Sunday, March 29, 2020

Hedges Kitties and Skabby

Good morning Mum's blogger friends. This is Ambrose posting about our doings here on the farm.

Uh-oh. Mum only got one photo of me - on the top of the fridge!
Mum seems to have more time to zoom in on us. She also is taking photos of us kitties and Skabby doing special things.(Mama below at the dog plodge bowl).
Mmm. Must be something to do with the closed-up thingy at the moment in South Africa. 
What Mum? Oh she says it's the LOCKDOWN. 
See, Mum is getting our expressions! 

 Chappie on the step-chair on the veranda...
 ...she's quite aware of the next door doggies behind their fence! 

 Mum snapped Mama lapping water from the dog's plodging bowl - she took dozens of photos but I chose this one. (Remember I still taunt Mama whenever I can - only in playfulness though!) 
 Mum caught her big Skabby in an introspective mood. Normally if she even LOOKS at him, he jumps up and comes towards her! 
 Missy has many hours outdoors these days and is becoming quite responsible about not going too far. (Teens! They need constant watching and calling! Tsk) 
See- Mum zoomed in on Missy's cute paws while the little kitty watched the birds in the eaves of the roof 

OH! ANOTHER photo of Mama, Mum? She says I must add a caption. Mama is one of Mum's successful rescue kitties - as is Missy. She says she'll post about it sometime. For now she asked me to please post about how relaxed and at home Mama is here in the Hedges Kitty Household - oh and Skabby domain, (who taught that DOG to read? Grrr) 
Mama sunning her tummy on the lawn 


Saturday, March 28, 2020

A cute new critter on the farm

Hi my precious blogger friends and Eileen. This week a cute new little critter - a pup - arrived at the farm. Ron and John, my neighbors, landlords, and friends acquired a dog. 

 Meet Dot! 
 Ron with her new baby! 
 Cuddled up for a nap 

Dot is a beagle x Jack Russel. She was one of a litter of 13 pups. Derry, Ron' s second oldest granddaughter, living on the other side of me, has a brother to Dot.

 Junior, above is Ron's son, Gavin's dog. She is  the adult version of Dot and the other little doggie now residents on the farm 
Junior following her dad up the farm road 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Hedges pets practice social distancing

Mom's dear Blogger friends. This is Ambrose. Although we kitties and Skabby don't know what social distancing is, yesterday some of us seemed to be practicing it. Mum was talking about a global pandemic.

*Sigh* I wish Unca Shadow was here to explain THIS to me.

One of the rules the authorities have set in place is for humans to keep their distance from each other. They are also not allowed to hug or touch each other. Phew. I am pleased that this isn't the same for us. Mum has been stroking and cuddling us all our lives. We'd hate to be distanced from her now. 

What humans don't always realize is that we animals always keep a respectful distance from another unless we really are friends and like to cuddle together.  This way we respect each  other's space. If we bumbled into another without permission, we are hissed at. 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Southern double-collared sunbird

Working at my outdoor office whenever I can, means the cats (read Missy) can play outside to her heart's content. The older cats love lying behind my laptop while Skabby lies at my feet. 

Of course, with my camera to hand on my desk, I'm able to snap the various birds which land in the garden shrubs. A resident bird, is the Southern Double-Collared Sunbird. At the moment I am getting many images of the female of this species..

I'm linking to Saturday Critters here

May you all stay safe and healthy.


Saturday, March 14, 2020

Pam's last resting place

Hello dear Blogger friends. Today Angus, his two young sons, Joel and Liam brought my mother-in-law, Pam's remains back from the Free State. It was her two sisters' wish that Pam's final resting place is with her older son, Grant whom she outlived by two years. For those who didn't follow this blog in 2017, here is a link to the time when Grant  tragically passed away at the age of 66.

His sudden death left a string of complications and also left me in a penurious state. However,  by the grace of God (who gives me energy and enthusiasm) and with the help of the wonderful friends around me and my sister and BIL in Spain, I have forged a new life. It hasn't been and still isn't easy, but I love the work I do and this sustains me. 

