|One of several giraffes we spotted last night when dropping Rita and Gerhard back at the Hornbill house. The partial moon is shown in the photo.|
“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
|What are you looking at, Ms. Kudu?|
There was an internet outage during the night and this morning, but it was repaired, and we’re back on. I certainly didn’t want to miss posting again after my 36-hour illness when I was too ill to prepare a post.
I was feeling much better today after somewhat of a sluggish day yesterday. As always, last night, we dined at Jabula with Rita and Gerhard for another excellent meal with enjoyable conversation and ambiance.
We often see people we know while there, and the interaction between us is fun and uplifting. Last night, we were particularly reminded of how little time is left until we’ll be leaving Marloth Park in a mere 32 days. We’ve begun to say our goodbyes.
|Warthogs aren’t interested in eating the fallen marula fruit.|
Today, we’re busy organizing things around the house for our upcoming house guests, Linda and Ken, who’ll arrive tomorrow afternoon. We’ve moved Rita’s birthday party to Wednesday when it’s supposed to be cooler.
It’s simply too hot to cook right now. Today will be almost 40C (104F) once again, with awful humidity, and forecasts for Monday and Tuesday don’t look much better. Of course, the weather could change between now and Wednesday but, we’re committed to sticking with the newly planned date.
|This mongoose is only interested in cracking this egg.|
Last night, on the return drive from Jabula with Rita and Gerhard in the car, we spotted several giraffes near their house on Hornbill and in their garden. What a lovely sight to see in the evening! Thus, the above main photo.
We had many amazing experiences at that house five years ago, which prompted the balance of today’s story about a scary event in January 2014.
|Sometimes it takes a little ingenuity to crack an egg, including banging it on the ground or a tree stump.|
Please see below:
It was a little over five years ago that Tom had the worst scare of his life in January. We were seated on the veranda at the Hornbill house while working on our laptops while watching for possible visiting wildlife.
The sightings had been excellent during the first month at the house, and our expectations were high. Now, no wildlife encounters particularly scared us, although we always remained diligent and cautious.
|When kudus and warthogs are in the garden, bushbucks don’t have much chance of eating any pellets when they’re easily scared off. Tom holds the container of pellets for her to ensure she gets a few bites.|
Suddenly we both heard a “plop’ and began looking around to see what it possibly could have been. In a serious tone, Tom said, “Get up slowly and move to your left!”
Curious that I am, without giving it a thought, I quickly jerked to my right. Bad move. Lying on the ground, a short distance from Tom’s bare feet, lay a snake…not a huge snake but a snake nonetheless.
We’ve since learned a bit about snakes after attending snake school last March. A huge snake can be relatively harmless, and a small snake can be deadly. That size means nothing when it comes to venomous snakes.
|I’ll feed gentle Ms. Bushbuck from my hand, one of few instances in which we do so.|
This scene transpired in a matter of seconds, although it felt much longer. Tom was seated in a chair, much closer to the snake, while I was at the table a short distance from him.
The moment I realized what we had before us, I said, ”Get the camera!” This was and still is a normal response of mine.
|Handsome male impala in the park.|
In a flash, we both saw the snake, staring at Tom, flaring his hood, and instantly we knew it was some cobra. What type of cobra was it? We didn’t have a clue.
(Anyone living or staying in Marloth Park for extended periods should attend snake school. Had we known then what we know now, we would have responded differently).
Later I realized how dangerous it was to be bending down to take photos after Tom had somehow managed to get it into a corner of the veranda next to a big stingy mop where it stayed until the snake handlers arrived 10 minutes after I’d made the call.
|An ibis tucked away in the vegetation in the garden.|
Click here for the balance of the story with several photos of the snake, albeit blurry from my shaking hands.
Tonight will be our first night on the veranda since last Wednesday, and we’re hoping to see many of our wildlife friends, now beginning to return after the long holiday season.
Have a wonderful Sunday, wherever you may be!
Photo from one year ago today, January 13, 2018:
|We walked to another part of Buenos Aires that day, looking for a jeweler who could replace Tom’s watch battery which we never found. It took us over an hour to walk back to the Palermo district, our hotel’s location. For more city photos, please click here.|