Monday, June 30, 2014

Earthmovers' blood is yellow

While driving through the mine two weeks ago, Grant drove down into the pit as part of his evening inspection.

As we approached the new drill area, I zoomed in on the drill rigs which were in operation.

Health and Safety is paramount on the mine and the notice warns you not to overstep the boundary

Driving along the haul road, parallel to the airstrip, Grant stopped while I photographed the newest toy on the block: a yellow CAT bulldozer. The work had been completed by this gargantuan machine and now it was driven onto a low-bed to return to the mine area. No trundling those mighty and expensive tracks along to road and lessening their life!
The yellow CAT bulldozer; the newest toy in Grant's box!

As my header suggests, the earthmoving miner's blood is yellow: CAT yellow! 

I hope you're all having a great first day of the week. 


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hedges Kitties at play

Hi Bozo, Lindy and all mum's blog readers. It's Ambrose here and I report that we three cats have been very well-behaved this week. 

Mum's had lamaria again. 

What's that Unca Shadow? 

Oh, she had malaria. Which means she felt a little ill and needed rest. We didn't give her trouble at all.

Meanwhile, early morning when she hung the washing on the line,  Unca Shadow and I had playtime in the garden.  

Dad Ginger? Well, he watched from far away.

 Here I come, Unca Shadow
 You call that a tap?
 Ooof!
 Ha, I'm out of reach!
Gotcha!
Dad Ginger on the table next to the laundry basket 

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

A mixed bag of critters

With the weather becoming dryer than ever, the bird sightings are scarcer. However, I have several photos of birds and deer on our late evening and night drives through the mine and bush.
A pair of Grey-breasted Spurfowl head off into the gloom

A dik-dik looks back at us as we drove past
A Slender-tailed Night-jar snapped on Auto function, hence the red-eye!

A couple of weekends ago, Grant and I visited Amanda and Andre where I photographed "their" African Scops-owl in the garden. As I was doing this, several little cats crept up onto the lawn behind us. (Amanda feeds them, so of course they're going to favor her garden!) 
 Several feral cats which Amanda is feeding in her garden; this seems to be a mother and two kittens
A single kitten from another family 

I'm linking my post to Saturday Critters with Eileen which you can access by clicking here.



 


Friday, June 27, 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Good fences or not...

This is my first time linking with TexWisGirl's Good Fences Meme which you can visit by clicking here
 Our reed fence couldn't keep out a beautiful animal the dogs were gazing at in the tree above
The common genet used the large trees and our house roof to enter our enclosed garden
Toffee gazes up at the common genet in a tree above 

 



I'm fed-up!

With myself, that is... 

Since Monday evening I have had a dull headache. One of those pains that you know it's no use taking a painkiller to alleviate. I had a restless night, awaking at 1am on Tuesday with the same headache. 

Even though I felt lethargic and out of sorts on Tuesday I still went to pottery. Can't miss the togetherness and camaraderie of the other ladies on site. However, I made a total mess of the item I was painting (more about this in a future post) and left the studio by 10.30; this is half an hour earlier than normal.

On Wednesday morning at 6.45, I met friend, Marita at the corner of the street and we power-walked up the road on our 6.5km round trip through town that we do every second day. On the home stretch I started to feel quite weak but made it home without mentioning how I felt. (I never talk about being/ feeling ill!)  I took a shower and as I still didn't feel any better, I asked, William the company driver to take me to the hospital.

Fortunately my doctor arrived soon after I'd collected my file from the reception office and he sent me off to the laboratory for a malaria test.  Robert, the lab technician took a swab of blood with a prick to my finger and asked me to wait in the corridor. I had my Kindle with me and proceeded to settle down for a 45-minute wait. 

Exactly three-quarters-of-an-hour after Robert had drawn blood from my finger, he called me into his laboratory again. He said that I had several malarial parasites in my bloodstream. I asked if I could see them under the microscope, and this is what I saw...
 Malaria parasites (similar to what's in my bloodstream at the moment) seen under microscope (Image: Google)
The doctor prescribed anti-malarial medication and Panadol for the next three days and I believe that I should feel better by Friday 

Meanwhile I was hoping to get back to the pottery studio this morning but will probably have to forfeit my outing until I am well again. 

I 've made several items since returning from leave last month, one being a mobile which I hope will survive the initial air travel between East and South Africa,  and the subsequent bike trip down to the Cape. It's a gift for my friend, Lesley to display in her beach house on the Breede River. 
 Once suspended on fishing line, the lighthouse, eight fish and ship's wheel should look quite good in a beach house! 
 Above are three of the larger items which I made since returning to site a month ago. I have several items waiting to be bisqued and which I will paint afterwards 

Here's wishing you all a great Thursday!     

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Elusive bou-bous, pretty malachites and a juvenile stork

Since being in Tanzania, Grant and I have heard, followed and tried to photograph the elusive Slate-colored Bou-bou. We can hear its distinctive call of the male's bell-like "bop-bop" followed by the female's higher-pitched "boop". And although we stop and can see the skulking form in the undergrowth, I am never able to photograph it. On Saturday night, however, while at the club, I heard the call and followed it to a nearby tree. There I managed a photo of a young bou-bou sitting quietly on a branch.
 A young Slate-colored Bou-bou 

The following afternoon while driving through the bush we heard and subsequently saw a bou-bou climbing up a tree trunk nearby. It was actually exposed and I managed a couple of photos before it disappeared into the undergrowth.
 A Slate-colored Bou-bou clambering up a tree trunk and affording me a better photo - or not!

The same Slate-colored Bou-bou seconds before it flew down into the undergrowth   

On the way back to town, we stopped at a small body of water where an eclectic group of birds was enjoying the last of the evening's sun rays. 

