Heat and power outages continue…Exciting new sighting in our garden!!!!…

Spikey has been playing in the mud!

It was quite a night. After an early dinner at 5:30 pm, 1730 hrs, we came inside to stream a few shows on my laptop with the aircon and the fan turned on. Even after showering, we couldn’t seem to cool off from the hot 103F, 39.9C day with outrageously high humidity.

I had a hard time taking the clothes stuck to me to shower and get into one of Tom’s cool cotton tee shirts. My summer night dress was too hot to wear to bed with its silky fabric sticking to me. We got comfortable on the bed in the then-cooled room and watched an episode of shark tank, Billions, and America’s Got Talent.

During this period, yet another thunder and lightning storm shook the house. A few times, the power went off, which we feared would happen. Miraculously, moments later, the power returned much to our relief and amazement. With the delicate and inconsistent power grid in South Africa, outages from storms are more the norm than not.

New tiny bushbuck was eating pellets with mom watching in the background.

By 11:00 pm, 2300hrs, we were ready to doze off, but for some odd reason, neither of us could fall asleep. We both tossed and turned for hours. Fortunately, the bed doesn’t seem to move when one of us is moving every few minutes. It wasn’t until around 1:00 am that I finally drifted off into oblivion, and Tom did the same.

At 1:30 pm, we both bolted out of bed when the alarm went off, for no reason at all from what we could ascertain. Tom promptly shut it off, and we called the alarm company to inform them it was a false alarm, most likely due to the lightning. They weren’t answering the number we always called to tell them it was a false alarm. We kept trying to reach them to no avail.

A short time later, Tom noticed some light through the bedroom shade. It surely must have been the alarm company that was investigating our alarm during the storm. Either their phones were down, or they were too busy to answer. There’s a fee if they have to come out. I will explain what happened to Louise, and she will straighten it out for us.

Last night while sitting at the table on the veranda, I looked up to see a bushbaby sticking her head out of the hole in the bushbaby house.

Speaking of Louise, last night, she texted asking us if we’d like to join them for a braai at Frikkee’s Dam in Lionspruit this morning around 11:00 am. They have eight family members visiting for an early holiday celebration. All ten of them are attending along with a few other “regulars” that always join in on these brunch braais, Flo and JJ and their young adult kids, and Estelle and James, at times with their adult kids.

Everyone brings food to share. We are making our usual brunch egg with cheese, bacon, mushroom, and onions. As I write here, Tom is cooking the large pan on the braai. It’s too hot to turn on the oven in the house. I am back in the bedroom preparing this post in air-conditioned comfort, knowing we’ll be spending the rest of the day outdoors in the heat, expected to rise to 100F, 38C mid-day.

We’ll be bringing the camera, hoping to see some wildlife in the wide-open area where lions, Fluffy, and Dezi reside. We hear their roars night after night when they are on the hunt for their next meal. There is plenty of wildlife to sustain them in Lionspruit, especially after the recent culling and moving many antelope into Lionspruit from Marloth Park. The back border of our holiday home borders Lionspruit so we can hear some action from time to time.

Since bushbabies are nocturnal, she wasn’t quite awake yet.

More old friends have arrived in Marloth Park, Cees, and Rina, who we met and thoroughly enjoyed when they were our neighbors at the Orange house in 2018.  It’s hard to believe that was three years ago. We have already planned to get together for dinner on Tuesday evening at Amazing Kruger View, overlooking the Crocodile River. It will be great to see them again, and we’ll undoubtedly plan other get-togethers while they are here.

Dear friends Kathy and Don are leaving Marloth Park to return to Hawaii for the holidays. There will be a final braai and get-together at their house on Thursday night for a few other friends and us. It will be sad to see them go since they have been close friends since we arrived in December 2013 when they invited us for dinner on Christmas Eve when they’d never even met us.

This was the first time we’d seen a bushbaby in the house since we arrived last January.

Friends Lynne and Mick, whom we hope to see in Jersey, UK, in spring 2022, met us at Jabula a few days before Christmas that year, introduced to us by owners/friends Dawn and Leon. When we all chatted for a bit, they later spoke to Kathy and Don, saying they should meet us. Just like that, Kathy and Don invited us for Christmas Eve dinner along with family and other friends.

We were thrilled and flattered to be included and so warmly welcomed. Now, eight years later, we’ve been included in their circle of friends as we’ve included them in ours. That’s how it is in Marloth Park, one of the main reasons we love it here so much, along with our love of our animal friends.

Soon, she tucked her head back inside, perhaps to sleep a bit longer. Later today, when we get home from the braai at Frikkee’s Dam, we’ll put some sour cream mixed with jelly (leftover from having guests) in a bit of cup for her.

When we reviewed last night’s trail cam, there wasn’t a single photo on the card. We weren’t surprised. We doubted any of the animals would have been out and about during the storm.  When the lightning flashed every few minutes during the night, I often wondered if they were scared. Undoubtedly, the young ones would have been terrified, staying close to their moms for shelter and comfort.

This morning, they were all back: Spikey, as shown in the main photo, Broken Horn, Frank, The Misses, Lonely Girl, Sigfried and Roy, Thick Neck, Gordon Ramsey, Sylvia, Mom, and Baby Bushbuck. It was a lovely start to yet another hot day.

Be well. Be happy. Be safe.

