One of the amazing blessings we have had the last year was being able to stay at our house on a game reserve, near to Hoedspruit. This bushveld area is really pretty, with views over the Drakensberg mountain range, the sounds of the Olifants river with fish eagles flying over and gorgeous trees across the farm.
This is one of our special places, at a hide on the farm. Look at this species mix: crocodile, hippo, waterbuck, impala, white-faced duck.
The bigger view and setting of this spot refresh the soul again and again.
Sometimes it is not only us who have fun on the farm. We have contributed, on several occasions, to enriching sensory growth and tactile experiences for the primates on the farm.
The baboons sometimes break in, pulling apart seals and locks. This time left me using some very bad words. Only a few bad words . Yes, just a few.
Every ball of yarn was pulled out, wrapped around trees, over the steps, through dust and dirt, and the great baboons left their own smelly poop around, so we could be certain who had enjoyed our home so fantastically. All OT baboons would be so impressed with our generous commitment to sensory growth! Sweet and cuddly these primates are not!
We have enjoyed the beautiful birds on show in our own garden. This is just a small sample of the great pictures we have got.
Stierlings Wren warbler and purple crested loerie. Gorgeous, welcome guests, who leave our cupboards alone!
One of the greatest joys on the farm has been to capture animals on camera traps. We set them up for a number of days and see what comes along. Sometimes we have had up to 3000 captures to work through, and we are kept on the edges of our seats, wondering what will appear.
From antelope and giraffe
(look at all those gorgeous legs!)
To interesting captures of animal behaviour
Warthogs covered in mud, and giving themselves a good belly rub in the background…
Nyala getting a bit aggro with each other, or with baboons (go, nyala, go!)
(Sorry. This camera jumps out of date sequence every once in a while. You cannot see nyala in such bright light at midnight in Africa!)
But there were these few images caught early in the morning that did leave the baboons in a more positive light:
Then we get some special treats every once in a while. A resident hippopotamus, whose story we follow as he was badly gored in a fight last year…
We have been getting several sightings of hyena lately. They are very elusive and nobody ever sees the creatures live, but we have had a sighting with each placement of the cameras in the last 2 months.
And then the one that gets my heart racing every time:
We have had some superb captures of leopards in these last months. Each one is so special!
As we head out of our special South Africa within the next week (we hope) we have so many amazing memories we can treasure from this amazing place God blessed us with. Unfortunately we cannot afford to keep the farm, and if you know of anybody looking for a special spot in a gorgeous part of Africa please send a message for details.
And remember that nature gives a good example to laugh with mouth wide open and from the heart every once in a while.