|The mongoose now comes up the steps to let us know they’d like some eggs.|
“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
|Mr. Tree Frog has become a regular fixture hanging out on this light fixture every night after dark. Most likely he’s attracted to the possibility of eating many insects around the light.|
Mongooses fascinate us. (Yes, the plural of mongoose is most often mongooses, not necessarily mongeese). There is no biological connection between mongooses and geese.
|The mongooses get along well with Ms. Bushbuck and Baby.|
A group of mongooses ranging from 20 to 50 participants is called a band. In our area in Marloth Park, most often we see the banded (striped) mongoose. Most often they visit us in small groups of 20 or so but we’ve definitely had visits from as many as 60 or 70 of the funny little creatures
|“Only one more step to go,” says one mongoose to another.|
In Africa, there are 34 species of mongooses but there are also these and other species in parts of Asia and Europe. In many countries, they are highly revered for their ability to fight with a venomous snake, surviving many bites.
Mongooses are adept at killing snakes due to their agility, thick coats, and specialized acetylcholine receptors that render them resistant or immune to snake venom. Thus, we welcome them as visitors hoping their presence, which is daily, keeps the snake population at bay during the upcoming spring and summer months.
|“I made it all the way to the top. Now, let’s see if the humans notice me!”|
Some mongooses are strictly carnivores but those that visit us, the banded mongooses, seem to enjoy eating the small apple chunks that we toss to a wide variety of visitors although not with the enthusiasm as when we provide the bowl of scrambled eggs as shown in today’s photo with a mongoose lying in it.
|“I’ll hide under the braai so they don’t see me.”|
Each week, while I shop for groceries in Komatipoort Tom heads to the market in Lebombo where he purchases five dozen eggs for the mongooses and carrots and apples for the remaining wildlife which we “serve'” along with the pellets.
Our weekly cost for feeding wildlife is as follows:
Carrots 5 kg: ZAR 34.90 (US $2.44)
Apples 2 bags: ZAR 39.80 (US $2.78)
Eggs 5 dozen: ZAR 79.80 (US $5.57)
Pellets 60 kg: ZAR 329.29 (US $23.00)
Total: ZAR 488.79 (US $33.79)
|“Hmm…should I try it too?”|
We also eat the carrots in the 5 kg bag since they are of exceptional quality. However, we don’t consume apples with our way of eating and prefer buying “free-range organic eggs” which we purchase weekly at Spar for our own use.
The total weekly/month cost may seem like too big a number to be tossing out to wildlife but the amount of enjoyment we get derive while providing wildlife with added sustenance is well worth the money.
|“Gee…the eggs are all gone but I think I’ll lay in the bowl to let them know we want more.”|
We never go to a movie, dine out only once per week on average, don’t have the cost of upkeep and home maintenance (including cable bills, lawn service, utilities, and trips to Home Depot) results in the most exquisite entertainment found anywhere in the world as far as we’re concerned.
In our old lives, it was nothing unusual to drop ZAR 7159 (US $500) during a single trip to Costco, considered in itself to be quite entertaining, while loading up on massive sizes of household goods and food. Those days are long past.
|“Trying a different position. Maybe this will work.”|
We do not feed the wildlife our leftover food. We plan our meals carefully and rarely have leftover food to toss. Nor would we feel it is safe for the wildlife to be fed human food. Their digestive systems are developed to consume vegetation and for the carnivores, like the banded mongooses that visit us, they consume insects, small rodents, frogs, lizards, snakes, and eggs.
We often hear stories of holidaymakers and some local residents feeding the wildlife totally inappropriate foods, such as potato chips and fries, pasta and desserts, and other sugary, starchy foods that aren’t befitting their physical makeup.
|“That didn’t work. Maybe I’ll take a nap.”|
In a perfect world, the bush would be rife with greenery, vegetation, and water sufficient to feed the wildlife. But, the reality is such that it’s not always possible and the sustenance we provide is only a tiny portion of what they need to be well-nourished.
Soon, when the rains come, we’ll be excited to see the wildlife thrive in a richer greener environment. Even so, we have no doubt they’ll continue to visit us whether or not they’re hungry as they are now in this parched dry terrain.
May your day be rich in experience and purpose.
Photo from one year ago today, September 22, 2017:
|After many inquiries as to these low-carb chicken stuffed loaves, this recipe is included in the link below. Food is a big part of our world travels as we’re sure it is for most of you when traveling, whether homemade or dining in restaurants. We tripled the recipe in order to result in four meals, freezing part of it. For the recipe and instructions, please click here.|