The heavens opened up and the rains came down…One month as of today…

This family trio of impalas with a seated baby was situated at the end of our driveway for a few hours.

It’s been raining for weeks with an occasional sunny or cloudy-rain-free day in the mix. As of today, we have been in Marloth Park for one entire month, and it’s rained more days than we can count. According to this website, there is considerably more rain on the horizon. Once February ends, the weather should begin to cool down, and most likely, we’ll see more sunny days.

We’re looking forward to the cooler days and nights.

Of course, we can’t complain about the rain when it’s so vital for sustenance for the wildlife, which is more important to us than our convenience and appreciation for sunny days. Unfortunately, as we’ve mentioned, the rains keep the wildlife tucked away in the bush, protected from the pelting rain, and we rarely see many of them during these rainy days and nights.

Three boys, yet to be named. If they return, we’ll figure out good names for this threesome.

Yesterday, we had a few visitors, including a few warthogs such as Fred and Ethel, One Wart, and Mom & Babies. They were excited for some pellets, not easy to eat on the muddy ground. Of course, we’ve continued to toss seed to Ms. Dove and Frank, the Misses and the Kids throughout these rainy days. Now, with the rain taking a reprieve and the sun peeking out, we hope to see them, and others, soon.

A fantastic thing about wildlife, not unlike some humans, they can predict that upcoming inclement weather is on the horizon and may stay hunkered down until the storms have passed. All we can do is wait it out. When I picked up the camera to see how many photos to upload today, there was none, after yesterday’s non-stop rain. Today, we’ll use the many photos we’d yet to share, being stored on a flash drive.

A different group of three males stopped by. Once the rain ends, we may see these groups of three again.

Recently, I decided to stop saving every photo we take to the Cloud. We post those we prefer online and ditch the rest. There’s no point in paying for cloud storage for the thousands of photos we take each year, photos we may never notice again when our favorites are on our site.

I spoke too soon. I just picked up my head to find Mr. Bushbuck in the garden. Tom couldn’t jump up quickly enough to get him some pellets he tossed close to him in the garden. Although male bushbucks all seem to look alike, we can easily determine our regulars in a particular species and others based on their unique markings.

Our regular visitor, Mr. Bushbuck. He, too, visits, rain or shine.

It’s no different if you had two purebred dogs of an identical breed from the same parents. They each possess their unique markings, making it easy to determine who is who. The trick is for us to take the time to learn their distinctive markings and nuances to tell one from another. It becomes an essential factor in our enjoyment of living in the bush and the familiarity of the wildlife when they frequently stop by.

One Wart. He’s a regular! He’s learning his name.

Last night, at midnight, I took the last of those darned powerful antibiotics. Following Monday, we’ll return to Dr. Luzaan for more x-rays to determine if they worked. We’re hoping so after this rough past week. If not, Plan B, an appointment with the dental surgeon in Malelane, will be necessary. We shall see.

Mom & Babies are daily visitors, rain or shine.

Now, I’ll wait three days for the drugs to leave my system and hopefully feel better. Not drinking wine this past week didn’t bother me, especially after we hadn’t had a drink during the ten months in the hotel room in Mumbai. Also, Tom didn’t do any sundowners either during this period, other than the night Uschi and Evan stopped by on Thursday.

Kudus in the muddy garden, searching for pellets.

Today, with the roads so muddy and me still under the weather, we’ll stay put. We’ll prepare a nice dinner, and in the evening, we’ll hunker down ourselves, stream a few shows on Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu, doing what many do on quiet weekend nights. We’d hoped to head to Komatipoort on Monday for a few items, but we have enough food to last us until the following Monday when we return to the dentist. It’s just not fun driving on the muddy roads and in the pouring rain. We have all the time in the world.

May you have a pleasant weekend as well.

Photo from one year ago today, February 13, 2020:

There were no photos posted on this date when we were on a full-day road trip in India. Please check back for more tomorrow.

