Sunday, April 26, 2020

Hedges kitties and dog

Hello Mum's blog readers; this is Ambrose with the latest on the Hedges Kitty and doggie household. All is still well and we're still enjoying Mum being home so much. 

 Missy being very brave drinking from the deep plodging bowl ! 
 Mum says I make a good office assistant! 
 Mama and Missy on Mum's warm bed 

 Chappie has a favorite chair indoors - this is it! 
 Once again, Skabby had to sleep off his own blanket - this time while Missy slept on his ! 
Chappie and I both soaked up the sun puddle while sitting on an upturned table on the veranda 

We kitties and dog are all staying safe at home - we hope you are  ! 

Birds and the baby calf

Hello dear friends, I keep meaning to blog more regularly and visit your blogs more, but Internet has not played ball these past weeks. At last, though, this weekend, I have strong signal and am making hay while the fiber buzzes!

Every day (now twice a day) Skabby and I walk to a dam where he dives in, swims, clambers out and we walk home again. Of course, on the way there, Skabby runs ahead, sniffs all the interesting smells, and I take photos. Every time we approach the dam, our noisy approach causes the resident Grey Heron to fly up and away. Yesterday, I kept Skabby on leash until we got near the dam. But oh dear: no heron today. I let him off and he galloped across the bank. As the dog tumbled into the water on the far side, the heron took off just below where I was standing. 

 Skabby plunged into the dam...
...and the resident Grey Heron took off into the blue! 

Skabby climbed out on the bank, shook himself and we turned to come home. A waterbird hovered over the dam, so I stopped to photograph it. It landed in the water and I managed a few photos of the Blackheaded Grebe. 
 A Black-headed Grebe in the water 

On the way home, I stopped to photograph a Sparrow which was eating lunch on the barbed wire. But I kept getting an out of focus picture. I turned to the paddock above and snapped the African Sacred Ibis instead 
 African Sacred Ibis

Last week I posted about the smallest calf born on the farm since I arrived more than two years ago. It's been moved to the nursery which I also posted about. I stopped to photograph it - almost concealed in the long grass next to its shelter. 
 The littlest calf is doing well; here he's resting in the sun
I zoomed out to show the shelters in which the calves are protected against the weatheR

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here

I trust you're all keeping safe and well.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Hedges Kitties and Skabby

Hello Mum's blog readers;this is Ambrose with the latest on the Hedges Kitties and doggie household under Breakdown...

What's that Mum?

Oh, it's LOCKdown.

Nothing too much changed for us Hedges Pets. Yet, now we get to see Mum more. Yay! 
 Missy, up in the eaves of the veranda 
 I, Ambrose, am Mum's assistant when she runs her groups 
 Chappie has found a place under the table 
Mama and Missy looking at something squiggly behind the chest
Skabby gets more than one walk a day too now! 

To all the pets and their doting yoomens out in the world, please stay safe 

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Some different critters

Hello fellow bloggers. I'm posting some different birds and critters seen in my garden over the past week. 

We're two days into our extended lockdown. We were originally told to stay home for three weeks. A few days before the end of this period, the president asked us to stay indoors and home for a further two weeks. Who knows what will happen on 1 May.

I have enjoyed being home. I still go into the farm office, across the lawn, three mornings a week. When I get home, though, there is no travelling. I am running my Weigh-Less groups virtually from my outdoor office which I posted about in the previous post.  No doubt you'll see more about Mum's outdoor office from Ambrose' post on Sunday! 

At the same time, I get to spot and photograph birds and critters in my garden.
African Hoopoe 
 House sparrow 

A grasshopper in my garden at the moment 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here

Be safe out there ! 

Continued from Monday 13 April

Hi there dear Blogger friends. Obviously everyone in the world is using the Internet these days under Lockdown. I hope to get this post (a continuation from Monday) completed before it cuts out again.

It's taken me five days to reconnect. Ergh! 

Thanks for all your comments, especially about the Hot Cross Buns. And Mary, while these are not calorie free, they are more "legal" than the store bought ones. 

I mentioned a baby [calf]. And here it comes. This was the smallest calf to be born since I moved in at the farm more than two years ago. When I took the photo, it was already three days old; it had had sufficient colostrum from its mother and was drinking milk from a container already. 
The littlest calf on the farm! 

He was moved to the calf nursery where he has shelter, the company of the other calves and a personal milkmaid who makes sure all the babies are fed mother's milk. 
 Nelsiwe Ncube cares for the calves in the nursery
Drink up now! 

As for the weather - it is beautiful this time of the year. Obviously the last of a Indian Summer, and I'm enjoying spending all day out on the veranda where I have my outdoor office. 
Missy, one of the office assistants! 


Monday, April 13, 2020

Easter Buns, baby calf and blue skies

Easter weekend is past. The quietest holy holiday that anyone in the world has ever experienced. People all over the world are in lock down or under closure in order to avoid contracting the dreaded Corona virus.  

I was online with my members and on Thursday night I posted these Hot Cross Buns straight out of the oven on our WhatsApp group. As always, I posted the legal Weigh-Less recipe. 

They are delicious. 

