Monday, November 30, 2015

Out of the Jurisdiction: Design Quarter

I spent some time one recent morning in Johannesburg's Design Quarter.

Cordelia works in sales for a high end furniture store.  She has worked there more than ten years,
except that last year she left to do clinical work in the field of HIV and AIDS.

Steven works in security in the Design Quarter.  His colorful green and red tie 
and hat band are worn only during the Christmas holiday season.

Michelle was on a post from my May visit to Joburg.  She works in a lovely store featuring wine accessories.  Michelle wants eventually to run her own floral business, but her store is moving into a larger space and she has been given a promotion, so for now she is happy there.

Blessing helps customers carry their purchases to their cars.  I have done this blog for five-and-a-half-years, and Blessing probably was probably the happiest to have his photo taken of any subject so far.

Ashley was riding an "EZwheels" to a sporting goods store in the Design Quarter.  It is charged just like a laptop, and the rider guides it with subtle foot pressure, kind of like a very small Segway.  Cool. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Out of the Jurisdiction: White Rhinos

Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park is in Zambia, near Victoria Falls.  There are seven white rhinos.
They are not native; the rhinos were imported from South Africa.  The rhinos are under
a 24/7 armed watch to prevent poachers from taking their horns. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Out of the Jurisdiction: Victoria Falls

After Botswana, we went for two days to the place where Zambia and Zimbabwe
meet on the Zambezi River.  One day we visited Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls is neither the tallest nor the widest in the world, but it is classified as the biggest because of the overall volume of water that flows over the falls. 

The indigenous name for the falls is Mosi-oa-Tunya, "the smoke that thunders."  When flows are normal, the water falls with such force that sprays spread over the whole area.

We visited during a major drought that is affecting all of southern Africa. (It is caused by the same El Nino that is wreaking havoc with much of the world's weather.)  As a result, there was no water at all on the Zambia side of the falls and the flow on the Zimbabwe side was greatly reduced.
Still, it is a most impressive sight.

At Devil's Pool, brave (or foolish) folks can swim right up to the edge.  Not me.

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.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Out of the Jurisdiction: Traveling by Makoros at the Xigera Bush Camp

Xigera Bush Camp is in the Okavango Delta of Botswana.  For centuries, the people in nearby villages have got around by poling through the shallow water in dugout canoes called makoros.

My group took a peaceful makoro ride through the reeds, water lilies and water shields.
The water was calm.  Birds and reflections were plentiful.

For more photos with reflections, please visit Weekend Reflections.