Gee…it feels good to be back…Nina and Norman’s baby…a joy to behold…

Duiker Delilah with Norman and Nina’s new baby, who is yet to be named based on gender, which we can’t yet determine.

What a glorious morning. Light rain sprinkled the dusty bush making everything look bright and green. Although the busy holiday season has begun in Marloth Park, there were fewer holidaymakers this weekend than there will be in the coming weeks. As a result, Monday morning brought us many visitors.

Of course, we were thrilled to see Lollie and her three piglets return and also Hoppy’s mom and two piglets (sadly, Hoppy passed away before we left due to her broken leg). Also, our four regular zebras stopped along with bushbuck Gordon Ramsey and duiker mates Delilah and Derek.

Norman is a proud new dad.

But, above all, we were beside ourselves with joy over seeing Norman, Nina, and their new baby, born a little over two weeks ago (while we were away), gender yet to be determined. Noah has wandered off since the little one was born. We can only imagine how frustrated he must be, unable to find a female nyala anywhere in the park. From what we hear, Deidre from Wild and Free is caring for a female who will be released in Marloth Park as a mate for Noah.

Norman got pretty upset with his son Noah sniffing over his mom, Nina. Finally, after the baby was born, he got the hint and moved on. We haven’t seen him since we returned two days ago.

Nina and Norman’s baby has yet to jump the little fence. But Nina and Norman jump over anyway while the baby waits for them.

How exciting it will be when the female is released, and Noah eventually finds her. We can only hope he will return here with her to our garden once they become a pair. Of course, we’ll report that here. But, for now, Noah has moved on to another area in the park to leave his parents to raise his new little sibling.

So far this morning, Nina, Norman, and their new offspring, as shown in today’s photos, have visited us four times, and it’s only 9:15 am as I write this.

We are thrilled to see the baby visiting us with her/his parents.

Last night at Jabula, in the awful heat and humidity with a dew point around 75, only a few of us were sitting at the bar. We were all dripping with sweat with load shedding and no aircon running. It was wonderful to see Leon and Dawn again, but Leon only hung around for a short time when he became tired and had to rest. His illness is catching up with him, and we’re all cherishing every moment we can spend with him.

Such an adorable baby nyala, the only one in Marloth Park.

Our friends Maroi and Peter were also there, and we all shared stories of the time we’d been away, including our awful experience with Ethiopian Air. No, we haven’t heard a word about our bags. In a few days, we’ll check again. Once we returned, it became more apparent how much we missed the items in those bags. Ugh!

We’d planned to grocery shop in Komatipoort this morning, but with five-hour load shedding on the horizon, we decided to shop at the little stores here in Marloth for the next few days rather than risk food spoiling. We now eat cabbage slaw (coleslaw) instead of lettuce salad since lettuce doesn’t keep well, but cabbage does.

We can’t get over the adorable face.

We’ll cook a flattie chicken on the braai with the coleslaw and whatever vegetable I can find at the little market. I’ll make white rice for Tom to go along with it. We took out the big pan of apple crisp I’d made before we left, and Tom will have some tonight after dinner with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Of course, I don’t eat any of it, nor do I eat anything after dinner. Tom lost a few pounds while we were away to enjoy this delicious treat.

Lollie and her three piglets have returned.

We’re off to the little market and the Wild Butchery in the Bush Centre down the road and will be back with more tomorrow.

By the way, thank you for all the thoughtful inquiries about my headache, and facial pain and how traveling on those long flights impacted me. It wasn’t a problem and certainly was no worse while traveling. At the moment, I am pain-free. Maybe it’s getting better after all. Perhaps it’s a matter of time, as I continue to do the nasal rinses several times a day. Fingers crossed.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, December 12, 2021:

We drove past a few giraffes while out exploring. For more photos, please click here.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and grandpas!!!What did you do on your special day?….

Is this the Crooked Face we knew from the old house? We looked up a past post and found that this is him! If he’s found his way here, surely Little can do the same. 

It’s a perfect day. The sun is shining. The temperature is currently at 73F, 23C. There’s a slight breeze, and the air quality is “excellent,” per the AccuWeather app on my phone. With many tourists in the park this weekend, we will stay put and enjoy the day and evening on the veranda watching nature at its finest.

