Lockdown Loaded – 2

~~~oo0oo~~~ Then it rained and I remembered a bit late about my duvet! I had put it out to dry in the sun! So I brought it inside – wet – and stayed inside. Mistake! I shouldn’t have! ALL the neighbours showed me what I missed – a rainbow in a sunset! ~~~oo0oo~~~

Lockdown Lookback -1

An old post from my pre-marriage blog vrystaatconfessions.com My first recollections are of life on the plot outside Harrismith, playing with Enoch and Casaia, childhood companions, kids of Lena Mazibuko, who looked after us as Mom and Dad worked in town. I remember Lena as kind and loving – and strict! The plot was wasContinue reading “Lockdown Lookback -1”

Lochinvar Park in Zambia

In 1297 the Gordon family arrived at Lochinvar from Berwickshire. They established a castle on an island in the lake – or loch, as this was in Scotland. Lochinvar. In 1908 another Scot, Mr Horne, a cattle farmer from Botswana, arrived on the banks of the Kafue river in Northern Rhodesia long before it becameContinue reading “Lochinvar Park in Zambia”

Shit Birders Say

. . and that I wish I had said . . “To a person uninstructed in natural history, his countryside or seaside stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall” – THOMAS HUXLEY – English biologist “Bird-watchers are tense, competitive,Continue reading “Shit Birders Say”

Xudum in Okavango

Another trip to the Delta! Aitch and I flew from Maun to Xudum in 2001 when Janet & Duncan were running the show for Landela Safaris. We landed on the nearby bush strip. After a few days in camp they had business in Maun and we accompanied them on the drive out of the DeltaContinue reading “Xudum in Okavango”

Oddballs Palm Island Luxury Lodge

Getting into Botswana’s Okavango Delta can be awfully expensive. A cheaper way is to fly in to Oddballs Palm Island Luxury Lodge, get on a mokoro and disappear off into the wild with a guide who knows where he’s going and what he’s doing. In 1993 Aitch and I did just that, spending a nightContinue reading “Oddballs Palm Island Luxury Lodge”

Limpopo Lepadi

I joined Jenny & Tabs Fyvie for a lovely week in the bush at their luxury lodge in Botswana. Right on the banks of the Limpopo river – a wonderful setting. Their friends from their days in the lowveld Johan and Elsa were there, and other shareholders from the Eston district, Pete & Bruce. WonderfulContinue reading “Limpopo Lepadi”

Gardening for Birds n Frogs n Butterflies n Goggas

Aitch learnt the joy of indigenous plants on the Bluff in 1985 when doing her cardio-vascular perfusion-ing at Wentworth hospital. Ian Whitton, friend and cardio-thoracic surgeon, indigenous gardener and nurseryman extraordinaire, piglet-producer, protea grower, pigeon-fancier, erythrina expert and all-round good friend took her under his wing. She needed it as a Capie new to KwaZuluContinue reading “Gardening for Birds n Frogs n Butterflies n Goggas”

Birdfest

Since the new year rains the garden has been bursting with noise and activity. Overhead the fish eagle and crowned eagle, the goshawk and the YB kite; In the trees the trumpeter and crowned hornbills; In the garden toppies (black-capped bulbul), yellow-bellied bulbul, GT and cardinal woodpeckers, brown-hooded kingfisher and FT drongos dipping into the poolContinue reading “Birdfest”

Rain and Meals on Wings

At last some good rain. And the flying ants are out in force! Wings and scurrying bodies everywhere, clustered around our lights. “We’ll have fat geckos and I hope the owls and nightjars have a feast, Tom! Even the monkeys will love it if they’re still around tomorrow” Grumble grumble I don’t like them heContinue reading “Rain and Meals on Wings”

Hwow! Hwange is Hwonderful!

One of Aitch’s list of ‘things to do’ once we knew she had cancer, was to visit her twin sis in Botswana. Janet quickly mustered her network and arranged a trip to Hwange, Zimababwe’s world-class national park. We’d been once before. Her friends Beks and Sarah Ndlovu of African Bush Camps own a concession andContinue reading “Hwow! Hwange is Hwonderful!”

Early Morning Aerial Dogfight

Today’s the third morning I’ve watched an urgent, furious ruckus in my front garden. A bird screaming its head off while furiously chasing another like a fighter jet in hot pursuit. So fast that I couldn’t get a good view as the target dashed in and out of the copse of trees and shrubs. IContinue reading “Early Morning Aerial Dogfight”

Bliss

I heard a cry on high as I parked on the roof at work. Glancing up I saw two crows cartwheeling, freewheeling, locking claws and spiralling like a propellor high above me. What a magnificent display of flying excellence! Buzzing around above and below them was a drongo, divebombing and harrassing them, cheeky little blighter.Continue reading “Bliss”