A busy Monday morning in the bush…Six species awaiting us this morning…Trip to the dentist in Komatipoort…

This warthog proved to be “Little,” whom we loved while at the Orange house in 2018/2019 when he came right up onto the veranda and headed for the door. His feet were muddy, so we shooed him away after providing him with a batch of pellets. It’s a bright sunny morning, perhaps with the big storms behind us for a while. We only had a few wildlife visitors over the weekend. Humans often offer tasty foods the wildlife shouldn’t eat but love the weekend, such as chips, bread, and human leftovers. They are not designed to digest these kinds of food, but like us humans, they like the taste. As soon as Tom deactivated the alarm system and opened the sliding door of the veranda, we had the following in the garden within minutes:

  1. Warthog
  2. Kudu
  3. Frank (francolin)
  4. Impala
  5. Bushbuck
  6. Helmeted guinea-fowl
Young Mr. Bushbuck was having a feast with the bananas when he peeled one after another, only eating the peels. Zoom in for a closeup of his mouth. Moments later, he deftly spits out the dark stem of the banana.

At the moment, as I write this, there are four kudus within arm’s length snacking on pellets I accidentally dropped on the veranda. When the game pellet truck didn’t come to Marloth Park this past Friday, we’ll buy more when we head to Komatipoort in a few minutes for our two dental appointments at 10:00 am.

With liquor stores finally open Monday-Thursday only, we’ll also stop and stock up in the event of another alcohol ban on the horizon. With cases of Covid-19 continuing to escalate, this is entirely possible.

Whoops! It’s time to get ready to go to town. We’ll finish this post when we return in a few hours.

This bird with the crest is a Lourie. When they are colorful, they are called Turacao.

It’s now 1400 hours, 2:00 pm, and we’ve finally returned from the dental appointment, a trip to the liquor store, a stop at Obaro for pellets, and a quick run-through at the Spar Market for some fish for me. For some odd reason, I have been craving fish. Tom, not so much. The only fish available within a 75-minute drive is frozen, which I don’t mind a bit.

As for the trip to the dentist, we weren’t able to have our teeth cleaned. The South Africa Dental Association doesn’t allow dentists to do cleanings due to Covid-19 and possible aerosols emitted during the process. Instead, I had Dr. Luzanne check my tooth, where I’d suffered from an abscess while in the hotel in Mumbai during the first few months in isolation.

But, suddenly, there were three. Perhaps a mating pair. A little competition?

It had never felt quite right, and lo and behold, after she did full-mouth x-rays, I still have a raging infection in that same tooth, which requires immediate treatment with high dose antibiotics for the next five days. In two weeks, I’ll return for another round of x-rays to determine if the infection is gone. If not, she’ll be referring me to a dental surgeon in Malalane, about a 40-minute drive from Marloth Park.

This dentist has some very sophisticated equipment and expertise, and he’ll clean out the issue using a laser treatment. It will require a new crown at that point. So today, I started the two antibiotics once again and pray this gets resolved without further treatment.

They were enjoying the remnants of the bananas.

For ten months in lockdown in India, we didn’t have any drinks, so these eight teetotalling nights will be a breeze. Unfortunately, I won’t enjoy any sundowners over the next eight days while the antibiotics hopefully do their job. Ice tea or hot tea will serve me well when guests call this week and early next week.

Also, while in lockdown in India, Tom had an implanted tooth fall out. Dr. Luzanne was able to refit and re-insert the tooth, which we’d saved all these months. It may not hold forever, but for now, it’s back in place. Hopefully, the restrictions for teeth cleanings will be lifted in a few weeks.

The third Lourie was investigating the seed situation when Frank and his family monopolized the offering.

However, Dr. Luzanne is concerned that I will need to take a hefty dose of antibiotics in advance of any invasive processes as we advance due to having cardiovascular disease. This is a common practice among heart disease patients. If I have to see the dentist in Malelane, she will provide me with the antibiotics to take in advance of the treatment by the dental surgeon.

Oh, I don’t like mentioning medical stuff. But, we always promise to be upfront about the realities facing us as we age and how we handle such issues during our lives of world travel. If somehow, in sharing this personal stuff, we help one person in the blogosphere, we’ll be happy we shared.

There is usually only one Frank family in a garden. We have Frank. The fluffed up francolin, The Misses, Two Chicks (one not shown here), and a few more mating couples.

At the moment, Tom is watching the Super Bowl game on his laptop while we’re back out on the veranda. At 4:00 pm today, one of our readers is calling on Facebook Messenger to discuss the possibility of him and his spouse coming to Marloth Park, hoping we can answer some of their questions. Of course, we’re delighted to do so, as we’ve done with other readers in the past.

Have a pleasant day!

Photo from one year ago today, February 8, 2020:

We never imagined we’d see the Taj Mahal. And yet, this morning in the morning haze and pollution, it lay before our eyes in its entire splendor. For more, please click here.