Photo from one year ago today, November 7, 2020:

This photo was posted one year ago while in a hotel in lockdown in Mumbai, India, on day #229. The end of the elephant’s tail has hairs that act as a small brush, suitable for swatting flies, bees, and other insects. For more photos, please click here.

A mysterious intruder during the night…All new photos…

Each morning, over the past several days, I noticed the remains of sunflower seeds near the container of seeds we use for the birds, which we leave on the little table at night.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

This morning, using Ken’s night vision, motion-detecting camera, we determined the nighttime intruder is a bushbaby, a nocturnal little creature who is apparently living inside the house. We have no idea where it sleeps during the day. 

Over the last several nights, we noticed someone had gotten into the plastic container of seeds we use for feeding Frank, The Misses, and other birds that visit us in the garden.

Over this past year, during the night, we left the same container on the small table in the dining area of the house, never giving it a thought. During this extended period of living in this house, we’d saw many of these precious creatures partaken of its contents.

Bushbaby is looking for food at the old stand, which has since fallen to the ground from kudus pushing at it, looking for food.

We showed the remnants of the sunflower seeds scattered on the table to Linda and Ken, and we all surmised what it could be. I asked Ken if he could set up his night vision, motion detector camera so perhaps overnight last night, we could determine what it might be.

Yesterday morning the four of us headed to Lionspruit for the bush t Frikkes Dam, hosted by Louise and Danie. This was our fourth such event during the past year, and once again, we made our usual egg, sausage, onion, and mushroom cheesy casserole to share.

During our first few months, we used the old bushbaby stand for the cups of yogurt.

As mentioned in yesterday late post, uploaded after the event late in the afternoon, others had made some excellent food, including Louise and Danie’s seafood potjie, which I failed to describe as follows: “Get your friends and family together and cook a delicious meal in a South African cast-iron potjie (pronounced ‘potchee‘)! It is an exciting and enjoyable way of relaxing together and a tasty alternative to a barbeque. The potjie is placed over hot coals, either on an open fire or on top of a grill.”

I was in cookie heaven when Rita brought homemade low-carb, gluten-free, sugar-free peanut butter cookies. I don’t usually make low-carb cookies since I tend to eat too many of them.  

Every night they stopped by for the yogurt.

Even good-for-you-foods may be consumed in excess and may not be healthful in doing so after all. Such is the case for me and cookies. At the party, I may have eaten five cookies, and when Rita gave me the batch balance to take “home,” surely last night, I ate another three or four.  

Bad, bad, bad when today I felt bloated and uncomfortable. I hate the expression, “everything in moderation.”  Moderation is not possible when it comes to certain foods that send us to the moon!  Today, I’m back on track and will allow myself one cookie a day until they are gone in five days.

It’s always adorable to see their little “hands” holding onto the cup.

When the four of us returned to the house around 1600 hours (4:00 pm), we contemplated if we’d have room for the delicious low-carb Italian casserole I’d prepared early on Sunday morning, hoping we’d eat it for dinner on Sunday evening.

If no one ate a morsel until then, we agreed we’d all be ready for dinner by about 1930 hours (7:30 pm). Linda helped me put the final touches on the meal and make the coleslaw salad. By 1935 (7:35 pm), we were ready to eat again. I stayed away from the cookies during this period.

Occasionally, they drop the little cup.  On each occasion, Tom picks it up and places it back on the stand.

The meal was as good as I’d hoped (if I say so me). Shortly after dinner and cleanup, we played the domino-type game once again. By 2230 (10:30 pm), we were off to bed with bellies full and anxious for a good night’s sleep which ultimately was achieved.

But, before we retired for the night, Ken set up the camera to ensure in the morning, we’d discover who was the mysterious nighttime intruder getting into the container of bird seeds.

On many occasions, we’ve seen several bushbabies on the stand.

This morning, when I saw Ken in the kitchen preparing his breakfast, I couldn’t resist inquiring about what he discovered on the camera. He told me to guess. My first guess was a mouse, the obvious choice. Secondly, I suggested a bushbaby, and he nodded his head with a big smile on his face.  

Indeed, the culprit was a bushbaby, as shown in today’s “Sighting of the Day in the Bush,” a furry bulgy-eyed bushbaby that apparently is living somewhere in this house. What a fun discovery!

The bushbaby on the bottom has their head inside the cup while the others wait, tongue sticking out. Cuteness, overload.

Linda and Ken left this morning, but we’ll see them again in early February, on the night of our going away party at Kathy and Don’s bush home located overlooking the Crocodile River. And Linda is joining Kathy and me to treat me to a pedicure at the spa at a local resort. What fun that will be!

Tom and I will settle back into our usual routine with the bushbaby dilemma solved, with Linda and Ken had left for a camp in Kruger for a few days. However, the fun is hardly over with Rita and Gerhard and possibly Louise and Danie (depending on their work schedule) joining us for dinner tonight for one more dinner party.

Later on, we added this stand closer to the veranda for better viewing and photos.

This is the bush. Between the people and the wildlife, the good times continue. We received an invitation from friends Lynne and Mick for dinner at Jabula on Saturday night as I write here now. Perfect! We’ll be there!

 Life in the bush? Um, quite good. Only 24 days and counting…
                                             Photos from one year ago today, January 21, 2018:

The big “E” on this door in Buenos Aires represents “entrada” in Spanish which translates to “entrance” in English. For more photos, please click here.