There aren’t as many animals visiting with all the attention and food they’re getting from the tourists, but our loyal visitors waste no time stopping by to see us. So far, this morning, we’ve had the shy duiker couple, warthogs Mom and Babies, Lollie (a permanent fixture), and a few bushbucks. Kudus love to show off for the tourists, so I doubt we’ll see any today.

We’ve yet to come up with a name for this bushbuck.

This morning I baked a new batch of low-carb blueberry scones, which are cooling now, and I’ll place in twos in re-used Ziplock bags to keep in the freezer, taking out two each day to have with my coffee, topped with a bit of butter. We individually wrap portion sizes of my scones and Tom’s blueberry muffin.

We save the sandwich-size Ziplock bags by storing them on a shelf on the refrigerator door to prevent any remaining crumbs from getting moldy. Then, we re-use them for the next baked batch, saving on plastic waste. We may reuse them three or four times. We keep Tom’s muffins on one shelf in the freezer and mine on another, making it easy to find to take out for the next day.

Kudus with their heads down eating pellets, except one youngster.

Earlier in the week, I made Tom a coconut banana bread for those times after dinner when he’s craving something sweet. Here again, we store individual portions in the freezer. If I don’t bake something for him, he’ll often buy whatever they have at the market, which is made with chemicals and preservatives. If he’s going to eat sweet treats, at least homemade with fresh ingredients is ultimately better for him.

Of course, my little blueberry scones are made to be very low carb, and I only allow myself two per day since they are calorie-dense and made with almond flour. When Spar Market was out of almond flour, I purchased macadamia nut flour which is even lower carb than almond flour.

This is Rueben. He is in love with Lollie.

Today, I made low-carb scones using a half-and-half mixture of almond and macadamia nut flours. I am confident the taste will be just as good, if not better. Since I’ve received several requests for the recipe, here it is for our low-carb/keto readers.

Mom and Baby bushbucks were eating the grass inside the fenced area. We couldn’t believe how gracefully the baby jumped over the fence.

Raspberry/Blueberry Drop Scones
Makes 24 cookies/scones 

8 large eggs, beaten until frothy
4 cups almond flour
46 drops liquid sucralose or 1 1/3 cup sugar substitute or other equivalent sugar
2 T aluminum-free baking powder
2 T vanilla extract
2 cups fresh raspberries, blueberries (unsweetened), or any berry and nuts

Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a sheet pan with parchment (a must) paper. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients, except for the raspberries or blueberries (or both), and mix well to create a batter that will be lumpy. Gently fold the raspberries/blueberries into the batter and use a tablespoon to drop evenly spaced scones on the lined pan (about 2 heaping tablespoons for each scone). 

Bake for about 18 minutes until scones begin to brown lightly.  Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the parchment paper, or they will fall apart and serve warm or room temp.  These freeze very well and defrost in about 10 minutes or use the microwave for 30 seconds to defrost 2 or 3.

Nutrition Facts
125 calories
9.5 g fat
5.5 g protein
2.5 g fiber 
1 g net carbs

This is Bossy, from the old house. She was looking inside the house for me while Tom took the photo.

 This recipe takes very little time to prepare. I had them made and in the oven within about 15 minutes. Those who don’t eat low-carb will also enjoy these delicious treats. They aren’t hard like a typical scone but soft like an oatmeal cookie.

After making the above, I’ve kept at my usual walking pace to ensure I am fast approaching my daily goal of 8,000 to 10,000 steps. It’s much easier to accomplish while living in this property as opposed to the last, which was much smaller. We’re undoubtedly enjoying the extra space, especially outdoors.

The zebras returned yesterday for another visit.

We’re missing the animals today, but I feel confident they’ll be back in the next few days. Even the birds aren’t as active in the garden today as they were a few days ago. But, we’re content nonetheless.

For all the dads, grandpas, step-dads and step-grandpas out there in the world, we wish you the very best on this special day. We hope your loved ones will make this day all about YOU!

Photo from one year ago today, June 19, 2021:

Lots of pigs!!! We aren’t getting as many warthogs at the new house, but soon they will come. For more photos, please click here.