Thursday, June 30, 2016

Good fences; good healing

On  a day while we walked the golf course, the dogs ran towards the outer fence. I was snapping the resident horse and managed a couple of fence images.
Skabenga hurtling across the fairway towards the boundary fence
Skabenga noses the fence while Eddy checks out the weeds in between the grass
Sniff sniff!
The resident horse in the paddock next door. Unfortunately it stood behind the pole! 

The past week while nurturing and nursing Ambrose back to health, I became quite concerned: his Dad Ginger and Unca Shadow had been shunning him. Perhaps it was the smell of anaesthetic or the dressing OR the fact that Ambrose growled ferociously every time anyone came near him. Ambrose has never been a needy cat - meaning that he's never needed human contact. In fact, whenever we tried to stroke Ambrose, he'd pull away. He's always had enough cuddling, playing and cleaning from his Dad Ginger and Unca Shadow. 

While he was recuperating from the treatment and suffering with pain and discomfort, he allowed me to cuddle and stroke him; even gazing into my eyes as if to say: "why am I hurting so, Mum?" 

Yesterday I was thrilled to see that Ginger was licking and cleaning Ambrose like before. 

Dad Ginger licks and cleans Ambrose while they sat in a sun puddle in my dining room

I'm linking to Good Fences Thursday here


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Crowned Lapwing

Walking along the golf course with the dogs this week, I heard a Crowned Lapwing call. I'd been watching the Blacksmith Lapwing who's call is a harsh klink-klink-klink sound like a blacksmith's hammer on an anvil. The Crowned Lapwing has a strident shreeek-shreeek call. I stopped and scanned the area from where the sound came...
Finally, I spotted it... Can you see it?
The Crowned Lapwing has sandy brown upperparts, bright red bill and legs and distinctive head patterns unlike any other plover

I'm linking to Wild Bird Wednesday HERE

Thanks for all the kind comments and wishes for Ambrose' healing and well-being. I'm fervently hoping he will never go outside again but I suspect this little cat will be exploring the surrounding properties within a week again. *sigh* 


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

My life with dogs and cats!

Even though the temps have dropped considerably, the dogs and I still manage a walk on the golf course every day. 
My daft dog, Skabenga always takes a dip, no matter how cold the weather and water is
This beautiful profile is for Aunty Sandra of Florida

I always have a fear of other dogs arriving on the course while we're there as Skabenga is not at all socialized. On Sunday afternoon a neighbor of ours brought all five her dogs along for a walk. Skabenga went haring off in their direction and as he met up with the biggest dog, a Bull Mastiv,  he screeched to a halt, tail furiously puffed up and the two dogs sniffed at each other. 
The two dogs sized each other up
I think Skabenga would like my blog readers to think that here above he "saw the other dog off" Not so, the other dog lost interest and trotted away to catch up with his mistress! 

Ambrose has taken the dressing off his leg and seems to be a lot more comfortable. He's still not walking too steadily on that leg - obviously still painful - and still reclining indoors. I think it will quite a number of days before he's ready for the outdoors. I'm hoping he never goes out again. I shudder to think what would have happened had he extricated himself from the fence and then fallen into the plot next door. He would not have survived the cold night and we'd never have seen our little boy again. Instead, he obviously jumped back down into our property and limped indoors where I found him on my bed,  licking his wounds . 
Ambrose' injured leg - on the mend but still very tender
He's had a lucky escape! 
Resting on his "day bed" in the morning sun

I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here

Monday, June 27, 2016

Saturday critters after Saturday!

I've been a little otherwise occupied this weekend; not only socialising and doing my household chores but spending time with our little patient, Ambrose. He is improving by the hour but still very weak. His appetite increased slightly so I believe that by the end of this week, Ambrose' argument with a palisade fence will be a hazy memory in his little kitty brain. 

I also have quite a mix of critters (not all critters though) and hope I can still link to Eileen's meme. However here they are:

A beautiful veld flower still blooming in the cold conditions 
The lone resident Little Grebe on the dam
Skabenga smiling at the camera; Eddy staring into the distance favouring her hind leg
Overhead in the clear blue African winter sky is a helicopter
Waning Gibbous; visibility 75%; age 21 days. 25 June 2016 at 5.02am 

Leaving the city last week, we noticed a well-dressed elderly man hitch hiking. I had my camera ready and although I didn't want to point it in his face, I managed a clear-ish photo.  This is the umpteenth time we've come across  people like this standing along the National Freeway looking for a lift. I wondered why this man was "on the road". He didn't look scruffy like a homeless person. Was he a widower who'd been forced by financial circumstances to live with his son and wife? Did he have a disagreement with the family and they told him to leave? Or has he - while they were away at work - arranged with another family member in the bigger city of Johannesburg to go and live there? 
A pensive look from a discarded person perhaps? 

