The helicopter noise has ended…The result, unknown as yet…5 days and counting…

A red-backed shrike was sitting atop Rita’s hat while we were at Two Trees.

Who’s in the garden this morning?

  • 12 warthogs – inc. Little, Tiny, Lonely Girl, Fred, and Ethel, Peter, Paul, Mary, One Tusk, and more
  • 10 bushbucks – inc. Chewy, Thick Neck, Bad Leg, Spikey, Big Spikey, and others
  • 1 kudus – none-did we lose Bossy and family?
  • 1 wildebeest – inc. Broken Horn
  • 27  helmeted guinea-fowl
  • 24 mongoose
  • 2 Frank and The Misses

We are so relieved the helicopter herding of kudus and impalas has ended. Unfortunately, at this point, we have no idea how many animals were moved and culled in the process. The only place to find the stats is on various groups on Facebook. There have been many posts that both espouse the approach and criticize it.

I had posted some frustration and mistrust of the process but got such negative feedback. I removed the post. I have no interest in getting into online altercations. And yet, a day later, dozens of comments were made stating my same concerns, often vehemently expressed back and forth between Facebook users.

Two giraffes, at a distance on a hill, at the Crocodile River.

At some point soon, warthogs will be culled, perhaps while we’re in the US. We’ll keep watching the various Facebook groups for more information. However, my biggest question will remain prevalent in my mind – will Little and Tiny still be here when we return, four weeks later.

On another note, last night, there were seven of us situated on our veranda for sundowners and appetizers. What a fabulous evening we had! It started at 4:00 pm, 1600 hrs, and ended after 10:00 pm, 2200 hrs. We are so blessed to have such good friends here in Marloth Park and look forward to seeing them all again when we return at the end of July.

A turtle on the opposite side of the Crocodile River.

And now, as we plan activities in the US, we are arranging some get-togethers with some of our friends in Minnesota between family visits. On the 4th of July, my son Greg and family will meet us for dinner at Maynard’s Restaurant on Lake Minnetonka, followed by an evening of fireworks at our former next-door neighbor’s house.

Greg will bring chairs for all seven of us, sit on Nelleke and Dave’s lawn, and watch three or four sets of fireworks over Lake Minnewashta. It will be a fun experience for three of our six grandchildren and reminiscent of years past when we watched the fireworks from our dock on the lake.

A distant hippo and a few cattle egret, who often hang around with hippos, on an island in the Crocodile River.

But, we won’t be too sad. We appreciate and love this nomadic life we live. Memories bring a smile to our faces, reminding us how grateful we are for all of the experiences of our lives. Some of our friends/neighbors have moved away from the neighborhood but live nearby, and hopefully, we’ll see them as well.

Of course, we’re looking forward to seeing both sides of our families. Tom is from a huge family, and he’ll visit them on his own when I am with Greg’s family and, at other times, with me tagging along. I have always enjoyed his family and look forward to seeing them, too.

A hornbill and a red-backed shrike were wondering if we had some snacks. We did not.

With the number of cases of Covid-19 rapidly escalating in South Africa, we’re hoping there won’t be an issue when we attempt to return on the new flight we booked with United Airlines on July 24 from Las Vegas to Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger, arriving on July 26th. Unfortunately, it’s a long haul both ways, consisting of over two days of travel time each way.

The hardest part of such long travel periods is the lack of sleep. We can easily handle jet lag, time differences, and waiting at various points along the way. But, the lack of sleep in two days is tough to take especially, when neither of us sleeps well sitting up.

Soon, there will be a full moon.

We’ll arrive in Minneapolis at our hotel around dinnertime on July 1st and will undoubtedly look forward to a good meal and a restful night’s sleep. The following day, the first thing we’ll do after breakfast is head to a location where we can get the J & J vaccine. It’s imperative we can get the one-dose to head to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to see Tom’s sister Betty, who is in a nursing home.

As is the case at most nursing/assisted living facilities, visitors must have had their vaccines at least two weeks before visiting friends and family. If we can’t get the J & J vaccine, we won’t see Sister Beth (a retired nun), which would be a big disappointment for her and us.

Today, we’re staying put, gearing up to start sorting and packing for the upcoming journey. We’ll be spending one night in Joburg and need to carry on overnight items accordingly, checking the remainder of our luggage. In addition, we’ll each check one suitcase with clothes and things we’ll need.

Have a great day!

Photo from one year ago today, June 24, 2020:

This buffalo was not happy to see Tom when he went for a walk in the neighborhood in Sumbersari, Bali. He didn’t use any zoom to capture this photo when this monstrous, agitated buffalo suddenly started to approach him. Tom ran like a “bat out of hell” to get away, telling me the story while still breathless from running. For more photos, please click here.

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