Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Bale loading

Thembinkosi reverses the tractor up to the bale...
...hooks it up...
...swings the tractor around...
...and goes off the cattle paddock to unload it - food for the cows 

Monday, September 27, 2021

Hedges household and farm animals

 Dear Blogger friends. As always, life is peaceful and restful for the furry tenants in the Hedges household. Skabby and I still get to walk even while I was nursing a gammy leg (which is healed now, Praise God) and I take photos as always.

At the start of our walk, I was amazed to see one calf preening aa younger calf
Let's see if you need a diaper change 
All good and well with both calves! 
Meeting up with the dry herd going out to graze for the day
James, the herdsman, names each animal and when they stray, he calls and they react immediately! I was fascinated! 

Skabby after his swim in the dam
Missy sitting very neatly on the step! 
Mama is a mere blur as she races off before Missy divebombs her 

Chappie at her hobbie ! 


Saturday, September 25, 2021

Nest building and a swim in the dam

 While Skabby and I walked on the farm yesterday, a Hadeda Ibis  flew overhead with nesting material in its beak.  

The Hadeda Ibis with nesting material in its beak 
As I focused on the bird, it flew off to the right... a nest at the end of the pivot frame 
It's mate wasn't too impressed at dad still building the nest! See her carping at him! 
Here I imagine she's still muttering her displeasure while he sits demurely and listens 
I will be watching this nest! 
At the dam, the early morning sun glistened on the water with the cows' reflections below the far bank 

Back home I snapped this pair of White-fronted Bee eaters on the gate. I took the photos through the bathroom window, hence the blurred frame edge! 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen, here

Friday, September 17, 2021

Five years today

 Today marks five years since I arrived in the Champagne Valley, Central Drakensberg.

So much has happened since the day Grant and I arrived on John's farm with Skabby and Eddie , and four cats (in carriers) in the back of a pickup which we'd borrowed from a friend in Marquard.  

For one: Eddie (our old Jack Russell), Grant, and three of the original four cats, Shadow, Ginger and Ambrose are no longer with us. These are listed in chronological order, not in order of importance. 

The rondawel (roundhouse) where Grant and I lived happily and quite comfortably, with two dogs and four cats 
Eddie took to farm life like a duck to water 
Shadow enjoyed the wide open spaces 
Ginger enjoyed the shady garden and spent all day under his favorite shrub

Ambrose checking his new surroundings 
Chapppie contemplating where to catch a nap 

Ambrose  quite unperterbed as Missy the horse popped in to see why we were still in bed 
Skabby and Eddie loved that I took them out for several walks every day, starting at sunrise and again during the day when we'd meet up with the horses, Missy and Thunder grazing in the paddock above the house 

Here Eddie and Skabby inspect the area around Thunder 

Thunder and Skabby having a chinwag!

Missy was always nearby too 
Because the land was elevated above the Valley. I always got great shots of the moon; here is full moon in mid-December 2016
And spectacular shots of the sunrise to the east over the lesser bergs (hills)  

I loved capturing the wildflowers in the veld
Wildlife was abundant just beyond the boundary fence. Above is an African Hare 
A mongoose pricks its ears as I take the photo
White-backed Mousebird 
White-fronted Bee-eater 

This is the last photo of our family together 

When we arrived here, we had no transport, except a small motorcycle on John's farm. Grant would pop into town once a week and buy whatever supplies we needed.

Four months down the line, we bought a pick-up truck. This was liberating. We joined Parkrun, which was new in Winterton.
Grant striding to the finish line with Ant Muirhead behind him 
We enjoyed this weekly outing which provided much needed exercise for Grant and got us involved in the community. This was a godsend in view of the fact that later when I was widowed, we had made many friends. So much so, that Ron and John Muirhead, now my neighbors, landlords and employers, offered me their farm cottage when I was no longer able to stay in the house which Grant was building at the time of his death.  My stay is coming up for four years on this farm! 

As Penny said in her comment, we are blessed to have brains which still remember and can relive the good memories. When I look back at my life when we first arrived in the Drakensberg, I realize that I had much more time to walk and take photos than I do now. However, Skabby and I DO walk once a day (even with a sore leg!); I still take many photos, which I am grateful for. 

Who would've thought that day in September 2016, what twists and turns my life would take...

Thursday, September 16, 2021

The plot thickens

 Dear Blogger friends. I seem to stay out of trouble for months on end. Then I hurt myself and the problems just magnify!

When I hurt my rib, I obviously also initiated an injury in my left leg - the same side as the rib; the same side which took the brunt of trying to move the monster couch two weeks ago! My leg held out for ten days; then while walking along the farm road with Skabby on Thursday, and as I put my left leg forward I felt a burning sensation in my shin. 

Oh dear...

As I had said last week, I rested from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning to heal my rib. Well, the shin was so painful. I had no option but to rest the leg at the same time. 

Mornings were fine. I felt a twinge but pushed through the pain. By 5pm, my shin was on fire and I would have to rest (leg elevated for 15 minutes before continuing with my tasks. 

On Tuesday, I could take no more so I drove to the next town to my doctor. He knows left leg well. LOL! In December 2018, I was attacked by 11 dogs in my neighbor's yard. Three bit me badly and the neighbors rushed me to this doctor late on a Sunday night. His quick and professional stitching and antibiotic injections as well as a tetanus jab that night saved my leg. I spent two weeks with my leg elevated; the local nurse, a good friend of mine, removed the stitches and pronounced the wound completely healed. 

My leg survived that trauma.

Last August, I cut my leg open, neglected to have it seen to . It caused a hematoma for which I had to have surgery. And spent six weeks with my leg elevated with a professional nurse dressing the wound twice a week.

My leg survived that trauma!

Now, when I thought it was only a cracked rib I had to deal with, my leg decided it wanted a show in and sustained an injury. 

The doctor scanned my leg and announced that I had torn a muscle: the flexor digitorum longus. After the scan, he showed me illustrations in his big doctor's manual. I later Googled it ...

He prescribed anti-inflammatory meds which seem to help already. 

The torn muscle which I am resting now

I had to chuckle: while my doctor is very pleasant he's not the jovial sort. While he was scanning the leg area and showing me the distortion on the screen, I said: It will be one for the books, if one day I go to my grave with this leg intact. (I have a macabre sense of humor at times) He looked at me and then burst out laughing. 

Today I have my weekly Weigh-Less meeting in the Valley. I also have a couple arriving at The Bunker this weekend to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. So I'll pop into my unit and add fresh fruit,  chocolates and a card. I also have ten guests arriving at my family accommodation so I will go up and add soaps and toiletries to the bathrooms. 

Then I will return home, lie on my bed with my leg elevated until Sunday morning when I clean The Bunker after the guests have checked out. 

You all take care now. Don't follow my silly ways of causing hassles when it wasn't necessary! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021


 Continuing with my Wednesday post theme of images which are symmetrical and draw the eye to a point ahead, I stopped at a local restaurant nestled under the majestic Champagne Castle and Cathkin Peaks. I was delivering beauty products to the receptionist.

Leaving the office, the walkway to a thatched building in the middle of the dam, caught my eye. It was in this building that Grant and I attended the dedication service of our precious granddaughter, Bethany (now 12!) in 2009.  And where, many years later, in December 2017,  we had Grant's memorial service. 

It's phenomenal how these memories pop into my head when I capture places with my camera. 

The eye is drawn to the end of this image
Turning around from taking photos of the bridge, I snapped the interesting reflection of the retaining wall behind me