Friday, November 27, 2015

Out of the Jurisdiction: The Chairman

The Chairman informed us this week that, since she is now a sitting up young woman, it was time to provide her with an appropriate chair from which to reign.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Out of the Jurisdiction: The Outdoor Girl

Fussing?  Fidgety?  Easy.  Take her outside.  Watch the dogs.  Listen to the birds.  Feel the wind.   
Willa is an outdoor girl.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Out of the Jurisdiction: She's Not in West Hartford Any More!!

Susie's best laying hen was bitten by a venomous snake and died.  Time to renew the flock.

We drove to a chicken farm in the countryside near Pretoria.

It was pretty rustic.  The place was awash in chickens.

There were room after room of chicks, hens and roosters of different breeds and ages.

Susie and Wes quizzed the attendant about egg-laying abilities of the different breeds   

Four three-week-old Rhode Island Red (yellow) and four Potch Koekoek (black) chicks are new residents of the Midrand farmette, along with nine fertilized eggs that were days from hatching.

In 2013 I showed the chicken coop as it was being built.  It now houses three mature hens and the new residents.  When the new chicks mature, Susie and Wes expect eight to ten eggs a day.

Happy birthday, Susie!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Out of the Jurisdiction: Leopards!!

Leopards are the hardest of the Big Five to find.  (The other four are elephant, buffalo, rhino and lion.)  They are smaller and solitary, and they generally hide out during the day and hunt at night.

We found a mother leopard and her cub at DumaTau. 

The mother had a slight limp and the cub was a bit scrawny.  The mother's injury probably 
slowed her down and hindered her hunting.  They could both use a kill soon.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Out of the Jurisdiction: DumaTau Bush Camp

Banoka and Xigera are in the Okavango Delta.  DumaTau Bush Camp is north and east of those camps, on the Linyanti River, on a fault line just south of Namibia.  Here are some animals.

Three wild dogs are on the prowl.

Three giraffes.  Their spots darken as they get older.

A safari vehicle, usually a converted Range Rover or Toyota.

We saw hippos often, but during the day they generally stay submerged.  Only nostrils, eyes and backs are visible most of the time.  This hippo ventured out during the day, probably because he was very hungry.  (The rainy season was very much delayed, so the grasses and leaves that animals feed on were sparse.)  You can see an oxpicker on his back, a bird that feeds on the hippo's ticks. 

This spotted hyena strolled down a path without a care in the world until he saw a warthog.  
They stared at each other for a few minutes, then the hyena beat a retreat.


The last two images show a parade of baboons crossing a wooden bridge and 
three of the baboons heading to wherever the baboon pack was going.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Out of the Jurisdiction: Banoka Bush Camp

Some animals encountered in game rides from Banoka Bush Camp, in Botswana's Okavango Delta.

Black sable antelopes are pretty rare.  We saw a herd of about twenty.

Red-billed hornbill.

Zebras and wildebeests often feed in the same fields.  They are compatible herbivores
and they cooperate by using their different skills to warn when predators are near.

This is a male giraffe.  His horns are thicker and the ends are worn from fighting.

Two waterbucks, a male on the left, a female on the right.
They have shaggy coats and white butt markings.

A wild dog.  They are endangered and fierce predators who feed in packs.  They are more closely related to wolves than domestic dogs.  Many guests on safaris will never see wild dogs.  We saw packs on three different days.  One group in our camp watched a pack of wild dogs bring down an impala.  For some people, that would be hard to watch, but every animal has to eat.  

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Out of the Jurisdiction: Xigera Bush Camp

 Previous posts have shown you sunsets, elephants and lions, and makoro rides in Xigera Bush Camp.
Let's see some other mammals and a bird.

 This handsome bull kudu has fine horns.  Only male kudus have horns.

Female kudu.


Lilac breasted roller.  When this beautiful bird flies away, it rolls and looks like a colorful fan.

Vervet monkey.