Thursday, August 31, 2017

Officially the end of winter!

Today, 31 August, winter draws to an end in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Wildflowers abound in the veld...

To get the mountains in the background, I lay on my side - then almost couldn't get up because of favoring my injured right leg ! 


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Gurney's Sugarbird (a lifer!)

Gurney's Sugarbird

We have two sugarbirds in South Africa: Cape Sugarbird and Gurney's Sugarbird. 

The Cape Sugarbird occurs only along the Cape coast from East to West.

The Gurney's Sugarbird is found on the East Coast of South Africa, going into the centre of the country, up to North East Transvaal and is even found in East Africa.

The Gurney's Sugarbird never overlaps with the Cape Sugarbird.

I'm linking to Wild Bird Wednesday here


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sunday outing with friends

This weekend past we went out on the bike - again! And with friends - again! 

A trip up the mountain pass to the north and a cup of coffee.

Later we rode down again and were treated to a delicious carvery at friends' Stuart and Shelley's old-world family hotel here in the Valley. 

I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Unca Shadow and Ambrose

Hi Bozo and Mum's blog readers; this is Ambrose and this week I have a photo of me and Unca Shadow enjoying a rest on the same chair! 

For more cute pet posts, please click here

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Parkrun Critters and more snow

It seems as though there're more and more dogs being taken on the Parkrun each week. I'm still off from taking part in the Parkrun and still volunteering. Although I had another job last week, before the start and at the end, I took photos as well. 
Egyptian Goose on an island in one of the dams along the Parkrun route
 A pretty young lady with one dog on a leash and the other in her shoulder bag 
 These two dogs were rearing to go !

Paddy, John's Jack Russell is permitted to run off-leash (she's a most obedient dog) 
Here's Paddy while Dad John is coming behind
A friendly Lab finished the race with his master
Tiger and his mistress, Marelize complete the 5km in under 36 minutes
These two dogs look like toys 
As I said: Paddy enjoys extreme privileges. She's even permitted in the "no pets allowed" restaurant
The owner's African Grey enjoying the many visitors to the Waffle Hut
Sunset over the mountains
Snow over the Southern Drakensberg last weekend
We met biker friends from Durban at Nottingham Road last Sunday
And last, but not least...
... a baboon strutting its stuff

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Ambrose and Dad Ginger

Hi Bozo and all Mum's blog readers; this is Ambrose and I have some photos of me and Dad Ginger...

 How close are we cuddling?

For more cute pet posts, please click here

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Special Critters and snow

 Baboons along the road as we travel to the shops in Champagne Valley

Chacma Baboons are prolific in the Champagne Valley; especially where there in human habitation. They are a great nuisance in the campsites and in many people's gardens. Humans have caused these animals to become too tame and actually enter you home or tent if there's something left open and causing great damage and an even greater mess. 

 On Thursday the cold front finally arrived. When the clouds lifted off the moutains they were covered with snow

 I snapped these birds overhead while volunteering at the Parkrun this mornning. I'm not sure what they are although Grant says they're vultures. They're too small for me to make a positive ID

Beautiful aloes with the dam in the background at the Parkrun venue this morning 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters here

Friday, August 18, 2017


While traveling to our breakfast run last Saturday, Grant stopped so that I could photograph a farm name along the road. I was interested as I had grown up in the Eastern Highlands of Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe today) The Chimanimani moutains are a beautiful range of mountains quite close to where we lived. Years later a general manager of the mill where my dad worked, bought a house in Pietermaritzburg and named in Chimanimani. And this is why Grant stopped - was this the same person (or his descendants) who'd since sold their suburban home and settled in the Kwa Zulu Natal midlands? 

For more  beautiful sky images, please click here

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Saturday through Thursday!

Last Saturday Grant and I didn't take part in the Parkrun; instead we met biking friends of ours for a breakfast run at the Nottingham Road Hotel in a village by the same name. 

Many years ago when Grant and I stayed at this same hotel, we queried the fact that they didn't have off-street parking for our [then] Harley Davidson Sportster. The sweet young receptionist said no problem, bring your Harley into the foyer and park it here. 

Which Grant did with a great roar of exhausts and throttle. Just then about half a dozen farmers rushed out of the pub and said if a Harley can be parked in the hotel, they want to park their farm pick-up trucks there as well! 
Grant, Jo, Jo and Lee 

On Tuesday I joined my hiking friends on a long walk along Porcupine Ridge to the Garden of Eden and back to our starting point. (12km) There was plenty of climbing (and getting your heart rate up), lots of descent and of course, a beautiful stop for tea at Cathkin Dam. 
 Cathkin Dam with Champagne Castle peaking out in the distance 
 One of the many steep inclines on our walk

After the hike, two friends gave me a lift to Grant;s workshop and later on we came home up on the hill. Then on Tuesday evening, while in the large house, I rounded the corner past my deep freeze too quickly, my right foot slipped out under me and I flew across the concrete floor. When I got up, I realized I had hurt my knee and calf muscles with the fall. Sure enough, during the night, I expienced excrutiating pain in my upper right leg, the pain was a little less in the knee and then spasmed awfully in the calf muscles. Yesterday morning, friend Estelle took me our local paramedics in the Valley. They prodded and felt and asked where it pained. The diagnosis was that I'd stretched (torn?) the muscles above my knee which cause severed pain in the calf muscles. 

The paramedics gave me Voltaren tabs to take and also strapped up my leg which gave me immediate relief. 

Great hilarity when we arrived at Steve and Estelle when Steve brought out his late mother's walker to use from the car to the house. 
Moi with the walking frame 

So I'm such a nutter: I hike up, down and along strenous mountain paths; I do the Parkrun every week but walking through the house, I slip and damage my leg/calf. Remember how I injured my foot about a month ago slipping off packing crates and sitting on my foot on the floor? 



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Southern Bald Ibis

One of a small flock of Southern Bald Ibis in the fields next door

The southern bald ibis (Geronticus calvus) is a large bird found in open grassland or semi-desert in the mountains of southern Africa. As a species, it has a very restricted homerange, limited to the southern tips of South Africa in highland and mountainous regions.
This large, glossy, blue-black ibis has an unfeathered red face and head, and a long, decurved red bill. It breeds colonially on and amongst rocks and on cliffs, laying two or three eggs which are incubated for 21 days before hatching. It is a large bird that feeds and roosts in substantial groups. It feeds on insects, small reptiles, rodents and small birds. They do little vocalizing other than occasional gobbling sounds.
Please visit Wild Bird Wednesday here