At 9am this Saturday morning, Angus met me at Parkrun (where I volunteer on a regular basis) and we traveled up to the farm which used to belong to John and Debbie.  The same farm where Grant and I spent the best part of 2017 while he regained his strength after a chronic chest condition. Memories flooded back as we drove across the soya bean field of how Skabby, Eddie (our aged Jack Russel) and I walked daily and ofttimes twice daily across the servitude enjoying the beautiful views of Champagne Castle and Cathkin Peaks which was the prelude blog post to this one today. 
 I had a tiny pottery urn bought in the Great Rift Valley, Kenya, East Africa. We used this to decant the ashes and be able to sprinkle them on the area where Grant is buried
 Angus with Pam's ashes in the urn
Ten-year-old Joel watches as his father sprinkles his great-grandmother's ashes

After the private ceremony, I took photos of the mountains which are now presiding over Grant's grave and his mother's ashes.  (the photos in the preceding post) 

The grave is not at all marked and the area is overgrown due to the rains over the past two summers. But we know that Pam is finally at rest and will be protected by Grant's spirit as in life,  he cared for and protected her since she was widowed in 1996. 
Joel took a photo of me, Angus and little Liam on his dad's shoulder

There are six next generation Hedges males in my family, after my two sons, who will  ensure  Grant's name is continued.


The prelude of beautiful mountain peaks

A prelude to a private ceremony my younger son and I took part in (you can see him coming up the hill) My next blog explains... 

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Ambrose is longing...

Hi Mum's blogger friends; this is Ambrose with a post about me calling into air. Mum said I sounded so mournful, that I'm probably missing my Dad Ginger and Unca Shadow. I do miss the other boy kitties in the family. But life goes on and here is an update on the Hedges household. 

Now Mum is better, she's spending more time at her outdoor office on the veranda. We all love it! 
Cats at rest behind Mum's new notebook (Missy has to be shooed from walking all over the keyboard! Children! Tsk!) 

 You can see by my ears pulled back and my pursed mouth, that I am emitting a loud meow
 Missy had never heard a kitty do this so she was rather frightened 

Mama took refuge behind Skabby's plodging bowl 

Chappie was resting indoors and didn't  seem to hear my strange sound 

Later we all relaxed ... the sun

Mum has a function on her Smartphone with with she helps to teach the people in her health groups.  She let me post this photo. She says we, her furbabies, leave footprints on her heart.


Saturday, March 7, 2020

My turn!

Hello dear Blogger friends; it's been two weeks since I posted about Skabby being sick - as a dog! My canine baby of 60kg is better and more boisterous and loving than ever. 

Last week, Friday, I became sick. So it was my turn. And no, not with Corona Virus although it has arrived in South Africa. I had a very bad dose of flu- for me - for the first time in 30 years . And I stayed in bed to heal myself. 

My neighbor, Ron kept a vigilant eye on me and brought me effervescent meds to boost the vitamins and clear my head. 

I've been out today volunteering at Parkrun. On the way there this morning, I was stopped by early morning traffic. 

On the way home along the farm road, I stopped to capture this lovely scene ...
A new born calf with its mama

And now for some real critters. Last week I heard the Double-Collared Sunbird making alarm calls in the garden. I went out and sure enough, there it was warning all and sundry that there was a cat in the vicinity. 

 (Note: this is a silhouette of the brightly-colored Southern Double-Collared Sunbird due to photographing it in bright sunlight) 
 Missy,  the stalker! 

While writing this post, I heard a sunbird calling again. Missy was sitting quietly on the veranda next to me, so I couldn't blame her. I picked up my camera and snapped at the female Southern Double-Collared Sunbird, seconds before it flew off into the higher trees beyond my garden. 
Southern Double-Collared Sunbird, female

Earlier today,  I walked inside and saw Miss Missy gazing at something on the wall...

...a rain spider up near the ceiling in the kitchen.

Missy never misses a critter! 

Recently I walked from my friend's house to the gate. She accompanied me. As we reached my car parked in the shade outside her garden, she screamed: LOOK AT THAT SPIDER! She had bent down to remove her shoe and was about to make short work of the poor critter. I put my hand out to stop her and had a closer look: there it was,  a beautiful garden orb-web spider basking on the warmth of my car's mudguard. 

I reached for my Smartphone and zooming in (while she squealed, be careful, it will BITE you!) I took two photos. Using an invoice which I had in my bag, I managed to coax the spider onto this and quickly put it on a bush. 

I told my friend, I never kill spiders to which she replied, I kill ALL spiders ! 

Back home I checked in my Field Guide for Spiders and Scorpions in South Africa and confirmed that it was a garden spider. I sent photos of the spider and that in my field guide to my friend. I told her it was harmless to man. I also told her that there are very few spiders in South Africa which are harmful to us humans. She replied that when we next meet, I must show her the dangerous ones. She said she would like to stop killing these creatures indiscriminately!  (the photo below is a bit noisy because of my car's shiny surface, but shows the beautiful harmless garden spider) 
Isn't she lovely? 

I felt as if   hoped by this little lesson imparted,  I'd saved a few future spiders in South Africa! 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here