Wednesday, October 13, 2021

A straight line

On my daily walk with Skabby last week, I stopped to photograph the barbed wire fence.

A straight line...
...drawing the eye...
...into the middle distance! 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Parkrun started again

 Many of my Blogger friends may remember when we arrived here in 2016, we joined the Parkrun which had just opened in the area. 

I was still young (in spirit) and made it my personal goal to try and improve my time across the 5km walk/run every week. I  normally did the course with Ant Muirhead while Grant and John (Ant's brother) took their time at the rear of the walk. In fact, Grant became the official tail walker for the entire year of 2017. 

After Grant's death, I volunteered for three Saturday in his honor. Back on the track the next year I reached my 50th milestone. Shortly after this I was diagnosed with cancer, and after successful surgery and total healing, I returned to Parkrun - this time to complete another 20 walks.

I then decided to "retire" and become a permanent volunteer. It's not difficult as not many people like to volunteer. However we became a close-knit little group and so we continued until the end of March 2020 when South Africa went into hard Lockdown.

This past weekend, Parkrun reopened for the first time in 18 months. I immediately volunteered. The run director called a meeting on Friday afternoon. We all had to reinstall the Parkrun Volunteer app on our phones. She also set out the Covid-19 protocols. Masks had to be worn at all times. There would be NO contact with runners or their barcoded cards when they clocked in. I was the scanner and kept strictly to these rules. Under no circumstances do I want to contract Covid-19 at this stage.

All - in - all a great morning...

The volunteer team on the first Parkrun in 18 months 

Have a great day, everyone! 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Little Missy not well

 On Monday I heard Missy sneezing; once, twice and three times. We all remember the messages flying around the socials at the beginning of Covid-19 of a cat sneezing and every human and critter fleeing from the scene! 

However, I didn't imagine Missy had the virus. More like I need to watch her carefully. Within the next few hours, and again the next morning, I noticed that she wasn't dashing outdoors to lie and under the shrubs. She rather spent the day on top of the wardrobe.

The next night, she was lying on my bed and sneezed. And this time, there was the presence of blood.  I inspected her face; touched her nose gently: it was not dry and hot. Not being a vet, and caring very much for my furbabies, I decided to take her to the vet the next day.

On Wednesday morning I told Ronnie about Missy not being well and she urged me to take her to the vet. Easier said than done. I dusted off the cat carriers which have traveled all over Africa over the past two decades and before Missy could protest (she's a great protester!), I hustled her into the cage and locked the gate. 

I loaded her into the back of my car and we set off. As the car pulled out of the port, Missy started to meow. All of 49km to the vet in Estcourt, my ears were assailed by her loud wailing. When I stopped and took the cage from the back seat, she stopped and looked out at this new world. She hasn't been off the farm since mid-2018. 

Once inside the vet's rooms, he closed the window and asked me to remove her from the carrier. Missy grew up at the shop which I managed. She was always being petted and photographed and cooed over by passing trade.

 You'd think that she'd be sociable. 

Not on! 

I held and stroked her while the vet examined her but she shook and shivered and yowled all the while. She was terrified of this stranger! 

Very suspicious of this strange place 

The vet took a blood sample and took her temperature. The sample yielded nothing untoward; her temp was normal. 

He injected her with a broad spectrum antibiotic and cortisone to counteract any underlying fungal infection. 

Back in the carrier she went; I paid my vet's bill and loaded Missy in the back of my car. She immediately set up voice and top decibel and continued all the way home.

When I opened the cage on the veranda her at home, she peered out suspiciously. Then Mama and Skabby welcomed her with sniffs and nose nudges. I carried her indoors, onto my bed where she curled up and slept until that evening. 

At 8pm she stretched, sat up and looked around. She jumped off the bed and had a drink of water. A few pellets and she came back to bed, cuddled up to Mama and went to sleep.

Thursday morning, Ronnie popped in to see the patient and she was 100% better. 

Thank goodness.

I still cant think what caused the sneezing and other symptoms, but I am glad she's back to normal. 

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Farm critters and a pretty weaver

 Good afternoon dear Blogger friends. I've had a busy monthend for which I am grateful AND a progressively busy October. The summer rains have come on time and dear Skabby didn't have a walk until Thursday morning!

The surrounding veld is already lush and green. 

An early morning swim in the dam! 

Remember the two calves I posted about in the last Saturday Critters post?
Here they share a food bowl ! 

The onset of the rainy weather always heralds the presence of creepy critters .
A rain spider on the side of the garbage bin 

Last week I spotted a movement in the grass beside the road 
I followed the movement (with my eyes, and focusing my camera) up onto the bank
Swainson's Spurfowl

Southern Masked weaver (male) on the calf nursery paddock fence
 I love the bokeh effect of the two above photos. Blogger friend, Diane from Adventure before dementia blog, introduced me to bokeh 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen here

Happy Saturday to you all!