I Know

When you’re trying with little success to rid your place of stuff and when the stuff fills a double garage and at least one room, with other rooms a bit crowded, you should not accumulate any more stuff, but I can explain.

There was a damsel in distress. I was on my horse. She asked ‘would you?’ What was a gallant knight errant to say? There’s only one thing a gallant knight errant can say in such circumstances:

tally ho!

Knight in the background knows this is mistaken logic

Actually quite chuffed: Check those armrests as drinks platforms:

The plastic furniture can go now . .

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This is made worse as just the day before I was rolling my eyes at my Dad (96) who in one breath was stating his absolute determination – ‘this time’ – to get rid of stuff; and in the next breath was mulling over buying two new armchairs for the room he wants to add on to his house ‘for her (that’s Mom Mary) to sit in the sun as the room will have big windows.’

Right. Alone in a three bedroom house with Mom now in a home, he thinks he needs an extra room.

Executive Summary

Tom and I were off to the Palmiet. Mom and Jess were out, so I asked Tom to leave them a note so they’d know wassup when they got back. Sure thing Dad!

I see it on my way out. It says “we have gone.”

I say, Tom, tell them a bit more than that, my fella. Sure thing, Dad! And we trundle off to go fossicking:

When we get back, there it is on the kitchen table, complete with the seven year old’s additional information:

Tom’s note to Mom for our trip to the Palmiet:
We have gone and we well come back – Tom Tom

Wednesdays! Tom Cooks!

Tom_Cooks_Jul2018_2[1]

On Wednesdays always something new. Tonight Porterhouse, mushroom, roast potato and um, something green. Cecelia had hers delivered to her room; Jess and I had personal service too.

Yum!

Jessie Rescue Act

Once again Jessie rescued some creatures, this time frogs from the pool. Bush squeakers Arthroleptis wahlbergi, a small one and a tiny one. Why they didn’t hop onto or cling to my rafts I have in the pool I don’t know. I assume quite a few creatures do use the rescue rafts and then hop out without us seeing them. Hope so.

Bush Squeaker Arthroleptis wahlbergi (1)

The small one was about tip-of-my-pinky size – adult size for this squeaker – the tiny one about 9mm from tip of nose to tail. The bottom middle pic in the collage is the only one of the tiny chap.

The intrepid rescuer with her friend Lydia from London:

Hluhlu with Lydia 19May2018 (4).jpg

Arthroleptis wahlbergii, the bush squeaker

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forest, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, plantation edges, rural gardens, urban areas, and heavily degraded former forest. It is found mostly in leaf-litter and rotting vegetation.

The eggs are laid in damp leaf-litter where the young hatch as miniature frogs. The call is a high-pitched squeak, usually emitted during wet weather, which is often mistaken for the calls of crickets.

It is threatened by habitat loss, so please don’t mow your lawns right to the edge and please don’t rake up your leaf-litter! Leave as much of your garden wild and undisturbed as you can. Please.

Durban Nightlife

Nightjars are fascinating birds.

One night in my first own home, Whittington Court in Marriott Road on Durban’s Berea, I heard a strange sound. It was like a small dog barking, but not quite that and I remembered from all my reading and re-reading of Roberts and Newmans bird books: Nightjar!

Aitch! I shouted, a nightjar! Luckily she knew I was weird so she joined me and we peered out from our first floor window and a nightjar flitted past. I was over the moon with excitement and discovery. A Freckled Nightjar right outside my flat!

Freckled Nightjar
Thanks stellenboschbirds.com – Chris Krog

Investigation revealed it to be a well-known one, roosting on the roof of the residential hotel nearby. Eden Gardens, now a retirement home. It had been discovered by Philip Clancey, famous birder and splitter and Durban Natural Science Museum ornithologist and author and artist, who lived in the hotel.They usually roost on rocks and the roof was a good substitute. Their camouflage is impressive:

Freckled Nightjar_africanbirdclub
africanbirdclub.com

A previous “discovery” of a nightjar also had me hugely excited.

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Durban museum ornithologist Philip Clancey took numerous expeditions into Zululand and Mozambique, discovering several new subspecies as well as one new species to science, the Lemon-breasted Canary in 1961. Clancey was a prodigious publisher of papers and books including “Birds of Natal and Zululand”, all lavishly illustrated with his excellent and distinctive bird paintings.