My boys…What can I say?…It’s a glorious day in the bush!”…A few more Kruger photos…

We waited patiently as the giraffe made her way across the dirt road in Kruger.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

There he is…Scar Face has returned after a three-week hiatus. 

With Louise, Danie, and her parents coming for dinner tomorrow night, I decided to work on a bit of food prep this morning. I had a late start after actually sleeping until 7:30 am, a rarity for me. Tom was up at 5:30, as usual, unable to sleep any longer.

Greeting the balmy day couldn’t have been more perfect. The sun was shining, the temperature was ideal, and a slight breeze wafted through the air every so often. Now, at noon, the perfect weather continues.

It’s looking better, but it may take a while longer for his injury to completely heal.

Of course, our day has been brightened further by the arrival of one group of visitors after another; Miss Kudu and baby; Mrs. Warthog, auntie, and two babies; a couple of dozen helmeted guinea fowl; and then…pure delight.

Mornings are hectic. At around 9:30 am, Tom called out to me while I was busy in the kitchen to immediately come outside. I was anxious to get out anyway to begin working on today’s overdue post, which I always do sitting at the big table on the veranda enjoying the sights and sounds of nature along with whatever visitors come to grace us with their presence.

Often, when animals in the wild are injured, they seem to know how to take care of themselves without intervention from humans.
I wiped my wet hands on the legs of my jeans as I rushed outdoors, unsure of what to expect, anticipating that Tom was summoning me to see birds at the old bushbaby stand which we’re now using as a bird feeder since we purchased a new bushbaby stand a few days ago from Daisy’s Den.

My heart stopped in my chest when there stood Scar Face, as Tom said, “Your boy is back!” I squealed like a pig myself when I saw him. He and I made our usual penetrating eye contact. Oh, how I’d love to know what he’s thinking.

It’s always a joy to see zebras, whether here in Marloth Park or in Kruger.

Most likely, he was hungry and was looking for apples, pellets, and perhaps a few carrots. (Warthogs are finicky about carrots. Some like them, others do not). Scar-Face will eat a few. 

Luckily, yesterday after a shopping trip to Komatipoort and Lebombo (where there’s a market with the best carrots anywhere), we purchased plenty of carrots and apples, some of which I’d already cut up. (Thanks, Louise, for your help in the carrot matter). I grabbed the bowl from the refrigerator, anxious to get back out to him.

A face only a mother could love!

Tom and I stood on the veranda tossing handfuls of apples and pellets to Scar-Face while he voraciously devoured them as quickly as we could toss them out. With the holiday season over for now and many homeowners off to other lands, it could have been days since he’d had much food other than his usual foraging.

With winter approaching and little rain, the pickings are slim for many animals, and they surely appreciate a hand out of pellets, fruits, and veggies from whoever happens to be around.

Each time we enter Kruger, we see at least one elephant, frequently many more. We never tire of seeing the magnificent beasts or other wildlife, for that matter.

Why we hadn’t seen him since a week before we left for Zambia (we were gone one week) and now back a whole week as of today, we’ll never know. Maybe he came by while we were gone and gave up when we weren’t here.

It’s impossible to read the minds of wildlife. Although they’re “creatures of habit” like us humans, their patterns may be inconsistent as they wander through the 3000 hectares (11.58 square miles) that consist of this unique and magical conservancy where animals roam free.

A cape buffalo was resting in the vegetation in Kruger.

He looked better, although it will take many more months for his injury to heal fully. He seemed otherwise healthy, and when he was done eating and heard a noise in the bush, he took off at a fantastic pace. (Warthogs can run at a rate of 55 km, 35 miles per hour when chased by a lion).

Hopefully, now that he sees we’re here, he’ll return as regularly as he had the first months we were here. Gosh, it’s so easy to become attached to these animals even when we don’t touch them or interact with them as we would a pet in our home. 

This is a female giraffe based on the hair on her ossicones which males do not have.

These are not pets. They’re wild animals, and although some have become used to humans in “their” territory, they still behave like wild animals. It would be unwise and unfair to them to attempt to “domestic them.” Doing so could ultimately result in their eventual demise.

Some disagree with feeding the wildlife. We understand this concept. However, many residents of Marloth Park have been providing pellets and vegetables, and fruit to them for decades, and they’ve continued to thrive.  We’ve followed suit, especially when we see the vegetation drying up as winter rolls in.

Tom’s hair had become unruly, prompting him to get another haircut sooner than usual.

On Wednesday, Tom had his hair cut and is thrilled with the result. Yesterday, as mentioned above, we headed to Lebombo and Komatipoort to shop for groceries, buy pellets at Obaro, stop at the pharmacy for a few items, and see Dr. Theo for our appointment for more vaccinations. More on this in tomorrow’s post.

He had it cut right here in Marloth Park at a busy salon near Daisy’s Den where we buy birdseed and other items.

Today, we’ll stay put while we continue to prep for tomorrow evening’s dinner party. It will be fun to meet Louise’s parents and share great conversation and good food and wine!

May your day be filled with happy surprises!

Photo from one year ago today, May 25, 2017:

The sun filtered through the tall trees at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia. For more photos, please click here.

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