Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Greater Striped Swallow

Greater Striped Swallow 

The greater striped swallow is 18–20 cm long. It has dark blue upperparts with a pale orange rump and a chestnut crown, nape and sides of the head. The underparts and underwing coverts are creamy white with dark streaking, and the upper wings and underwing flight feathers are blackish-brown. The blackish tail has very long outer feathers; these are slightly longer in the male than the female. Juveniles are duller and browner, with less contrast and shorter outer tail feathers. The flight is slow and buoyant, and the call is a twittering chissick.

I'm linking to Wild Bird Wednesday here


We've moved!

Yesterday, two weeks after the sudden death of my husband, Grant, the dog, Skabenga, four cats and I moved. Not into the cottage which Grants was project managing for the landlady. (that was to be a husband/wife situation and occupation) but to a totally new place.

Farmer friends, John (younger brother of my Parkrun partner, Anthony) and Ronnie offered me their little cottage on their farm.

Soon I'll have more photos of the indoors (which looks like a train smash at the moment) and the lovely spacious garden which the animals will romp around in.

Meanwhile, the cats are staying indoors and Shadow is facing-off the pack of  large black dogs in the garden next door! 
 Shadow dozing on the windowsill keeping an eye on the rowdly black dogs next door! 
 Aah, they've gone to bed - the watch cat can relax! 
 This morning Shadow was at his post again. Ambrose took a quick look then jumped down ! 
Shadow the self-appointed guard 

I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Moving ... again

Hi Bozo and Mum's blog readers; this is Ambrose with some news. I smell a rat that we are moving again. Mum has had many empty boxes in the shack (which we kitties have played in) and today she packed them all and carried them outside to the car.

So... I think we're moving again. 

Meanwhile, we sense Mum has a lot on her plate at the moment and are being good kitties in the meantime. 
 Skabenga the doggie is being a good boy as well! 
 Dad Ginger and I watch as Mum packs more boxes 
 Unca Shadow dozes peacefully 
Aunty Chappie rests on her blue rug 

For more cute pet posts, please click here

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

My new world

Thank you everyone of my blogger and Facebook friends for the e-mails, messenger and Blogger comments commiserating with me on Grant's death. 

After the memorial service on Friday, our family traveled to where I'm living in one of Estelle and Steve's holiday units. The owner of the Cave Inn phoned me last week and offered the cave as accommodation for our younger son, Angus, his wife Amanda and their three children. 

We all congregated there to have a final cup of tea and get together. 

It was incredibly hot and I found two pairs of baggy swimshorts; one for my brother-in-law Lourie and one for my son, John. 

 Coffee and cake tastes good while you're cooling off!  
 The Hedges family with extended family of Amanda's parents, Lourie and Celia vd Merwe 

I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here


Monday, December 4, 2017


Hello friends.

This is possibly the hardest blog post I have ever done and there is no way to say it other than straight out:

Grant, my husband of 45 plus years, school sweetheart and ultimate friend, passed away last Monday.

As you can all imagine it has been a hectic week and I didn't get to post here at all. Some of you saw the condolences on Facebook and sent me messages. Thank you.

We had a private burial on Thursday on our son, John and daughter-in-law, Debbie's farm. 

 Walking down the path to near the river where we lay Grant to rest 
 I was reminded of happier times when Skabenga and Eddie and I walked this path - often! 
 Grant would've been pleased that he was taken to his last resting place in a Toyota Landcruiser in a coffin made by his son, John, carried to the grave by his sons, wives and oldest granddaughter;  laid to rest in a grave dug by John, covered by his sons Angus and John and the older grandsons! 
Our older son, John and his oldest, Joshua; our younger son, Angus and his older son, Joel cover the grave while Bethany waits to place her wildflowers (picked along the path to the gravesite) on Granddad's grave
 The grandchildren sitting in the shade at Granddad's graveside 
 The littlest Hedges, Liam clutching a bunch of statice and waiting in his dad's arms to put it on Granddad's grave 
 Bethany smiles beautifully for Granny's camera! 

 On Friday we had a memorial service at a resort  nestled at the foot of the mountain peaks. Grant's brother, Charles piped the service in playing Amazing Grace
Some of the biker friends who drove up from Durban to attend the service. Here I am with them and my BIL, Charles

 The whole Valley community was most supportive. Estelle made the funeral sheets; Ann our communications person in the Valley sent her the photo of Grant at the Pink Bra Walk a little over a month ago. (I posted about it at the time)
 A lady from the Durban biker's association sent me the beautiful photo taken of Grant at a get-together we atteneded in the Free State mid-June this year. 

