Another fantastic evening in the bush with friends…A welcoming surprise for our guests….

Bossy, (kudu) Marigold, Tulip, and Lilac in the side garden looking for pellets.

Shortly before Rita, Gerhard, and their friend Lee arrived for dinner, we were delighted to see that Norman, Noah, and Nina were in the garden. With their holiday home about 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from here, it’s unlikely they’ll have an opportunity to see them unless they encounter them while driving around the park.

We hoped they’d hang around until our guests arrived. But Tom offered them plenty of pellets to keep them busy. Since the nyala family is so popular in the park (they are the only nyalas), they don’t always eat all the pellets we offer when they may already be full. They don’t seem to devour them with the same enthusiasm as the other wildlife.

Lots of zebras stopped by last night with Lollie photobombing as usual.

We were fortunate when a few minutes later, our dinner guests arrived. I greeted them outdoors and asked them to be extra quiet in case the nyalas would be scared off by unknown humans. The nyala family is used to us but not necessarily newcomers to their territory. After all, they must be comfortable with us when they usually stop by two or three times a day, except during holidays when the park is packed with tourists.

It was such a joy to watch the faces of Rita, Gerhard, and Lee. They were so excited to see them when they hadn’t since they were here almost five months ago. They couldn’t believe how much Noah had grown in such a short time and how his features were changing from looking like Nina to looking like his dad Norman who looks much different from a female of the species.

Female kudus jumped the fence.

They each took photos with their phones, but that was just the beginning of the evening. Over the next few hours, many more animals stopped by to entertain us, even an adorable bush baby partaking of a little cup of fruity yogurt. It couldn’t have been more enjoyable.

Of course, the conversation was the second highlight of the evening when after not seeing Rita and Gerhard for five months, we busied ourselves telling countless stories of our recent adventures and trials. They have been in Germany and Croatia for the past months and shared some stories and photos. Having never met Lee before, it was fun to hear his take on being in the bush for the past 24 hours. He could not believe what he was seeing!

Bossy gets up close and personal, but we don’t hand feed.

No one can imagine the excitement and joy of living in the bush, even if it’s just for a week or two. Seeing the pleasure derived by newcomers is equally exciting for us. Sharing this magical place with others adds to the experience in many ways.

Crooked Face stops by no less than once per day. He may have a crooked face but we find him very handsome.

All the food turned out well, and everyone enjoyed the various items we served, as mentioned in yesterday’s post here. Fortunately, we have plenty of leftovers for tonight’s meal since I didn’t have much enthusiasm to cook another meal today. This morning I made a double batch of Tom’s Coconut Banana Bread using the ripe bananas we’d stored in the freezer. He’d had enough low-carb muffins and was ready for the “real deal.”

Bad Ear often joins Crooked Face.

I’ll individually wrap each piece in a Ziplock bag, which we’ll keep frozen. This way, it stays fresh when he eats only one or two pieces daily. It was a favorite recipe he loved in our old lives. Luckily I found it in my cloud. Although I don’t bake many non-low-carb treats for him, I was happy to make this favorite he so much enjoys. Plus, I do enjoy baking from time to time.

As for today, it’s a quiet day except for the steady stream of wildlife stopping by, often in the dozens every hour or so. We’re cherishing every moment, knowing another holiday weekend is coming up this week, and we won’t see as many animals until the holidaymakers leave the bush next week. August 9th is Women’s Day, which isn’t until next Tuesday, so that things won’t settle down until next Wednesday.

We hope you have a fantastic day and evening.

Photo from one year ago today, August 2, 2021:

This hornbill was contemplating eating seeds we placed on the veranda railing. For more photos, please click here.

An odd discovery about a favorite animal…Dinner party tonight…

Who’s in the garden this morning?

  • 9 warthogs – inc. Lonely Girl, Fred and Ethel, Peter, Paul and Mary, and others
  • 12 bushbucks – inc. Chewy, Thick Neck/Bad Leg, Spikey, and others
  • 5 kudus – inc. Bossy, Little Daddy, Notches, and others
  • 33 helmeted guinea-fowl
  • 1 wildebeest – inc. Broken Horn
  • 2 Frank and The Miss
  • 3 hornbills

Something dawned on us in the past few days, but we continued to observe and concluded that Thick Neck and Bad Leg are the same. Shortly after we arrived in Marloth Park, five months ago as of yesterday, we took a liking to a thick-necked male bushbuck; we aptly named Thick Neck. He is shown in the main photo above.

This is Thick Neck, as shown above.

In no time at all, he responded to his new name and made a point of stopping by several times a day. The pellets, carrots, cabbage, and apples were plentiful for him when we could manage to toss the food to him when no pigs were around. The warthogs try to scare off other animals when food is thrown but don’t do well with kudus and wildebeests.

Then, over the past three weeks or so, we noticed a thick-necked bushbuck limping with his back right leg totally off the ground when walking. He didn’t seem too miserable and managed to get around with his limitation. We surmise that eventually, it will heal when we’ve seen improvement as days pass.

A few days ago, it dawned on us that we’ve been referring to Thick Neck and Bad Leg as if they were two different bushbucks. After all, many of them look alike. But, none we’ve seen in these past months have had such a thick neck. Thus, we concluded that Thick Neck is also Bad Leg. He responds to his Thick Neck name. From now on, we’ll address him as Thick Neck/Bad Leg until his injury fully heals.

I had to take this photo through the screen, or the birds would have flown away. There were no less than 12 birds in the birdbath at one time. They were as noisy as they could be. Quite adorable!

In any case, we still favor him and knowing he has a little trouble getting around. We can’t help but give him a little more than we may offer the others. Of course, Tom has a particular affinity for bushbucks. He always has. With no less than 10-12 visiting us each day, it’s impossible not to find them as special.

Tonight, we’re having a small dinner party, just five of us including Rita and Gerhard and our old friend Don (of Kathy and Don). Don arrived in Marloth Park, their other home(s) in Hawaii, about a week ago and stayed with Linda and Ken in Johannesburg to buy a car. Once this task was accomplished, he was on his way to Marloth Park. Kathy will arrive in mid-July.

Like many of our old friends in Marloth Park, Don stayed away at their “other” homes due to travel restrictions and concerns regarding Covid-19. Now, slowly, over the next several months, others will arrive after travel restrictions are released and they’ve received their two-dose Covid-19 vaccinations.

Busy time in the garden with 9 warthogs.

I supposed, in a way, we’re not unlike them, when soon in 15 days, we’ll be returning to the US to get our vaccines and then return to Marloth Park, less than a month later. The scary part for us is safely arriving in the US after over 35 hours of travel. Of course, we’ll proceed with the utmost caution.

Tonight, we’re preparing a leisurely dinner on the braai, beef, pork, baked potatoes, and sweet corn. Rita is bringing the salad. Making elaborate meals for guests is a thing of the past for us. We’d rather spend quality time with our guests than spend the bulk of the evening in the kitchen wrapping up the finishing touches of a complicated meal.

In our world, being retired, one day of the week is no different than another. A Monday night is as good as a Saturday night! So, we wish all of you a delightful Monday, wherever you may be.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, June 14, 2020:

The walled city of Dubrovnik posted one year ago, visited in 2013. For more photos, please click here.