Friday, April 29, 2011

Only In Africa???

Cules and I went to a sheep and goat auction near the Zimbabwean border yesterday and on our way back we saw this guy in his expensive new Mercedes using the boot to transport broiler chickens. Cules thought it was so hilarious and in between pelts of laughter, he caught me staring at him...  "what?" he said...

"Well, I don't think we are any better than him today" I said...

We bought some goats and sheep at the auction and we had this month old lamb that I thought would get squashed in between all the others on the back of the truck so I had Cules load her in the back seat of our double cab to keep Minki company...

She called for her mommy so hard, Minki wanted to cover her ears with her paws..., instead, she closed her eyes....It was so loud in the car Cules said he was going to put her back with her mama double quick and she was OK in the back...Thank heavens!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Newborn Lambs and Kids

The first sheep lamb to arrive yesterday. It was the mommy's first baby and she didn't want it drinking from her,so I put a collar on her neck and backed her into a corner of the stable and helped the lamb to drink. After two tries the mommy visibly relaxed and seemed to enjoy the feeling of the baby!

The first goat kid to arrive yesterday,10 minutes after the lamb! It's mommy also didn't want it feeding and I did the same as with the sheep ewe and it worked too!
See all that gooey yellow stuff? I had to clean all them lambs and kids whose mommy's refused to come near them after they were born! I am so glad for the empty stables. I learned that new goat and sheep moms will abandon their babies very,very easily!

Another kid,a male. This one's mom knew exactly what to do and no interference please! 
Seven new babies arrived yesterday and Cules got home last evening and sorted through the goat and sheep ewes... Eight goat ewes are expected to kid in three days' time more or less and twelve sheep ewes in the next couple of days also!
Busy times ahead,but loving it and looking forward with new found confidence after my initiation yesterday!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Freedom Day and Early Morning Road Trip

It's Freedom Day today and Jess and I had to leave home at five o'clock this morning to drop her of in Polokwane in time for her lift back to varsity.
Before I continue, let me just say that I loaded these photos on the computer when I got back home at nine and went outside to check on the animals.........Thinking about the nice post I was about to put up today....Little did I know that the sheep and goat ewes decided that they would all (Ok, a few of them) choose to start lambing before 12 noon today! Cules is NOT home today, I opened a maternity ward in the back row of stables and they are filled with mama goats and sheep and their babies. I am covered in placentas,afterbirth yellowish gunk,blood,snottish stuff and what not! I am taking a tea break now and hopefully all the other mamas to be is too! To put the icing on the cake,as I stepped onto the porch just dying to wash off all the gunk and snot...Minki and I came face to face with another spitting cobra,I started screaming and dear old Riempies dived in between the snake and I, and quickly (and expertly ) killed it! All that before twelve in the morning!

Dare I wonder what the rest of this day holds?

Let me continue with my original post for today...

Coming back from Polokwane and driving through the lovely mountains,I decided to turn off into the quaint little village of Haenetsburg. Boer war battles were also fought here until 1901 and this is the last of the Long Tom canons that were destroyed by the Boers rather than letting the British get hold of it. It is huge,if you could see the mountains around here,you would be just as baffled as I am as to how horses could pull this heavy canon through these mountains!

Note: I had no idea I was going to open a maternity ward the minute I got home! I had a Freedom Day post planned! 


Is this called a bullet or a canon ball, it isn't round....??? ...and part of the barrel of the famous canon...

War Memorial

A little interesting info about the famous Long Tom canon for you...The middle part is in Afrikaans,my family's first language....

Some info about the Concentration Camps...

A map of the mountain area.....

I then drove up to the highest part of the village and took some more pics...

I loved the balconies on this house..

Some old machinery....

A kind of fir tree...

We had some more heavy rain showers last night and the smell of mountain heather, fresh after the rains, I could not express...

If I had known what was waiting for me at home, I would have stayed right here until everything on my yard have had their babies!

The End

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Feel The Need....

To smell the sea again.To feel the salt and spray on my face...., sun, sand,shells and fun,fun,fun! It's been 1 1/2 years since I have last seen the sea! Way,way overdue for a sun and sea filled break!

Ahh,the giddy sense of excitement the sight and smell of this triggered in me...!

Even the normally very composed Cules admitted to feeling the child in him again.....

A Kwa Zulu Natal beach.....

That's me in beach combing overdrive! Minki was still chasing breakers then.....
Hopefully we will be able to do a quick getaway to the sea again soon,Cape Town or Mozambique...???
We shall "sea"

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sad End For a Squirrel

A group of us were standing around chatting for quite a while before someone noticed this sad sight right above our's little tail was gently blowing in the breeze....It looked like the poor little squirrel had literally just lain down and died....we were wondering what had happened, old age, snakebite, disease...?

Sunset near the Zimbabwean border.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Sure Sign Winter Is Coming

My prolifically blooming Yesterday,Today and Tomorrow plant...ahh that perfume!
I planted it right next to my lungeing ring so I can fully enjoy that heavenly smell while working the horses...

