Photos from our new trail cam…What we’ve learned…

Two duikers at night.

When our package arrived from the US through DHL, a few days ago, we were excited that the trail cam we’d ordered from Amazon was inside. Also, my new Fitbit Sense was in the box. We decided Tom would set up the trail cam while I worked on setting up the new Fitbit, both of which presented a few typical set-up challenges.

Finally, we had both pieces of equipment working and I was able to do my first ECG using the Fitbit which had been approved as a reliable device for this purpose by the US FDA (that’s not to say I trust everything they recommend). With a normal result, it did provide me with a little peace of mind, knowing at any time, I can check this on my own.

Most likely, a mating pair.

As for the Campark T-75 trail cam, that setup was a little more time-consuming and still requires some adjustments which we’ll tackle today. After using the trail cam for the first time last night, we realized the first thing we’ll do today, is reducing the number of shots it takes in one night. We ended up with over 5000 photos, way too many to go through each day.

We actually managed to go through all the shots and have included a few of them here today, not necessarily anything unusual from those we see during the day.  No porcupine, yet! But we’re committed to getting a night photo of her and other nocturnal visitors, we may not see during the day. We won’t be using the trail cam during daylight hours, instead, sticking to using our camera and posting those photos in most posts. We’ll post the more interesting trail cam photos.

The same two duikers in the garden at night.

We’d assumed that photo ops would be at a minimum during the busy school holiday week. But, as we sit here now on Sunday close to 1:00 pm, 1300 hours, we’re in awe of how many animals have been here this morning, including two Big Daddies, once of whom stood at the edge of the veranda and barked at us, forcing us to gingerly make our way indoors to give him the space he needed.

This was a first for us. We’re very careful around the Big Daddies. They are huge and dangerous and we take no risks whatsoever. Now, as I write this he has wandered off into the bush, ducking his massive horns as he makes his way through the dense trees and bushes.

We weren’t able to determine which warthog this was.

He ‘tipped” his horns a few times at two young warthogs who seemed determined to antagonize him for pellets. But, they squealed off when he reminded them of his power and strength. The tree he tore down a few days ago has been eaten by a wide array of antelopes and is beginning to look sparse. He meandered over to it this morning but didn’t seem interested in any of the remaining leaves.

It’s amazing how almost every day something new and exciting transpires in the bush. Yesterday, we had a dung beetle rolling a nice-sized ball of dung right next to us on the veranda. The ball got stuck against the edge of the grass and the pool and Tom, using a mop handle, released it for him. Soon, he’s back on his way, happily rolling his ball of dung, hoping to encounter a female in his travels.

We knew warthogs visit during the night.

We only need to sit here long enough for yet another magical event to take place all the while relishing in the regulars who come to call on a consistent basis. Sometimes, when it’s totally quiet, I begin to wonder if they’ll ever return. Then, to our delight, there they are again, gracing us with their presence in exchange for a tasty morsel or two.

As I write here now, 20 or more mongoose have returned after we’ve already fed them this morning, only a few hours or so ago. We gave them scrambled eggs and bits of meat and bones we’d saved for them. They’ll circle around the house a few times and return, perhaps thinking we “forgot” we already gave them treats, suitable for their diet as omnivores with a propensity for meat. Fortunately, today, we’ve saved a little meat for their second visit.

Always searching for pellets.

Today will be another quiet day. So far, the only noise we’ve heard from holidaymakers was the sounds of adults and kids talking loud and screaming in a pool. After a short while, the noises ended and we were able to enjoy another quiet evening in the bush, only occasionally interrupted by the sound of the roars by lions Dezi and Fluffy nearby. Blissful!

Another shot of the two mating duikers whom we rarely see during daylight hours. They are very shy.

Have a fantastic day!

Photo from one year ago today, April 25, 2020:

Happy caterpillar dancing across the floor! Later on, we learned these caterpillars cause a nasty itch that lasts for days when coming in contact with their venom. We also learned these are Processionary Caterpillars who form a train and crawl up walls, verandas and form a train across the garden. Not so cute after all. For more from the year-ago post, please click here.

Our DHL package arrived!!!…Out with the old, in with the new!…

Lots of zebras in the garden eating pellets.

After the dreadful experience with FedEx in India when it took over three months for our package to arrive from the USA, we are thrilled that we received the package yesterday, after only 16 days since it was shipped from our mailing service in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This is probably the quickest we’ve ever received a package. Also, based on the fact all the items in the box were personal effects of one type or another, we weren’t charged any customs fees. As it turned out, the package sat in customs for a week, while the contents were supposedly inspected.

But, after receiving the items, most of which were in unopened Amazon and other sealed white or black plastic bags, we wondered if they did in fact inspect any of the items. South Africa Customs through DHL, contacted us early on inquiring as to the content of the box and required we fill out a detailed form submitted with copies of my passport and the purpose of the contents. It was nowhere near as complicated a process as it had been in India.

This was the first time we had so many zebras stop by.

Tom laughed that my opening the box was compared to opening gifts at Christmas. I must admit it was kind of fun. I had ordered two new bras from Victoria’s Secret and couldn’t wait to toss the tattered bras that were four years old. It was interesting for me to know that three bras alternated regularly, washed but never put into a dryer actually lasted for over three of those four years. While in India, I didn’t wear a bra for 10 months, knowing I needed to extend their wear.

Also included in the box was my new Fitbit Sense watch which I’ll set up today and much to our delight, the recently ordered trail cam from Amazon, that syncs to our phones so when we’re out we can see who’s visiting the garden. That’s exciting. Our only concern is that a nefarious individual(s) may stop by while we’re out and steal it.

Then again, the newer gas braai, a fan, a table, and other items stay outdoors on the veranda at all times and so far, nothing has been taken. Most thefts in Marloth Park have been taking TVs and digital equipment “inside” the house, not necessarily from the exterior. Tom wants to bring it indoors each time we leave the house, but, I am working on convincing him to leave it hooked up outdoors, enabling us to watch the app on our phones while out and about.

We always love a visit from Wildebeest Willies.

I was very excited about the many new tee shirts for me in the package which included short and long sleeves. With winter on the horizon in the next 60 days, it will be great to be able to wear long-sleeved shirts while seated outdoors on the veranda. I’ve been hauling the same tee shirts with me for years, as old as seven or eight years, many with tiny holes and misshapen.

Normally, I’ve only worn, tattered clothes around the house, but lately, I’ve been looking forward to having some new things. The pants I currently have are in good condition when most days, around the house, I wear Capri-length jeans which seem to last forever. When going out to dinner or visiting friends, I always wear long pants or long jeans to protect myself from mosquitos.

It’s hard to get a shot with their heads up. They are always scrounging for pellets or other tasty morsels.

Also, based on the horrific infections and cuts on my legs from ankle to thigh after cardiac bypass surgery, I no longer care to wear shorts, even around the house. It’s a painful reminder of a time I’d just as soon put behind me.

After the box was completely empty, I folded all my new things and neatly placed them in the chest of drawers I use in the second bedroom. Soon, I’ll start tossing the old items. If they were in good condition, I would donate them locally but I don’t care to donate old worn clothing when we see the local workers so nicely dressed.

Then, of course, there’s always Little, back for more love talk and pellets.

That’s it for today, folks. Tonight, we’re off to Jabula for dinner, hoping it won’t be too crowded with holidaymakers. If it is, we’ll order our food to go and head back to the house.

Have a fantastic weekend and be well.

 Photo from one year ago today, April 23, 2020:

A parade of elephants kicking up a lot of dust in Chobe National Park in Botswana. This photo is from a two ago post. See here for details. For the year-ago post, please click here.