Zebra Day and Baby…On a rainy morning…

Mom and baby zebra. Of course, Lollie is photobombing.

What a way to start the day with nine zebras hanging around for a few hours, including a mom and very young foal, suckling every few minutes. Typically, zebras kick, yip, and pass gas when pellets are tossed. It was cute to see how the mom scooted the foal out of the way of the commotion. Zebras are not ruminants. They have only one stomach. Constantly grazing on vegetation, they become bloated and gassy.

The zebras approached the railing for their pellets.

The zebras never seem to injure one another when they get into a frenzy, but, let’s face it, the animals are hungry. No wonder they carry on over a few pellets. They all still look healthy, and we pray they can remain so until the “greening” of the bush. We’re moving into spring in a mere week or so.

The baby is tiny compared to the adults, as shown in these photos.

Three months later, it will be summer when the heat, humidity, insects, and mozzies will be in full force. But, the magic of summer is the beautiful green bush for the wildlife to eat. With so much food on hand at that time, you’d think they stop by less and less for pellets, but the fall and winter habits have been established, and they continue to stop by regularly.

The little one sticks close to mom.

Fortunately, this morning it’s drizzling, the perfect type of rain for the bush as opposed to a downpour that merely runs off.  It must have rained at night since we see a touch of green in the usually dry, brown bush. This indicates times to come when the rainy season begins soon.

Mom is determined to keep the baby away from the rowdy others.

As soon as I stepped outdoors this morning, after another fitful night’s sleep, it was exciting to see nine zebras, including a very young foal, in the garden. Tom had already taken several photos and tossed several batches of pellets. Of course, I decided to try for more shots to be added to today’s post, hopefully.

They moved closer to the veranda railing.

The animals were finally returning to our garden with the drones overhead last week and a bush weekend packed with tourists. We were a little concerned when it was sparse of wildlife with friends Connie and Jeff arriving in four days. We hope all of our regulars and more will stop by to meet them. The thought of sharing this wonderful environment with our friends is exciting.

Further out in the bush, away from the others.

I’m feeling slightly better today. The headache and facial pain are about 50% better. Maybe after 18 days of taking the tablets at night, relief is coming. I am hopeful. Having this pain for the past five months has been challenging and frustrating. I’ve tried not to complain or limit my activities. In the realm of things, this may have been the best way for me to handle it rather than lying in bed, feeling sorry for myself.

A few zebras were lying down in the background.

Unfortunately, the medication makes me sleepy during the day. I may have to take the drug for a long time, hoping the sleepiness goes away. On the 15th, if the pain isn’t completely gone, I am to increase the dose by 5 mg per day for a total of 25 mg per day. I started at 5 mg, and it knocked me for a loop. But today, I feel a little less groggy and maybe won’t need a nap in the afternoon, which was a rarity for me before Covid-19.

Little zebras seem to be dazed most of the time.

With our friends coming, I don’t want to be sluggish and tired. I will do my best to stay alert and engaged in sharing the wonders of the bush with them. We hope to go on a few game drives with a guide and do several self-drive safaris in Kruger National Park. Once they arrive, we’ll be able to plan our events based on how Jeff feels and can maneuver in his wheelchair. We can only wait and see how it goes. The long journey from the US is exhausting and requires a few days to recover.

A little grooming of the foal by the attentive mother.

Tom is sitting at the table on the veranda, which has a roof while watching football on NFL Game Pass, an app for which he pays an annual fee to watch all NFL games while out of the US. I came inside to sit at the dining room table when Vusi was here cleaning the veranda and have stayed here, now and then, getting up to do something. Tom is no more than four meters from me, and from this location, I can partially see into the garden in case a visitor stops by.

They are always side by side.

It’s blissfully cool today, and we’re both wearing hoodie sweatshirts. I love days like this when it’s cool and rainy.

The baby is fearful of leaving his mother’s side.

May you have a blissful day, as well.

This zebra stood in the garden sleeping for over an hour. Typically, zebras sleep standing up to ensure they can dash in a hurry if danger approaches. With the hungry lions in the park, they are mainly on guard.

Photo from one year ago today, September 13, 2021:

Little was using a rock for a pillow. For more photos, please click here.

Unbelievable rain…Day after day…Bad weather seems like a lifetime ago in Minnesota…

These baby goats are less than a week old.  They seem to hang together constantly. Notice the bit of greenery in the mouth on the one of the left. 

During a short stint of sunshine, we managed to take these photos shown today a few days ago when we took a drive with Ratnesh. As soon as we see another sunny day, we’ll be back out taking more new photos to share here.
Who would have thought that it would rain 17 days of the past 20 days since we arrived on September 8th?  Had we expected this, we’d have taken greater advantage of those few sunny days and explored more than we have. Instead, we spent an enjoyable time in the village languishing over its easy pace, people watching, fresh food shopping, and relishing in its unique charm.