To be continued when the Internet plays ball again...


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Total Lockdown in South Africa

On 23rd March our venerable President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation. On all television networks and all radio broadcasts. I only have a radio so I listened on radio that night. Speaking to the nation in a calm manner and his impeccable English, he announced a total Lockdown from 27th March until 16th April. I was sitting at my desk with my laptop open and online at the time. Within 11 minutes of the start of his address, all the holiday reservation cancellations arrived via in my e-mail inbox. This had to happen. 

With my Avon skin care sales, I had already received my last orders and delivered them to the various customers. My private clients were fine; they paid me immediately. I also have five "sellers" in various retail complexes who sell to the ladies and gents at their place of work. Of course, I delivered these large orders up front and would normally be paid by the 6th of the next month. This has not possible this month.  I hope that I will receive the money after we are "let out" again one day.

Yes, because we have had another address by the president and he has extended our Lockdown by another two weeks. Until end of April. He commended South Africa for keeping the law so admirably. He also quoted stats and figures of how the first two weeks of Lockdown has improved the situation and "flattened the curve" which was the government's intention  when implementing strict closures. One example which stands out is that before Lockdown, the known daily cases of people testing positive for the virus was 46%. When he spoke on national television and radio on the eve of the Easter weekend, he announced that the figure had dropped to 4%! 

So here we are with another 18 days (and not a mere four days) of Lockdown. 

It hasn't been difficult for me; I live on a farm and of course, I am able to get out and walk the dog every day. I also "see" my dear neighbors regularly. My heart goes out to the people who are stuck in the townships. I miss Thandi but I suspect she misses the daily meals she has here and the food parcels I send home with her every time she works for me. I am in WhatsApp contact with her sister and we chat every so often. She says Thandi is fine. 

Before Lockdown, from the beginning of March, I started with strict measures in my own little cottage. There was a comprehensive video in Zulu on my phone . It had subtitles in English. I played it for Thandiwe and explained that we had to wash our hands in a Savlon solution just inside the front door. And also sanitize and use the wet wipes when we went out to clean the holiday accommodation. We still had guests until the 21 st of March. Thandi and I made sure we blitzed the unit between guests and we let guests know this. 
 A bucket of Savlon solution at our door ; Thandi and I both washed here everytime we entered the house 
 Dispensable handcleaner, a soap to lather in the water (in bucket below this surface) and hand cream to avoid dryness 

Gavin, the farmer, gave me a 5 liter container of sanitizer. I have since decanted two liters into another holder for Thandiwe to take home. It was important that they stay safe and keep washing their hands at their place of home in the township.
 5 liter container of sanitizer which I decanted half into a spray bottle for Thandi to use at home 

Until 25th March I still held group meetings in town and in the Valley where I weighed members. I used surgical gloves; sanitized the scale between weigh-ins and had hand sanitizer and Savlon available for the member to disinfect herself after weighing. He or she was also encouraged to weigh wearing socks although I had a clean sheet of paper towel on scale after wiping the scale and weighing the next member. In my Winterton group, I wiped the scale and replaced the paper  in excess of 33 times ! 
 My scale at the Weigh-Less groups

Needless to say, we're not running these groups at venues now. I am still running my groups, quite most successfully; more about that in a later post, if you're interested. 

After Lockdown I had to venture into town on the 30th to cash my pension at the ATM. I left early and arrived at the pay point with only a few people in the queue. However, not one was practicing social distancing. And when they saw me emerge from my car wearing a mask and surgical gloves and a spray of santizer in my hand, they all stared. Some even pointed and laughed.  
Full arsenal against the enemy! 

Keep safe and well.

Hedges Pet Household

Hello to all Mum's blogger friends; this is Ambrose. I'm back after another break. Mum says she's struggling with Outerweb and I couldn't post last week.  

We are all well and happy in the Hedges Kitty - and doggy - household.
 I found a nice grey blanket in Mum's room
 Next morning Mum said I'd been sleeping on Skabby's blanket! 

On the veranda, in the daytime, Mama sleeps in Skabby's bed! 

Chappie always finds her spot away from the maddening crowd

Mama and Missy sunning themselves in the garden


Saturday, April 11, 2020

Birds and other critters on the farm

 Cattle Egret seen in between the cow herds 
 Calf nursery with the magnificent peaks in the background 
The cows at milking time 
White-fronted Bee-Eater on my garden gate 

I'm linking up to Saturday Critters with Eileen here 


Sunday, April 5, 2020

Amethyst sunbird and other critters

Good afternoon blogger friends. At last I have decent Internet and can post!

A few weeks ago I posted about a female sunbird;  I said it was a Southern Double-Collared Sunbird female. Margaret (Birding for Pleasure) issued a friendly challenge for me to photograph the male.

I rose to the challenge and this morning I managed to photograph the male - but it is ANOTHER sunbird, Amethyst Sunbird. And the female I posted two weeks ago is the Amethyst female sunbird.
 Amethyst Sunbird - female 
 Topsy turvy sight of the male - just had to show how agile he is! 
 He moves so fast - apologies for the blurry photo
Amethyst Sunbird - male 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here.

A safe day to you all!