomping their feet, and moving about in animated ways, easily indicating they are paying attention. Of course, we laugh at every instance! I know it’s hard to believe but, if my favorite warthogs are anywhere in the area, they come when responding to my voice.

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Now, of course, we’re wondering what happens when we are gone for almost a month, leaving Marloth Park in a mere 18 days on June 29th. Even the wildebeests who frequently visit have begun responding to my voice. Surely, all of these animals will return not long after we do, at the end of July.

Now that my cough is finally improving, I feel more at ease about traveling to the US and, a day or two later, getting a Covid vaccine. It appears we’ll be able to make an appointment for the jab before we even leave Marloth Park, which will give us peace of mind.

Included in today’s photos are a few shots of the porcupine from last night’s trail cam that we were thrilled to see once again. Unfortunately, there was only one, not two, as the previous time, but the one is fine for us. Any chance we have for photos of the more unusual visitors is always extraordinary.

They didn’t take their eyes off us until we offered them the pellets.

We’ve been trying to get Thrifty Car Rental located in Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger Airport to return the rental car on the day we leave rather than today on June 11th. This is because Tom had driven back to Nelspruit a month ago for the mandatory car inspection, and we didn’t want him to have to make that half-day round trip once again.

Speaking to the manager of Thrifty a few weeks ago, we got him to agree to us sending him dated photos and a video of the car to avoid the long trip. He hesitantly agreed. First thing this morning, we headed outdoors with the camera in hand to take the photos.

But, it’s not as easy as you’d think. Taking photos on a camera and then loading them on Google Drive to attach and send via WhatsApp wasn’t as easy as you’d think. The images didn’t roll over to Google Drive as quickly as we needed, and I spent no less than 90 minutes figuring out a workaround. Load shedding was around the corner.

Tom stayed busy for quite a while tossing pellets to these five wildebeests.

Finally, I called the manager and asked if we could email the photos, make a video of the car, and send him the link. He agreed. Finally, we got it all done and sent everything to him only 30 minutes before load shedding started when WiFi would also be out.

We anticipated we wouldn’t hear back from him that he approved the photos and video until the power came back a few hours later. But, much to our relief, he sent a message stating he approved the photos and video and we could keep the car until June 29th. Of course, we’d already paid through June 30th, but Thrifty required the vehicle be returned for an inspection every 30 days, something we’d never experienced in the past.

Tom didn’t have to drive to Nelspruit today, and we could relax about the car, one less thing on our minds with so little time remaining until we leave South Africa. Whew! What a relief!

They scattered throughout the garden to get every last pellet.

The load shedding period ended by 1:08 pm, 1308 hrs., 22 minutes earlier than expected. Finally, I was able to get back to work finishing today’s post and getting it uploaded by 2:30 pm, 1430 hrs, another relief!

Today, we’re staying in, cooking on the braai, and enjoying a quiet evening with the animals, for as long as we can stay outdoors in the chilly air.

We changed our usual reservation for Jabula Lodge and Restaurant on Friday evenings with Rita and Gerhard to tomorrow, since today they were busy with the new vehicle they purchased and dropping off their rental car in Nelspruit. So instead, we’ll all meet at Jabula on Saturday for another enjoyable evening.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, June 11, 2020:

The contrast between old and new is breathtaking in Istanbul. For more photos, please click here.

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