Then again, who knows about the weather and can predict when to venture out in good weather? With no news to watch without a TV, we have no idea how long this will last which could ultimately be months. It could conceivably rain for the balance of our time in the islands, as Fiji now heads into its rainy season. We’ve accepted this fate. Having experienced relatively good weather all over the world, we’ve little right to bemoan the facts of nature. 

The “kids” decided to check out the chickens during our visit to the egg farm.

Over these past weeks, we’ve waited to go on any long treks, hoping for sun. With most scenic spots requiring a bit of a hike, we take no risks in doing so in the rain when paved paths are nonexistent. 

We’ve never minded getting wet, having done so over and again while sightseeing. But, taking photos when it’s raining is a nuisance, resulting in less than ideal photos.

Early on, we disposed of a water protective cover for a prior camera, when its bulkiness and difficulty to use made it useless. We’ve chosen not to haul protective rain gear for ourselves or for the camera. We don’t even have an umbrella and our parkas with hoods aren’t intended as raincoats. We simply don’t have the room or weight availability in the luggage. 

The baby goat on the left appeared to have developed a leadership role at this early stage in their lives.

Also, I’m not a good enough photographer, nor do we have a good enough camera, to be able to take great shots on cloudy days although I continue to try. I frequently make adjustments in the settings, only to disappointment over rainy and cloudy day shots. When a better quality, lightweight, affordable camera hits the market and we’re in a location to make a purchase, we’ll upgrade. 

For now, our cameras are lasting about 18 months, becoming destroyed by the rampant humidity everywhere we travel. Spending $1000’s for a more suitable camera makes no sense, especially with the heavy equipment and lenses required to accompany it. For now, we have a camera, a case, a tripod, and three extra batteries with a charger. That’s working for us.

Fortunately, neither of us have any type of emotional reaction to endless days of bad weather. After all, we lived in the frozen tundra of Minnesota; Tom, for all of his life; me for over 40 years.   

Mom goat often referred to as a nanny or doe, hung back, waiting for kids to return to nurse.

Although some Minnesotans (and elsewhere) suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) during the long winter months, neither of us has suffered from weather or seasonal disorders other than annoyance over being stuck in traffic, being snowed in, and having the responsibility of clearing the road and walkways in front of our former house. Those days are long since past. 

I easily recall Tom returning home from working on the railroad after a 12-hour shift with two or more long hours of round trip driving time in inclement weather having to haul out the snowblower to spend another two hours walking back and forth in the road in blizzard type and frigid conditions to clear a path on the road and steps. 

When he was done with the dreadful job, he’d come inside, pulling off his bulky outerwear, his mustache, and eyebrows covered in ice, with nary a complaint. I’d look at that mustache and my heart would flip flop with love and compassion for a job well done, feeling helpless that my poor spinal condition prevented me from being any help. 

This “kid” hung close to his mom.

Instead, I stayed indoors, baking anything that smelled like cinnamon, butter, and vanilla hoping he’d get out of his soaked clothes to sit down with a cup of hot coffee and a plate of a buttery confection to ease his frozen and weary state. 

As romantic as that may sound, that weather was highly instrumental in our decision to get out of that climate, that frozen-tundra lifestyle of short, humid summers with the chill of winter grasping at our shivery existence often as early as September. 

We easily recall the Halloween blizzard in 1991, the year we met when Tom tried to get to me after his work shift ended, having to turn around on the freeway to return to his home when cars were piled up on the freeway, skidding out of control. All Minnesotans (and others from frigid climates) have stories to tell of snow-related situations they easily recall from years past.

The colors of vegetation in Fiji center around the reds and pinks as in this feathery flower.

Early this morning, awakened by the sound of the rain pounding on the tin roof, at 4:00 am I got out of bed figuring this might be a good time to download a few of our favorite shows on Graboid. Alas, there was no signal at all. The constant rain appears to have an impact on the wifi in Fiji, one we must accept as a fact of life.

Heading back to bed, I began reading the mystery novel on my phone, finally drifting off again at 6 am just about the time Tom was getting up. I managed to sleep for another hour feeling refreshed and ready for a new rainy day.

It’s not snow. It’s not cold. We’re comfortable. We’re content. And, most of all, we feel fortunate for another day to begin.

Happy day to each of you!

Photo from one year ago today, September 28, 2014:

One year ago today, we posted this video of water swishing in the pool during rough seas as we made our way across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii on the Celebrity Solstice, a ship we’ll be sailing on again in a little over three months. For more details, please click here.