Mkhuze Mantuma Camp

Boy, we had weather! Bright sunshine, then wind, then a massive ongoing thunderstorm at night, with the thunderclaps within a second of the bright lightning flashes. Then long flashes followed by bangs and long rumbles receding into the distance. Followed by really soaking rain. Then a cool cloudy day, less wind, but a stiff breeze.Continue reading “Mkhuze Mantuma Camp”

Go Straight

Cecilia went home in March, as did Tobias. We thought it was for three weeks of COVID lockdown, but it turned out to be forever. So now at last I was going to take the mountain of stuff she had accumulated while staying here, to her home in Mtwalume. She has always said she livesContinue reading “Go Straight”

Where do our Eels go for the Holidays?

The eels in the Palmiet River down the road lead an interesting life. And there’s still lots we don’t know about them. Especially me, so know this is a story of our eels written by someone who’d like to know more. Firstly, there are about four species. I say ‘about’ as the number is likelyContinue reading “Where do our Eels go for the Holidays?”

Palmiet Night Walk

A few Palmiet Rangers went on a night walk led by herpetologist snake catcher and all-round naturalist Nick Evans. And they saw good stuff: Meantime I took some pics in my garden lately And another of our naturalists, Suncana, was busy as ever, spotting new and fascinating things: While Roger and Rory shot more birds:Continue reading “Palmiet Night Walk”

Natural Health Drink

The conifers are a wonderful group of trees including pines, yellow-woods, redwoods, junipers, cypresses, larch and spruce trees. From the bark and sap of the pine one can distill TURPENTINE; and From the berries of the juniper one can distill GIN. – . . . sort of . . . YAY!! Juniper berries are actuallyContinue reading “Natural Health Drink”

More Palmiet Privilege

Spring has sprung. (iNaturalist ID’d the first moth as one of the Giant Silkworm Moths Subfamily Saturniinae) ~~~oo0oo~~~ Forgot to include this. Suncana Bradley’s earlier pic of a female Black Cuckooshrike flying towards her. Unusual, striking.

Maputaland Meander

Re-post from 1992 when Mike & Yvonne Lello kindly lent us their Isuzu Trooper 4X4 for a breakaway (OK, another breakaway) where I knew we’d be on soft sand and needing 4X4. Aitch was impressed with out first stop: Luxury with Wilderness Safaris at Ndumo, grub and game drives laid on. Ice in our drinks.Continue reading “Maputaland Meander”

TomTom Homework Book

Found an old primary school workbook of Tom’s. School was not his very best thing. He summed up school as – S.ix C.rual H.ours O.f O.ur L.ives !! Math – M.ental A.buse T.o H.umans ! Homework – H.alf O.f M.y E.nergy W.asted O.n R.andom K.nowledge ! . . . and ended with a heartfelt plaintiveContinue reading “TomTom Homework Book”

2009 D.A.F.T Hysterical Tour

Ken Gillings decided to make it more real this time: We’d actually walk the Fugitive’s Trail from Isandlwana to the Fugitive’s Drift across the Mzinyathi (Buffalo) River, then up a little way on the other side on Fugitive’s Drift Lodge land belonging to David and Nicky Rattray. (Slides change every four seconds. To pause clickContinue reading “2009 D.A.F.T Hysterical Tour”

Aitch’s Dogs

TC was her first dog, and she was Aitch’s favourite. She arrived while we were still living in our flat in Marriott road. She was a flat dog for a month or two and couldn’t believe the wide open spaces of our first suburban home. … … … Then Matt (because he wasn’t glossy whenContinue reading “Aitch’s Dogs”

A Gardener’s Wisdom

Bruce sent this:always mow the lawn after 3pm.Then the dog turds are dry !! …. Me:Hosed myself!! Just picked up some steaming ones this mornin’Strategically placed by Sambucca the black labrador where I’m most likely to step in them. I just KNOW she’s thinking “Ooh! UGHHHH! There! He can’t miss that one”. …. Jon TaylorContinue reading “A Gardener’s Wisdom”

Some Spring Sightings

Palmiet Nature Reserve is ready for Spring! We’ve had a cold winter, some early rain, wind storms and today a hot ‘Berg wind.’ Nature lovers in the Palmiet Rangers group have been spotting all sorts of interesting life in our valley. Then some Palmetians went to Roosfontein and shot a Nightjar! Meantime, Pigeon Valley inContinue reading “Some Spring Sightings”

What a Lady

We were so lucky when we started fostering kids that Anna Kiza Cele was with us. She taught us which end to wipe and which end to feed. I’m sure she must have done some private eye-rolls at what we didn’t know! Here she is with her big mate Aitch, plotting against poor me: ThisContinue reading “What a Lady”

Palmiet Sightings & Discoveries

An exciting weekend in the valley; good sightings, plants to identify and maybe even a new species discovered! The eggs – ?? – brought some guessing! I asked vegetable or animal? No-one knew. Fish eggs, with a water mongoose being the predator? Berries? Frog eggs? Crab eggs? Eel? Turns out Ingrid D’eathe had found themContinue reading “Palmiet Sightings & Discoveries”

Rainbow Flokati Pioneers

The wonderful African Jazz Pioneers were appearing at the RAINBOW Jazz Club in the Pinetown taxi rank! Could NOT miss the opportunity. HAD to go and experience their wonderful sound and vibe. At Ben Pretorius’ Rainbow Restaurant they serve their beers in ‘quart’ bottles, about 750ml in the shade. What can you do? I orderedContinue reading “Rainbow Flokati Pioneers”

Now I Know

Ole man phones on his new cellphone. FINALLY a cellphone like I always wanted. As usual, its a one-way call; he can’t hear me, but I can listen. The phone is perfect. BIG numbers, which display BIG on the screen when pushed AND I can actually hear when I push the button; And get this,Continue reading “Now I Know”