I'm hoping to still link to Saturday Critters here

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Update on Ambrose the patient

Hi Bozo and all my blog readers; this is Ambrose' Mum with an update on his progress. He's still not at all strong or well enough to write the post so I agreed to do it for him this week.

He's eating every morning, drinking water and using the sandbox. So his physical body is on the mend. He's also washing himself regularly which means the mental state of health is also on the up-and-up. Only thing is he is becoming very thin not having eating well for the past five days. 

I suspect the wound is still very tender; he's not been able to tear off the bandage which is not for lack of trying. However, the longer it remains covered the less chance of him banging the tender parts against things. He's able to walk short distances and gingerly places his weight on the injured leg.

Yesterday morning I carried Ambrose to the sunny diningroom and placed him on a chair near the window. He jumped off and walked towards his Dad Ginger for a cuddle.
Ambrose wobbles towards his Dad Ginger for a cuddle
He butts his head into Dad Ginger's shoulder waiting for a lick
Later he lay down in a sun puddle and rested there for ages
I was thrilled to see him grooming himself as this is a sign that a cat hasn't given up on life!

Thanks for all the kind wishes for Ambrose' recovery. We're also hoping and praying he will be completely healed and back to his normal self soon. (And perhaps stop wandering!)

I'm linking to Pets Always here

Friday, June 24, 2016

The moon and modern technolgy

On Wednesday as Grant and I traveled to the city, I photographed the moon as much as I could. I was on WA to Rina - back at her home in Marquard- who was photographing the moon with her Smartphone. She's not very confident with her phone yet, and was concerned the photo wasn't any good. I WA'd her and said it's so good I'm posting it on Facebook (which I did!) 
The moon over the houses in the center where Rina lives (Photo credit: Rina Young)

The moon over the Tollgate buildings on the National N1 we were traveling already 100km/70m from home 
The moon above an overhead bridge on the N1 a couple of yards further along 

I'm linking to Skywatch Friday here

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Good fences, kitty injury

As mentioned in yesterday's post, on Tuesday Ambrose came home with large gashes on his hind legs. Although I managed to disinfect them and sprinkle wound powder, we decided to take him along to the vet in the city.
Ambrose on the back seat of our car traveling to the city yesterday morning early

Fortunately we did, as the large wound on one leg had already become infected. Dr Winkworth put our little kitty out and treated the wounds. He also checked for any pulled tendons or bone breaks while Ambrose was asleep and thankfully found none.

The vet was also pretty certain that the wounds were not caused by any other animals (cats or dogs). Rather he said it looked as though Ambrose had hooked - first one leg on a spike of the palisade fence around our property  - and the skinned the other leg trying to extricate himself. 
Ambrose after the anesthetic - on the back seat of our car traveling home at midday yesterday 

We collected Ambrose at 11.45; he was still very much doped and stayed that way until late  evening. In fact, I helped him up onto his favorite chair as he was staggering around the bedroom, dragging the bandaged leg behind him. At one point he had both front paws in one of the three water bowls so I made the decision for him to lie on the chair.
Still very woozy from the anesthetic and not at all a happy chap 
The stretchy bandage is like his yoomen dad had on his hands for three weeks. The vet says that this bandage will not stay on too long; Ambrose will probably pull it off in a day or two
Dad Ginger snuggled up to his favorite son. When I checked on them later last night, Ambrose had his head leaning on Ginger's back and seemed to be resting well! 
Shadow didn't know what to make of all this and just stayed out of the way
The palisade fencing surrounding our property. Ambrose and Shadow are usually very adept at running along the top. They move quite fast with two legs (on one side of the body)  on the square pole in between the forks and two legs on the ledge running along lower down. We rather think Ambrose was caught on the forks jumping over in the next yard. No-one will ever know
I know they are lethal-looking forks but the cats have always avoided being caught on the spikes. Perhaps Ambrose will stay in our large garden or use the wall between our house and Angus on the other side of our property

I'm linking to TexWisGirl today.

Thanks for all the kind wishes for Ambrose on Face Book! 

