Loving winter in the bush…Holidaymakers are leaving!!!…

Norman is up-close-and-personal with Nina, who may be his lifelong mate since there are no other nyala females in Marloth Park.

There is nowhere in the world that we’ve appreciated winter more than here in South Africa. We love winter for so many reasons, first and foremost, the cool weather. Next, we love the lack of insects and mosquitoes, although there are still some biting insects and flies.

Notice the even white markings on nyala Norman’s face. Only the males of the species possess this marking.

We can be outdoors with the doors without screens wide open and not be concerned about insects entering the house—each evening. Tom sprays the bedroom for dust mites, chiggers, and no-see-ums to ensure I get fewer bites. But, come summer, it will be all the more critical that he sprays.

Sadly, during the winter, there is less vegetation for the wildlife. The trees and brush are sparse in the leaves they like to consume. But, that spareness allows us to see further into the parklands beyond the property line, enabling us to see when animals are approaching.

Norman, Nina and their son Noah jumped the fence to check out the garden.

Today, the holidaymakers are leaving the park. The school holiday ends today, and school begins again tomorrow. We’ve already seen an influx of wildlife visitors. This morning we have no less than eight species stop by; impalas, bushbucks, nyalas, warthogs, kudus, zebras, wildebeests and duikers. Most likely, by the end of the day, we’ll see more. The mongooses have become quite the regulars around here and we expect to see them before the day’s end.

Norman, Noah and Nina. Eventually, Noah will look like his dad.

Speaking of nyalas, Norman, Nina and Noah are the only nyalas in Marloth Park. They visit us no less than three times each day. We notice cars stopping on the road to take photos of them when they are here. It’s still morning here, and they’ve already been here twice. We love seeing them, along with all the others.

Normal fluffs up when there are other animals nearby.

It’s been delightful that we’ve only had a few load-shedding sessions in the past 48 hours. Yesterday, I was able to bake a big pan of egg casserole with 18 eggs, cheesy sausages, mushrooms, onions, freshly grated mozzarella, topped with parmesan cheese, and seasoned with fresh garlic, salt, and pepper. My recipe results in 12 good-sized squares, which I place in sandwich Ziplock bags to freeze.

Tom takes one square out each night and places it in the refrigerator overnight to defrost, heating it on a plate in the microwave in the morning for an ideal breakfast. Lately, I’ve been having a light breakfast of unsweetened full-fat Greek yogurt with a few frozen blueberries tossed in and two Keto seed crackers on the side. They’ve begun selling these crackers at Spar market in their health food section.

Nyalas are shy by nature and prefer not to be near other animals or people.

I’m always thrilled to see low carb and keto options at the market here. The Banting (keto) diet is very popular in South Africa and the stores have begun carrying many good products, including many without chemicals, bad oils and added sugars.

Tom took the big bucket to the store room to load it with more pellets. We’re certainly going through them this morning, along with veggie scraps I added to the offerings. We are so happy to see so much wildlife gracing our garden. It seemed as if there was one holiday after another since we arrived almost two months ago. Now, we’ll have more photo ops along with those from Kruger National Park which we plan to visit this week now that the holidays are over.

We named this mature male kudu Unicorn due to the tiny third horn growing between his eyes.

As for the rest of today, we’re hanging out enjoying this perfect winter day. No sweatshirts are needed to stay warm today. The sun is shining, and the bush is filled with the activities of our furry friends.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, July 18, 2021:

A pretty female bushbuck in the garden of our holiday home in the bush. For more, please click here.

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