Things we can count on….

“Zebras are very fast-moving animals and can reach speeds of up to 65 kmph (40 mph) when galloping across the plains. This is just fast enough to outpace predators such as lions. Foals can run with the herd within a few hours of birth.”

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

A sliver of the moon and the planet Jupiter as seen on Saturday night.

Last night, before sunset, while sitting at the big table on the veranda enjoying Father’s Day happy hour, we concluded…there are many scenarios in the bush that we can count on.

It isn’t a daily occurrence, but zebras stop by a few times a week.  It’s always fun to see them.

One by one, we reviewed these factors that are presented to us every day and night as we live in this lovely house, “Orange is More Just a Colour,” where we’ve settled into a comfortable and yet exciting routine.

Each zebra has its unique pattern of stripes. Also, a zebra’s stripy coat is thought to disperse more than 70 percent of incoming heat, preventing the animal from overheating in the African sun.

Whether it’s a social event, a game drive in Kruger, a trip away, or an evening on the veranda, just the two of us, enchanted by our surroundings, it all has become so familiar and meaningful, we keep asking ourselves how we got so lucky to be a part of this always interesting, always entertaining, life in South Africa.

We can always identify this zebra by this odd pattern on her right upper leg.

We giggled over the familiar events that occur each evening as we prepare the veranda for the evening’s activity which includes:
1.  Preparing a little cup of fruity yogurt for the bushbabies and placing it on their stand before 5:15.  They always arrive, jumping through the trees, no later than 5:30 pm.
2.  Plug in the light we purchased to illuminate the yard into the long electric cord reel.
3.  Ensure the fruit and vegetable container is filled to the brim with carrots and apples.
4.  Have the yellow container filled with pellets.
5.  Be dressed in warm clothing, so we don’t have to rush off to change and possibly miss something.

A pretty little sandbar on the Crocodile River.

6.  Prepare drinks, whether a glass of wine for me or a cocktail for Tom, or iced tea for both of us.
7.  Have everything chopped and diced for dinner, including salad and vegetables ready to be cooked and meat for the grill seasoned and marinating.
8.  Light the citronella candle along with using insect repellent on all exposed skin.
9.  Place a fresh battery in the camera after clearing all previously taken photos onto my laptop for future posts.
10.  Turn on a portion of the exterior lights prior and the balance after full darkness.
11.  Set the veranda table with placemats, napkins, plates and forks, and knives.
12.  Fill the birdseed with seed for “Frank and the Misses” should they stop by, which often occurs in the early evening.

Sunny midday view of the Crocodile River from the brick overlook.

Does it sound like a lot of work? For us, it isn’t. We both enjoy our roles in making all of the above transpire quickly and seamlessly. By 4:45 each evening, we both get into action, and by 5:00 pm, we can sit down and relax with our beverage of choice in hand and big smiles on our faces.

Here’s what transpires, every single evening that we can always count on, all of which makes us squeal with delight in its dependability as a nightly occurrence:
5:15 pm – Bushbabies fly through the trees toward the perch to the container of fruity yogurt.  For the few hours or so, the dozen or so that dwell in the trees go back and forth, taking little tastes while freely sharing.
5:30 pm – The Hadeda birds, a type of noisy ibis, flies overhead, making their loud ha-de-da sounds as they pass…not once in a while…but every night.
5:45 pm – Frank and the Misses made their loud squawking noises for about 30 seconds as darkness falls.
6:00 pm – Warthogs stop by for an evening snack, not necessarily the same warthogs each time, but warthogs, nonetheless.
7:00 pm – (Give or take a few minutes)…Duiker boy and duiker girl arrive, both very shy and interested in well-tossed pellets when they prefer not to come too close to the veranda.

The scenery on the river seems to change daily based on rain and the opening of the dam to increase water flow.

From there, the remainder of the evening is a mystery. No one may arrive, or dozens may come. It’s unpredictable. And, not unlike fishing, you toss in your line and patiently wait.

It’s during this waiting period that we cook our dinner on the grill, filling our plates with salad and cooked vegetables to be topped off by a great cut of beef, chicken, or pork. We’re never disappointed. Tom does an excellent job of grilling.

We rarely see waterbucks other than along the banks of rivers.

After dinner, we sit for a bit at the table or stay preoccupied with visitors and then quickly gather dishes to be placed in the separate kitchen where Tom will do the words, often to be finished after we come indoors for the remainder of the night. Here again, we don’t want to miss a thing.

Several waterbuck grazing on the fenced Marloth Park side of the river.

Usually, by 9:00 pm, we “call it a day,” pack everything up, finish the cleanup, and head indoors to watch one show on the TV screen using my laptop and our HDMI cord. 

A little tousling between the boys.

By 10:00 pm or so, I’m ready for bed, while Tom usually stays up until 11:00. We’re never bored. We never tire of this routine. And, we continue to find each of the predictable events exciting and exciting. Most weeks, we’re out for two nights for dinner or with friends. This break in our routine makes returning to it all the more enjoyable.

Although not necessarily similar to ours, I’m sure that most people’s routines are not too unlike ours in their familiarity and ability to incite a great degree of comfort and pleasure.

A youngster grazing with the adults.

May today’s and tonight’s routine bring you much joy, especially those “things you can count on.”

Photo from one year ago today, June 18, 2017:

Granddaughters Maisie and Madighan at the community center event while Greg went to find Miles after the parade ended. Other grandchildren photos are upcoming. For more photos from this date, please click here.

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