Rest in Peace my dearest, darling Grant 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Human tasks

(which the dog and cats love!)

This weekend, Grant had to do running repairs on the accommodation, Cave Inn. Our first guests had a problem with the shower not turning off; or so they thought (remember I posted that Fanny had phoned me at 11pm panicking that they'd not turned the controls in the correct direction.) What
actually happened was that when they showered, a lot of the water collected in a rocky bowl above their heads. As there were too few water holes, once you turned the taps / faucets off, the water still drained out for several minutes. 

On Sunday morning Grant, armed with a drilll, entered the shower cubicle and drilled several more holes. He also cleaned out the existing holes which were clogged. 

On Sunday afternoon we turned on the shower (me standing well away!). The water poured out and when Grant turned off the tap lever, within about 30 seconds, the water stopped running. 

The cave shower: the water pours straight
 out of the rocks above you 

Then it was time to sort out the rock pools. There is a plunge pool just outside the cave door. And several pools running into each other from the garden above the cave and ending in the plunge pool. 

Grant had to get the slightly murky water clear,  fill the top ponds and get the pump running.  It had been unused for a couple of months and needed a boost. 

All this outdoor activity delighted Skabenga and two of the four cats.
 Ginger was the first to arrive on the scene 
 Skabenga checking up on Ginger and Grant 
 Ginger the works manager 
 Shadow followed the sounds of splashing and arrived from the shack next door ! 
Skabenga plodged in every pool while we waited for the water levels to rise 
 Skabenga wet and happy as Larry 
 And a good shake all over Mum and her camera!   
 Mmm , the water is refreshing!  
 Oops, the earth is tilting! My horisons were not level
The water running in from pools above and over this waterfall into the main swimming pool was eventually beautifully clear 

Once Grant was happy with the condition of the pools and the clarity of the water, he went around and under a rock to turn off the waterfall pump. The two cats didn't know where their yoomen dad had disappeared to and were peering over the edge to find him! 

Oi Ginger, where did he disappear to so fast?  

When we walked back home, two cats and a wet dog in tow, we came across Ambrose and Chappie sunning themselves on the shack roof.
 Ambrose stalking, leopard-like across the warm roof of the shack . Chappie was on the other side of the slanted roof. She was too comfortable, lazy (methinks)  she says, to come and pose for my blog photos
 I love how the perrenials are bursting into bloom - in little gardens on TOP of the shack roof! These are the indigenous Wild Iris (Dietes Grandiflora) 

Hen-and-chickens (Cholorphytum comosum) flowering in another small garden on the roof! 


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Father and son

Hi Bozo and Mum's blog readers; this is Ambrose and I'm not sure if you have a post today. We remember that you're on holiday in your lovely place with other pets.

Mum took these photos of me and Dad Ginger and one of Unca Shadow in the shadows. 
 I, Ambrose, am in the front with Dad Ginger asleep in his paw behind me
Unca Shadow asleep in the shadows! 

For more cute pet posts, please click here

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Arty African Critters

Hi Eileen, I'm not getting out enough to photograph real wild critters, so I thought I'd share a few critters with whom I share space in the shop every day.
 Leopard stalking the unsuspecting buck 
 Leopard cub  - one of my most popular sellers
 Lioness carrying a cub. Lionesses move their [very] young up to five times a day; this is to avoid the father or other predators discovering them who would kill them 
 This is a painting of the mounatain peaks in Champagne Valley: Cathkin Peak and Champagne Castle being the two main ones 
 A helicopter rescue into which the artist superimposed the hand of God and the hand of Adam  from Michaelangelo's painting in the Sistine Chapel (the image of the near-touching hands of Adam and God has become iconic of humanity)
 The Bearded Vulture - endangered and now being conserved in the Central Drakensberg 
 Brahman Bull; painted originally on leather and taking four days to complete 
 These cattle were emerging from the dam called Spionkop. This is on the site of the Battle of Spioenkop (Anglo Boer war)
This painting is called Cow and Calf. It hangs on the door to the shop and stops everyone in their tracks 
Muthi and the Meerkats is my best seller on canvas, on coffee mugs, on magnets, coasters, potstands, mousepads, keyrings and clocks 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters here