Monday, November 30, 2015

End of November weekend

On Friday little Abby had her tonsillectomy.  Apart from sending WA messages of support for the parents and little girl, all we could do here at home, was to wait.

Around 9 am I received a video clip from Angus. A tearjerker for grandparents and grand-Rina!

Take a look...

By 11.30am they were back at home; Abby eating salty crisps!

We're hoping that this little girl will fill out now that her tonsils are out! 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Extra space to sleep!

Hi Bozo and Mum's blog readers; this is Ambrose and I have some new news! We have extra place to sleep at night and sometimes we also play in this new area! 

Mum says now that the pup, Skabenga sleeps outside and guards the house, we're able to move from Mum's bedroom into the lounge area.

This is while everyone is asleep! In the morning, Mum gives us our tasty breakfast, we slip through the security gates and spend the day outside. Cousin Tipsy is in his room, soaking up the sun. When Dad Ginger, Unca Shadow and I come indoors (we're  hungry by the middle of the day) then Mum closes us in her sunny bedroom and Tipsy goes outdoors again! 
Here I am posing on Mum's green armchair
Dad Ginger likes to contemplate whether he should sleep in here or back in the bedroom

Unca Shadow likes to watch Skabenga (outside the glass door) from underneath the oak table

You can see more cute pet posts here

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Flying ant day

This week we discovered a flying ant queens nest in our garden. We only noticed it when Chappie started chasing the newly emerged ants flying low over her as she lay on the patio. I took many photos as the ants crept out - sometimes four at once - from the nest hole.
Metallic wings and head of the newly hatched flying ants 
Two ants already exposed while another two (or even three) try to push past them

Here two ants (wings not yet showing) pull themselves out of the hole
Oooph - let me outta here!

See more about these interesting critters here
A Malachite Sunbird silhouetted in the evening light in my garden
A  flock of Red-billed Quelea (which I posted about earlier this week) roost in a tree behind Angus and Amanda's house
I later photographed Chappie sitting in a chest of drawers 
Creative Shot function used here! 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters here

You all have a wonderful Saturday! 

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Mourning Moon!

Wednesday 25 November was full moon. The November full moon means a change of things. You can read about the paganism connotation on this here It was so huge over Amanda and Angus' house that night and we hope a big [full] moon bodes big rains. Even after a good 30ml shower on Friday night, the earth needs more heavenly water. So let it rain...

I'm linking my post to Skywatch Friday here

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Good fences, great town

I've posted about the town of  Senekal before - when I placed photographs of the church with its fence of petrified stone. 

Last Tuesday Grant visited the doctor in that town (our doctor was on leave) for a pinched nerve in his left hip! Can you believe it? Now his arm is better, his leg gave him gyp. However, the doctor gave him an injection to relax the muscles and also prescribed anti-inflammatory pills. I, for one had been suffering with a stiff neck and migraine since the weekend. The doctor said I was so tense, that he actually had to administer two injections, one in each shoulder. An hour later I was fine. 

As always on the way up the main street before turning off onto the regional road which leads to Marquard,   I managed a few fence photos. 
An well-maintained old house with a pretty fence to match
Another old house in good condition with not much security around it!

This fence surrounded a huge corner property with a beautiful house placed quite far back 
Around the corner, I got a brief glimpse of the same property's beautifully treed garden

Just peeping out behind the tree, is the roof of the house which this stark wall surrounds. Not my style at all!
Double story homes aren't the order of the day in the country. However, this house always caught my eye and that day I photographed behind a green palisade fence
Heading home to Marquard, I managed a [blurry] photo of cattle behind the wire fence (note the cracklingly dry grass the cattle have to graze) 

I'm linking to Good Fences Thursday here


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Red-billed Quelea

Our bird feeder/s are attracting many birds; the feeder with chunks of fresh fruit and a tray of wild bird seed; and the feeder with only seed on the platform.

The Red-billed Quelea is one of the most abundant bird species in the world. Although the map next to this bird in my bird book shows (with highlighted shades) that it's a common breeding migrant, the text description says it's resident and highly gregarious!

The breeding male has most commonly a black face mask surrounded by a yellowish or pink ring. The red bill gives it its name. The female has greyish-brown head feathers, a white throat and red bill. In breeding season the female (as usual) hardly changes except for the bill and eye-ring which becomes dull yellow. 
Red-billed Quelea - how many males can you see here ? ( before you scroll to the next photo!)
Here a third male flew in and looks like it's challenging the male looking right. This one is partly obscured by the male on the edge of the feeder in the previous photo (with a yellowish band!)

In these last two photos it looks as though the male with the yellowish band won!