 A Hamerkop, a Yellow-billed Stork and a Sacred Ibis with a Malachite Kingfisher in the background in between the stork and ibis

Grant and I noticed that the Yellow-billed Stork's bill wasn't very yellow. When I downloaded the photos and referenced the bird in the book, I saw that we'd photographed a Yellow-billed Stork Juvenile. 
The Juvenile Yellow-billed Stork is brownish above washed with grey-brown below. The neck and head are speckled grey and white
I panned in on the Malachite Kingfisher in the reeds behind and was thrilled to see two of these beauties there
 
I'm linking to Wild Bird Wednesday hosted by Stewart Monckton and which you can access by clicking here
 


 


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bread and Sausage Rolls

When I lived alone in South Africa and blogged from there, I'd regularly post recipes of the meals I made for myself and for Grant and the family when he was home on leave! So mostly my recipes were vegetarian and health-conscious. Here in East Africa I'm having too much fun going to pottery, birding and blogging, that, although I cook every day for dinner and bake at least once a week, I haven't posted about it. 

However, over the weekend I found a recipe for flaky (puff) pastry  and *proceeded to make it*. It's a VERY long and involved process but I'm pleased to say it turned out quite well in the end. I made a batch of sausage rolls for His Nibs and will use the rest for a chicken and mushroom pie which I'll serve tonight.
 Sausage rolls in flaky pastry served hot for lunch yesterday

Mondays is also my bread baking day. I bake a loaf of whole wheat bread for myself which lasts me until Saturday. I bring in South African whole meal and instant dry yeast. 
 My weekly bake of whole meal bread with extra buns 
Grant had four mini-sausage rolls and Worcestershire Sauce for lunch while I enjoyed my ubiquitous sandwich of  cottage cheese and salad with a cup of rooibos (SA herb) tea

For more of other peoples' worlds please click here 

Note: ** Why did I make my own [difficult] flaky pastry? Well, living in the African boondocks, there just is no such item as ready-made pastry available. Sigh...

Here's wishing you all a wonderful week! 



Monday, June 23, 2014

Weekend Celebrations in Mwadui

This weekend client and our company expats got together at the club for a surprise party. It was the birthday of general manager, Arlen and we wanted to treat him to his first real celebration in Mwadui.

At midday several men from the client company started to roast a pig on the spit

Arlen looked most surprised to see many more people than normal at the club that night

 Kwet welcomes all and wishes the GM a happy birthday

Yellow being the color of an earth-mover's blood, Grant arranged with CAT for an exact replica of the excavator which arrived on site in March this year. Steve, Grant's plant foreman arranged with Mantrac in Mwanza and the beautiful model arrived in time for the party.
The beautiful model excavator which Grant and Steve arranged for Arlen's gift from the expats
 
 After a delicious dinner of roast pork, salads and rolls (made by the WDL kitchen), Marita asked the men to stand with Arlen for a photo

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.




Sunday, June 22, 2014

Hedges Kitties not sleeping!

Hi Bozo, Lindy and mum's blog readers. This is Ambrose and I have a post about we Hedges kitties not sleeping this time.
Dad Ginger eating cookies from my dish, Unca Shadow lurks off the photo and I look on

Dad Ginger left the kitchen, so Unca Shadow ate cookies from my bowl while I looked on!

Mum says that's why I never get fat. Although we each have our own cookie bowls and water bowls during the day, wet food bowls in the morning, Unca Shadow and Dad Ginger often eat my food! But I've learned that if I don't eat this kitty food, mum serves me special beef mince which I love!

Oh, and we all have our own kitty litter trays too. And our own many spots where we sleep all day.

Mum says we have the life of Riley. I wonder what's a Riley? Could it be a new type of cookie for cats?

Mmm, Unca Shadow?  

Oh, he says he doesn't know and doesn't care as long as his life always stays as good as it is!

To see other cute pets around the world, please click here

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday Critters with Eileen

I normally have quite an eclectic mix of creatures - feathered and four-footed for this post. However, this week Grant only got in from the office late in the evening. When we went out, the lighting was not at all conducive to good photography! We're also experiencing windy days which causes birds and animals to hide in the bush instead of showing themselves!

However,  this is my contribution today to Eileen's meme, Saturday Critters .  

 A young Harrier-Hawk foraging for insects and grubs in the stump
While we watched this young raptor, it stepped up and poked its bill into the cavity...

...then looked at us and yawned! 
 A pair of Yellow-collared Lovebirds provided a photo op

A Long-tailed Cormorant was a willing model!
In the gathering dusk it was just possible to capture this pair of Black-backed Jackal on a mission

I hope you're all having a great weekend.
 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Angel Wings over the Mine


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Thursday, June 19, 2014

One month old!

Today it's a month since our  littlest granddaughter, Keren-Happuch made her appearance in the family. 

She's the eighth Hedges grandchild. 

Keren has already attended three birthdays: her own [birth] on 19 May; older brother Elijah who turned four on 21 May. She and her mum were still in hospital so a party was arranged in the maternity ward. 

The day after Elijah's birthday, the family traveled back to their home in the Drakensberg. 
 
And on 12 June she attended brother, Israel's second birthday party in the garden of a B&B where her family is holidaying in Mossel Bay, Western Cape.

Baby Keren Hedges a mere three weeks old at her "older" brother, Israel's second birthday 

Keren's older brothers, birthday boy, two-year old Israel and oldest brother, Joshua who turns eight on 12 July! 
Keren's oldest and youngest brothers in the background; Elijah, who turned four two days after her arrival and her two sisters, Bethany and Eryn who turned five and eleven on 27 March this year! 
Yesterday Keren's mom sent me the above photo

All photo credits: Debbie Hedges

I hope you're all having a really great day.