Flowering, fruit bearing granadella shrub....

A Leopard,a Jack Russel Terrier and a Troop of Vervet Monkeys!

Riempies is feeling a bit sorry for himself..I don't think he realises what had happened to him yet....He thought he had caught a monkey and then it caught him! It held onto his legs with his little hands and chewed his leg,while Riempies was chewing the monkey..... I won't say who let go first, it's a man thing you know..This pic was taken the day after,note his bandage and the "where are those monkeys?"  look. Both Riempies and the monkey are mainly nurturing their hurt ego's respectively.. for my husband...imagine sitting down on your front lawn after work at five in the afternoon and opening that first ice cold beer...when all hell brakes loose and a troop of monkeys storm over your yard fence into your yard followed closely by a full grown male leopard! The leopard saw the humans,stopped outside the fence and disappeared into the bush....

 Makes you wonder what happens at your house during the day when you are not home... 

Cules says he doesn't know what happened to his beer.... I'm thinking a monkey had a greater need for that beer! No,no pic of the leopard as I have the camera with me this week,but Cules says he WILL get a picture of one as he has seen three different leopard already in the two- and- a -half weeks he has been up North.

PS: As for me, I found a spitting cobra inside my riding hat today,a baby only about 50cm long, but definitely not very much appreciated thank you!

The fun never ends!

The End

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mopane Caterpillars!

A while ago in my Wild Orchids post I mentioned  mopane trees and the caterpillar that lives on them during a certain time of the year. Here by us they emerge in December and January and are quickly gone again. Much to my surprise Cules phoned me from the Thsipise area to tell me that mopane worms are crawling around the area in magnitudes...this is April people! I have never heard of mopane worms being about this time of year...GLOBAL WARMING sprang to mind immediately! This is so,so weird. Here is a pic of one. One of the most sought after delicacies in the whole of Africa, people! The natives go totally bonkers when they see them and are willing to buy them from you if they happen to see them on your farm...

Tummy view.. 

The photo is a bit blurry,but gives you a good idea as to how colourful and big they are..

Now, in case you were wondering how these are harvested, so you can taste them when you come to visit Africa....You take said worm by the head, with your other hand you take the worm between thumb and forefinger and squeeze out all its bodily juices through the back end...Do you see those spikes on its back,that's the reason you work from head to tail...,unless you like to wear spiky worms on your fingers! Then dry them in the sun for a couple of days..and Voila! I have to say I have never eaten them before,maybe when I was very little our maid might have fed them to me without my Mom knowing... Maria,  if you are still alive and well please tell me you never fed those to me!!! Everyone I meet who has eaten them says they are quite nice...mmmm worms for dinner anyone?  Anyone!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Baobab Trees

Some interesting facts about these trees that grow prolifically in the area of Messina on the border to Zimbabwe where Cules will be working for the next few weeks....Adansonia is a  genus of eight species of tree,six native to Madagascar,one native to mainland Africa and the Arabian peninsula and one to Australia. Baobabs store water inside their swollen trunks, up to 120 000litres to endure the harsh drought conditions particular to each region. Leafs are used as a leaf vegetable and the fruit is very nutritious,possibly having more vit. c than oranges and exceeding the calcium content of cows  milk! The fruit can be used to produce cream of tartar. Locals also cook the fruit in sugar and sell it as a sweet and sour candy.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Around & About!

Hi everyone,just to let you all know that I am well and about! Cules  have been on a farm right on the border of Zimbabwe the last almost two weeks! He has the camera with him and will be coming back today. I will do a post with pics tomorrow morning. A friend of his got sick with diabetes out of the blue while his wife was visiting their children in Australia, he got so sick while alone on the farm that it was touch and go whether he would survive for a whole week! Cules went to oversee his workers for him until he is well enough to do it himself,which will be awhile still...This is the land of baobab trees,kopjes and lots of wild animals. Cules has seen leopard,kudu,nyala,giraffe,you name it! The baboon and vervet monkeys are making their work hell apparently. He is doing very specific trimming of orange trees at the moment and the monkeys and baboon reckon they can do it better!  As to why I placed the above pic: was taken about three weeks ago,Jess(in the purple shirt) kept on winning at cards..,she was cheating of course but none of us could figure out how,just check out that body language! She is coming home again in a weeks time and we still haven't figured out the cheating thing!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Warthogs and Ostriches

Two days ago Cules and Jess went to a nearby game farm to shoe some horses while I stayed home to catch up on some washing and other housework. Ostriches has caused many a hillarious and some not so funny near misses for us while horse riding....they always tend to run with the horses with flapping wings...horses DON'T like that!

They made some new friends...I always miss out on the good ones!

Cules says small as the two baby warthogs were,they didn't like it if you stopped scratching..
Check out the raised mane on this one, it means trouble is coming...

Jess found out that a warthog is just as difficult to hold onto as a piglet..
She went back to 'varsity yesterday to attend a hockey clinic during the holidays...sniff,sniff...