Mmmm. Don't expect this to be the last post about Ambrose' narrow escape; I'm sure he'll be posting about it this Sunday! And being Ambrose, he won't tell us HOW he was injured - rather he'll focus on the trip to the doktak and probably how brave he was just to impress the other pets reading his post that day! 


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Malachite Sunbird

When we dropped Rina off after the Father's Day lunch, we stopped in at her home for a coffee. I saw the beautiful bed of Red-hot Pokers / Kniphofia paracox in her garden. I grabbed my camera and...
...snapped away
Not long and the resident Malachite Sunbird flew into my camera view! 

This Sunbird is normally iridescent turquoise during breeding season. This plumage is called eclipse 
His tail and bill is ever so long
See the drops of nectar on his bill

I'm linking to Wild Bird Wednesday here

On a very  serious note; Ambrose (pictured below) came in today after his normal walk-about in the plot next door with serious injuries to his hind legs. I bathes the wounds with surgical spirits (he growled with pain all the way through) and then applied a very good healing powder.  I also gave him 15 drops of calming meds called "Rescue". He's sleeping peacefully now but I cannot touch his lower spine or hindquarters. 

We'll be in the city for business tomorrow and will take Ambrose along to the vet. The doctor will be able to examine him closely under light anesthetic to see if anything has been torn or even broken. The latter doesn't seem to be the case as Ambrose jumped off my bed where I'd treated him, walked across the bedroom floor and jumped up onto the chair by the window. This is where he's lying quite comfortably now as far as I can see. 

All we can think is that he was caught in the fence palisade or that a dog got hold of him (where, I cannot think as I know all the dogs around and he seems to know - and avoid the dangerous ones - them as well. Somehow he [fortunately] got away. 
Ambrose resting after the calming meds but not his normal self at all

As you know, I never post about the cats; that's Ambrose' department. So here's hoping and praying our sweet little kitty will be OK. 

Father's Day celebrations

The Father's Day event at a beautiful local conference and wedding venue, Le Cheri,  was every bit as enjoyable as the Mother's Day dinner we attended there in May. 

I always take photos to promote our town's beautiful events and management said that as I was a vegetarian, teetotal and the photographer my meal would be free. At the last minute Rina said she'd pay for the remaining two tickets - hers and Grant's. 
The approach to the venue is welcoming with a large veranda, umbrellas and two large drums of fire to ward off any cold 
The decor is all soft whites; snowy linen, white-painted furniture, mirrors, candles and chandeliers offset by green topiary 
There were several families from neighboring town. This lovely family was from Ficksburg
Another beautiful Ficksburg family
My friend, Trudi (who featured in the Farmer's Market post yesterday) and two of her friends: Elsie and her teenage daughter
These are two farming families enjoying an outing 
Friend's Hannes and Paula, who've just become grandparents with their son and daughter-in-law and little Christine
Proud dad and his precious little girl
Back at our table, Rina and friend Christine posed for a photo
A lovely young family: Willemien and Paul with their two pretty daughters (Willemien helped with the catering so I had to nab her in passing to pose for me)
 Nicos, local businessman and our neighbor, and partner Annamie with her parents and her two sons
Another group of two families enjoying Fathers Day together
Our local doctor (center back row), Henk with his wife, Ida, their four children and spouses

Anita (with spiky hair) is a well-loved sister at the local clinic. Here she and her husband, Hardwich enjoy Father's Day with young farmer friends, Marizelle and Jody and their young daughter
Two very large Marquard families (genetically and business wise), the Ravis and Naidoos filled the longest table at the event
Two more families lunching: Lydia (left) and her husband, Steve Naude own the local pizzeria (not here as he had a full house and couldn't attend this lunch) with Phillip and Hester Strydom who are the local butchers with farming interests. Their son, Pieter (leaning over and hugging his older brother's children) recently married Alicia standing between her mom and father-in-law 

Phillip and Hester's older son, Riaan, and daughter-in-law, Bobbelien own Le Cheri and are responsible for the lovely functions held there. During the week Riaan runs his own butchery in a neighboring town while Bobbelien practices as a lawyer and estate agent. They were so busy serving us all, I never photographed them. 
The four-course meal was scrumptious 
To prove I was there (lol!) Rina photographed me with Grant
There was live music as entertainment

The two men, Frans and Frik hail from nearby Senekal and entertained us with music right the way through. Frans was a maestro on the guitar and banjo, while Frik played guitar and a mouth organ simultaneously 

Traditionally Boeremusiek/Farmer's Music is the order of the day and these two musicians could deliver. I videoed several of their numbers.  Above is one: see how or if you like it! 

I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here