Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bush talk.

If you listen carefully while in the bush, you can hear all sorts of wondrous and interesting sounds. It is very early in the morning and I was awakened by the sound of the flow of the Sabie River. The river is not that close by but at certain times of the day, one can it hear it quite clearly. This of course, will depend on the direction of the wind blowing. There is not much wind this morning but sufficient to bring this magical sound up to our house. The haunting call of the Fish eagle too comes this way and should the hippos be having a morning giggle or is it gargle, we will hear them too.

The hippos playing in the Sabie River.


Right outside the house we have a beautiful Acacia tree and Mr and Mrs Oriole, resplendent in their bright yellow and black coats are ever so busy building a nest. Their building efforts keep being thwarted by the generous rain that falls almost daily. They seem to chat rather loudly when one is needing some extra sleep but it is a sound worth sacrificing one's sleep for. I do hope this nest building business does not bring too much stress into their lives and is completed successfully before Mrs Oriole Is ready to lay her eggs.

The nest is hidden very high up in the tree. The Oriole is rather shy and I am battling to get a good photie.


Yesterday morning Mother Zebra was teaching her little one "The ways of the Wild" but the little one wanted to frolic and jump around in the wet grass which resulted getting a few "klaps" alongside the earhole! The two of them seemed to enjoy having their lessons in our backyard so I get could get a bird's eye view of the goings on! Eventually Mother Zebbie knew that she had lost the little ones attention and the two of them wandered off to find the rest of the family and have their tea.

As the moon lights up the sky, the owls call to each other, exchanging the news of the night. The stars light up the magical velvet sky so there is just enough light for every creature to enjoy and feel safe. Buster the hyaena, can be heard far off in the distance, as he complains that no one has left him any grub and now he has to fend for himself. Hares and rabbits, beware as you chase around in the delicious green grass. The frogs are ever so happy as there are lots of puddles after the rains for them to play in. Their choir practice seems to go on forever. During this prolonged wet season they have a choice of which puddle to splash about in.

While I am writing, and it is only five thirty in the morning, the baboon family have sneaked up on the house. They sneak around looking for an open window but apart from our bedroom window, they are out of luck. Last week, while I was deeply engrossed in doing my jigsaw puzzle, I heard a bang and looked up and saw one of the daring teenage baboons trying to sneak into the guest bedroom. I had opened the windows but kept the fly screens down to air the room in preparation for our guests! On hearing the clang of the screen as the daring baboon unsuccessfully tried to lift it, I did my Tarzan like yell, which my husband claims will yet be the death of him. The baboon fell back and lost his balance! As there are no windows to fiddle with this morning the baboons went through our car port which has no car in it but piles of grass ready to repair the roof which they have damaged! I wonder how long it will be before they repeat their destructive handiwork.

We seem to have a resident genet which has chosen our roof as "the spot of the month" . We hear him run around with a very gentle pitter patter on the tiles of the roof sometimes and if quick with our torch, we can catch him as he jumps down onto the verandah. Once caught in the glow of the light he just sits frozen-like and stares. One almost feels like going over and stroking him! One evening last week, after we had cooked on the braai outside and then eaten our meal indoors, Warren went out using the torch, to bring in our chairs, and there was Janet the genet, sitting right on the wall of the braai obviously enjoying the warmth of the bricks after the fire had died out. Once again he just stared into the light from the torch and was totally non-plussed about the three of us watching him.

You might wonder why Janet is the genet's name. This is a tribute to our friend Wendy, who lives in Sierra Leone. She tells the story of the genet which was just born and given to her to hand-rear. When the local people heard about the genet they would ask Wendy when she was out on her walks, how 'Janet' is. Thus the genet became known as Janet despite her being a male!

One of my favourite sounds and you have to listen very carefully, is the tapping of the woodpecker as he goes about his business. I have not heard one recently but am determined to find one soon. Today I am going to sit quietly, very quietly, and hopefully I will hear a tap, tap, tap of the woodpecker once again.

What is your favourite sound? I do hope you will leave a comment then I know you are reading this blog and I also know that you are "listening."


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