I'm linking my post to Wild Bird Wednesday here

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Smallies' year-end concert

Naturally I attended several year-end concerts with my own two sons; and later when Eryn and Joshua lived here in Marquard, I attended - firstly as Granny but also as newspaper journalist. Since 2010, we've been away in Africa at this time every year so last Friday night was a first (for us) going to Joel and Abby's concert.
Abby received a certificate  from Teacher Maureen - for being soft-spoken 
Joel received a certificate from Teacher Elize - for being diligent
The Grade R's looking so cute in their mortar boards and cloaks
graduated to Grade 0 (don't you just LOVE the bare feet?)

The theme of the concert was The Toy Box. The MC explained to us that although this little play may seem insignificant to an adult, it's one of the highlights of a small child's year. They'd been practicing for this night for many months. 
Abby was one of the Telly Tubbies

Telletubbies, created by British Television, is a very, very popular TV kiddie's program here in SA. Please check here if you've never heard of Telletubbies.  

Ironically, in September while we visited Grant's brother and SIL, Shelley (my birding mentor), their daughter, SIL and two-year-old grandson Jamie were visiting. That evening Jamie watched Telletubbies; Grant was also in the lounge and saw the program for the first time! 

On Friday night at the concert, at least Granddad could relate to who each Telletubbie on stage represented! Abby, of course, being soft-spoken, was Po !
Angelic !

Oftimes a little confusion reigns! 

Very seriously playing the role of Po

In the row behind the performing Telletubbies, are the Ninja Turtles 

Joel, with blue mask,  and his fellow actors patiently waiting their turn

A great time was had by ALL! 

(The brunette in the bottom of each video is the choreographer and did a wonderful job of getting these kids to do their "thing" on stage.) 

I'm linking my post to Our World Tuesday here

Monday, November 23, 2015

Two arms...

Hi everyone. My Internet is definitely up and running properly now again.


We've just returned from the city where Grant saw the specialist - had his cast removed - and received a clean bill of health on the arm! 


I should be back with regular blogging and will try earnest to get to visiting you all again soon. Thanks for the kind concern about Grant's well-being and also for continuing to visit and comment even when I was continually absent!

Have a great week.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Here we are!

Hi Bozo and all Mum's blog readers. This is Ambrose and my post is LATE. Mum says there was no Interweb.

What's Interweb, Unca Shadow?

Oh, is it Internet! Mmm. 

Here Unca Shadow and I enjoy a rest on Mum's bed...

More cute posts about pets here

Critters, plants, machines and pets

Hi everyone. Last night  Friday night we had the most welcome rainstorm after a long, hot, dry spell. The storm's been building up for days - causing oppressive heat and dusty conditions. (and elation and disappointment when it didn't materialize!) 

Then it poured down - the heavens opened. 

Saturday morning Grant measured 35 ml in our rain gauge. At the same time Angus sent me a text saying the silos (where our server/Internet towers are attached) had had severe damage and the Internet would be down. The team was coming through from the nearby town of Ladybrand and would sort everything out.

It's still out and this is SUNDAY! I decided to use precious data on my Smart phone so here I am -  but that's why I'm late with my post! 

Below is the male counterpart to the previous lily I posted several weeks ago on this meme. The  Spathiphyllum (Peace lily) never did anything in the cold entrance hall to our house. However, Rina repotted the now root-bound plants (there were two) carried them through to my sunny office and they are THRIVING! At first the male (situated against a inside wall at Grant's desk) didn't seem to be responding too well. I convinced Rina to move it to underneath a corner window where it would not be knocked over by children and cats. 

Take a look at me now...
  Spathiphyllum (male) aka, Peace Lily loving its new situation under the window in my office

Around the corner in the kitchen I found Chappie on the kitchen counter - against the spice rack. 
Chappie, looking like a Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland! 
This scruffy-looking individual on the bird feeder, is the Southern Red Bishop. Taken about then days ago, it's still coming into breeding plumage here. I have dozens of photos of the bishops in full breeding plumage - more about them later
On Saturday morning Grant and I took the dogs to the golf course
With Eddy leading the way, Skabenga soon plunged into the dam 
Eddy submerged with Skabenga still feeling his way around
Whoo-hoo Eddy,  this is FUN! 
With stringent water restrictions, the golf club is lucky to have its own bore holes - several, in fact. They supply wagon-loads of water to the retirement center where MIL Pam lives

A farmer supplies a tractor with another wagon of water to give sustenance to saplings planted last season

John Deere tractor! 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here

Happy Sunday to you all! 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Cloudy skies over Marquard

For more lovely skies around the world, please click here

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Good fences great walk

Hello everyone. Sorry about the "private" status of my last video on the children post. It still said "Public" but I re-loaded it and hope it's visible now. Please do let me know! 

On Wednesday morning Grant and I took the dogs to the golf course for a good run. 
I love this rustic bridge across a small stream and added it to today's fence post

Part of the pole fence near this bridge

A wider view of this fence boundary to the water pond

And further along the golf club house. The reed fence in the middle distance encloses a lovely play area for the children when parents visit the club
Another bridge further up - the setting is so restful under the willow trees

I'm linking to Good Fences Thursday here