Today, it’s raining. But, it’s a steady soaking rain which is ideal compared to heavy rains that would run off. The animals are hunkered down under the trees, waiting for it to end. Little do they know how crucial this rain is to provide them with much-needed nourishment.
We can’t possibly provide sufficient food to satisfy all their needs by offering pellets. Pellets are a treat, although healthy, made from vegetation suitable for varied species. All the wildlife eats them, except for the carnivores such as mongooses, genets, wild dogs, lions, leopards, etc., who continually search for meat in one form or another.
When I first stepped outside this morning, Lollie was sitting in her usual spot waiting for her pellet breakfast before the rain started. I didn’t hesitate for a moment to fill up the four-cup measuring cup with pellets and toss them her way. In only one or two minutes, 12 kudus joined the feast, including moms, babies, and a few Big Daddies.
Tom was taking a shower, and the five-gallon bucket of pellets we keep in the house was empty. The 40 kg, 88 pounds bags of pellets are located in the store room across the driveway and are too heavy for me to lift to refill the bucket. With no pellets left in the bucket to tender to the impatient kudus, I grabbed a few packages of celery, lettuce, and carrots from the fridge.
I quickly cut several carrots into bite-sized pieces and cleaned up a few heads of iceberg lettuce and two bunches of celery. They love the scraps. Within five minutes, I was back on the veranda, tossing all the goodies to them. They couldn’t have been more excited to see the vegetable scraps hit the ground.
Then, I remembered that a container of grape tomatoes had become too ripe for our liking, so I grabbed that container from the fridge and tossed the entire container. Wow! They sure loved them. Most vegetables except corn are acceptable for the animals to eat. The birds can eat corn. Nor can the animals eat bread, chips, sweets, and human snacks and treats.
Unfortunately, many tourists will feed the animals their leftovers. Sure, they like the taste of human food, but they are not healthy for them, even foods we may consider to be healthful. Most of the animals in Marloth Park are used to consuming the indigenous, naturally occurring vegetation typical in the African bush.
We’d considered going to Kruger National Park today, but with the rain and how most of the wildlife stay undercover when it’s raining, there was no point in going. Instead, we’ll stay in, working on various projects we’ve started online while enjoying this quiet day together, as we often do.
This morning, we received an email from the car rental company we’re using in Nelspruit for the little blue car. Tomorrow, the 30-day rental expires, and it was expected that Tom would return the vehicle to sign a new contract. With all the car-jackings, spiking, and crime on the N4 Highway, we were more concerned about driving on that road than we had to. The three-hour turnaround to return the car is worrisome.
Thus, today, we could extend the contract until July 23 over the phone, avoiding the necessity of the long drive. The price was a little less than we’d paid for the first month so that we couldn’t be more thrilled. They sent us a contract extension document with the adjusted lower price, and we’re good for now. Hopefully, in July, they will extend it until August 20 when we fly to Zambia.
Currently, we are without power. We have no way of knowing if it’s due to load shedding or a result of the rain. We had no WiFi for about an hour, but now that has resumed. We’re in good shape if the power doesn’t continue for a while since the inverter is running to keep our laptops and phones charged.
Since I have two laptops, both charged, and Tom has one, if the inverter runs out, we can use one of our laptops to watch movies on the external hard drive that Rita and Gerhard gave me for my birthday last February. Gerhard had installed over 1000 movies on the hard drive, so we’ll have plenty to keep us busy when and if we’re in the dark tonight.
Have a great day!
Photo from one year ago today, June 22, 2022: