Early morning visitors come by to celebrate our anniversary…Not the humankind…

This enormous male kudu visited last night.  Check out this 
video to appreciate his size.
“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
This morning’s first-time visitor to the yard, a wildebeest.  Never once, did he look at us or pick up has head for a face photos.  But, we were happy to see him anyway!
No more than minutes after we awoke this morning, on this day of our 23rd wedding anniversary, we had visitors galore.  First, we had a herd of kudu consisting of two males and six females.  Then, shortly afterward, we had another herd stop by consisting of one male and six females.


A short time later, the solitary wildebeest  appeared as shown above in the “Sighting of the Day in the Bush.” Unfortunately, he never looked up at us, keeping his head down during his entire visit of about 10 minutes.  He ate a few pellets and was on his way.


Yesterday, we had no less than a total of five species of visitors in the yard, one batch after another.  Every time we sat down at the table, someone was here, and we jumped up again with camera and pellets in hand. 
There are two types of kudus, the “Lesser” with 4 to 12 white strips running down it’s torso and the “Greater” with 10 stripes running down its torso.  Otherwise, its difficult to tell a difference.  This massive kudu appears to be a “Greater.”
The various species included mongoose, vervet monkey, kudu, warthogs, bushbuck.  It was quite a busy day.  Midday we headed to Komatipoort for a few items including purchasing another huge bag of pellets, 40kg, (88 pounds) at a farm store.  The cost of the huge bag is ZAR 188, (US $15.90), which will last about two to three weeks.


We try not to be gone long when we shop in town, fearful we’ll miss something back at the house.  But, it’s good to be out and about in the town steeping in culture and diversity.  As much as we’d like to take photos of the people, we hesitate to avoid making anyone feel uncomfortable.


Here we are, white people in a primarily black town, shopping in many of the markets and shops they frequent.  How intrusive it would be for us to be taking photos of its citizens. 
Got milk?  The intense look from a kudu appears to come from interest and curiosity and less from fear or intimidation.
Instead, we comfortably blend in, as we have all over the world instead focusing on our tasks at hand.  Yesterday’s outing included a trip to the Spar Supermarket for a few items, the pharmacy for repellent and saline, the liquor store for Castle beer, a can “huggie” for Tom, along with a few bottles of wine for me.
Then, we headed to the Butchery for chicken breasts and Boerwars, sausages described as follows from this site:
“Boerewors ([ˈbuːrəvors]) a type of sausage which originated in South Africa, is an important part of South African cuisine and is popular across Southern Africa. The name is derived from the Afrikaans words boer (“farmer”) and wors (“sausage”).
Boerewors must contain at least 90 percent meat, and always contain beef, as well as lamb, pork, or a mixture of lamb and pork. The other 10% is made up of spices and other ingredients. Not more than 30% of the meat content may be fat. Boerewors may not contain any “mechanically recovered” meat (meat derived through a process where meat and bone are mechanically separated).”

He meandered through the yard, interested in the pellets but seems more interested in strutting his big “rack” and stature.

As for the beer and wine, some evenings around 5:00 pm, we have “happy hour.”  I usually have a maximum of two small glasses of dry white or red wine and Tom will have a few beers.


By the time we have dinner around 6:30, we no longer imbibe, instead of loading our insulated mugs with iced tea for the remainder of the evening.  This ritual is new for us since I hadn’t consumed any alcohol for over 20 years.


Now, I’ve found, as mentioned before, I can consume a small amount of wine with no ill effects.  Lately, we’re thoroughly enjoying hanging out on the veranda, without our laptops of phones nearby, chatting and watching nature unfold before our eyes.


In an effort to avoid mosquito bites and the fact we aren’t taking malaria pills this time, in these past weeks, we’ve dined indoors.  But now, after dining outdoors (a tradition most locals prefer), when company came for dinner we’ve found the local repellent good enough to keep from getting bit and we’ve been having our dinner outdoors even after dark, loving every moment.

As he walked to the side yard, where he stayed for some time, he seemed relaxed and at ease.

We’ve found we’re more easily adapting this time around than four years ago.  Today, the temperature is expected to be around 100F (38C) and still, we’ll be outdoors all day.  There’s no point in running AC when we prefer to be outside anyway.


Also, we’ve both become even more tolerant of insects and give little thought to them, other than avoiding bees and wasps which we’re both allergic to.  Last night, during the night I awoke to a bug in the bed.  Yep, I turned on the light, waking Tom so I can shoo it away. 


There’s no degree of adaptation that would make a person comfortable with a bug in the bed.  But, I suppose its how one reacts to the inconvenience which determines their degree of adaptability.


Four years ago, we’d seen a larger kudu than this but so far this time, he’s the biggest we’ve spotted.

Tonight, on our 23rd wedding anniversary (we’ve been together almost 27 years), we plan to dine at Ngwenya, a restaurant located about 10 minutes from here that is situated on the Crocodile River with opportunities to see wildlife and stunning sunsets.

After sunset, we’ll dine, surely reveling in how fortunate we’ve been to not only experience the joys of being together all of these years but also these past almost five and a half years of living this dream lifestyle.
We’ll be back with photos from tonight’s visit to Ngwenya, hopefully with many more photos.
Have a blissful day!  
_______________________________________


Photo from one year ago today, March 7, 2017:

During the “silent disco” aboard the ship we both had messy hair from taking the headsets on and off throughout the night.  Tom’s was especially messy from sweating.  His shirt was soaked by the end of the evening.  We had a blast.  For more photos, please click here.

Oh, what a night!…Way too much fun!…Tom’s South Africa haircut…at last! A rare visitor…a great dinner…

 

“We’re not moving! We’re waiting on the others!” We didn’t mind a bit. We’d have gladly waited for any amount of time.

There are times I say to myself, “Oh, please, this is too much fun!” Then again, I realize that both of us are easily entertained. Really. 

An interesting insect or sighting of a turtle walking across the garden has the ability to captivate us to the point of squealing with delight once we can let out our breath.

“We’re coming! We need a few more bites before we join the others!”

We were always like this. Only then, we didn’t have access to this degree of almost constant stimulation.  Whether it’s the sound of Lions roaring, the pleasant bubbly sound of hippos as we lie in bed at night, or the shuffling sound of a creature atop the roof, the pleasure only seems to stop when we’re sleeping.

“Hold onto your shorts!”

It’s ironic that this constant state of being “on the alert” and the sheer engagement when we discover yet another wonder, by 10:00 to 10:30 pm, I’m practically falling on my face. Tom is not far behind.

And still, the others had yet to join them while they anxiously looked their way. At this point, traffic was backed up and as soon as there was an opening, we were on our way, our faces hurting from smiling.

Yesterday and last night, one of many days and nights, we had a particularly delightful time. The heat was unbearable as a storm brewed, the air was thick was visible humidity. We lasted outdoors for five hours finally throwing in the towel, heading indoors to the loft with AC.

Yet to visit our yard, a mom and baby Wildebeest watched us drive by.

Due to the excessive heat, the AC wasn’t able to keep up. The lines frequently clog with insects, caused water to start dripping into the house. When this occurred, we had no option but it turn it off. With AC in both bedrooms, I decided it was a good time to go into our bedroom, turn on the AC and read my book. That didn’t last long.

Definitely not pretty animals, but, all of them are cute to us.  Although it’s been very hot here in the summer months, we’re grateful we’ve come during the birthing season, seeing many babies.

Fearful of missing something, a short time later I turned off the AC, shut the door, and looked outside for visitors. What if we missed something else? We’d had a great morning as shown in yesterday’s post.

We were so excited to get this shot of one of the two monitor lizards living in our yard.  This photo was taken at the hottest point in the day.  Louise and Danie told us that they’ll swim in the pool from time to time. We’d have loved to see that!

Having left prawn shells (shrimp) and a raw egg for the mongoose (they eat snakes), I was thrilled to see the monitor lizard eating the last of the prawn shells and then taking the raw egg with her to the hole in which we occasionally see her and her mate slither in and out.

The monitor lizard, a rare visitor, headed to the ground on the opposite side of the pool to check out the eggs that she laid a few weeks ago. As mentioned recently, it may take up to 300 days for the eggs to hatch depending upon conditions such as weather and attacks by other animals.
This occurred so quickly that I had no time to get the camera. A half-hour later we found the monitor lizard contemplating a swim in the pool, the long tongue darting in and out of the water. As a result, we captured these photos from inside the house. These Lizards are very skittish. If they’d seen us they’d be gone in a few seconds. They move quickly.
Tom, outside the salon where he got a haircut on Thursday.

At 6:30 pm, as the sun began to set, Okee Dokee picked us up to take us to Jabula Lodge, our favorite restaurant in the area. Not only is the food fantastic, but Dawn and Leon, the owners, present every time we arrive, make our dining experience comparable to a party each time. The chatting and laughing between tasty bites adds a playful element that drives us back, time, and again for more.

Tom, awaiting his turn at the salon for his haircut appointment.

On the way to Jabula Lodge, we stopped many times to take these photos. Although not as clear as I’d like since taking photos from a moving vehicle at dusk is challenging with our type of camera. However, we couldn’t resist sharing these today. 

Tom with his new haircut getting ready to eat that huge vertical stick of beef known as Espetada. I wasn’t thrilled about him eating the chips (as they call fries in Africa). But, I kept my mouth shut and didn’t comment, as usual. He said the meat was delicious. I had perfectly prepared grilled chicken, veggies, and Greek salad (sans dressing).

After the laugh-fest at Jabula Lodge, we headed home, watched a few shows on my broken-monitor laptop, and headed to bed. The worst of the storm had passed, the temperature had dropped considerably and a good night’s sleep was imminent. Another good day.