Is running out of new photos an issue? What do we do in the event this occurs? A trip to the local dump proved to be interesting...



At the Marloth Park dump, we found these Marabou Storks everywhere.  If photo ops don't come to us, we'll go to them.
Writing every day is challenging at times, especially when we're kicking back and relaxing.  Would one have photos and stories to share in their every day lives?  Hardly.

In our old lives, weeks could go by without a single thought of taking a photo. Plus, we'd never learned to take photos.  Life was too busy to take on another hobby.  As a result, we only used a camera on special occasions, neither of us showing a propensity toward any skill. 

For me, no skill...no interest.  That's how perfectionist-types operate.  That's why I don't play golf.  For that matter, Tom, good at most sports, hasn't played much golf either, getting easily frustrated when he doesn't play well enough by his own standards.

From afar, these birds look pretty. Up close, not so cute in the face.  These birds are carnivorous eating other birds, carrion scraps, small rodents and have a propensity for human garbage and can digest rotten animal matter.

Now, back to posting daily and it's challenges...

Yesterday morning after posting, today's post was fast approaching as being one of those days that writing this blog left me stymied.  I had no new photos to post.  I could run around the yard to look for small things or interesting vegetation or even, if necessary, stand in the road waiting for a photo worthy event.


The height of a Marabou Stork is approximately 152 cm, 60 inches; weight is 9 kg, 20 pound; wing span is 3.7 m, 12 feet.  They have the largest wing span of any bird.  The Marloth Park dump is thoroughly cleaned out every few weeks.  It is where many of the locals bring their garbage with only a small percentage having pickup service. We haven't observed any recycling in Kenya or South Africa.
To prepare for our upcoming dinner party on Monday, Okee Dokee picked me up at 11:00 am Saturday morning to go to Komatipoort for groceries. Having created a menu and a grocery list I was ready to tackle the weekend crowds at the strip mall. 

While waiting in line at the grocery store, I mentioned to Okee Dokee that in the past 16 months since leaving Minnesota I'd yet to purchase any underwear.  Add the fact that we'd unloaded so many clothing items along the way, my inventory was sparse and worn to the point of ridiculousness.  I'd never gone so long without purchasing undergarments or clothing for that matter. 

The Marabou Stork will eat anything it can swallow including shoes, clothing and tin cans.  They can become aggressive if fed by human when they are refused food.  Although not vultures, their behavior exceeds the traits of vultures who's diet consists of animal remains.
Having whipped through the grocery store quickly, she led me to a local clothing shop. I was pleasantly surprised when we entered the store.  Although a small shop, there was clothing for women, men and children of all ages.  We promptly headed to the women's underwear department where, upon approaching, I squealed with delight.  They had rather modern items and styles, all reasonably priced and of decent quality.  I'd have to toss the old stuff, avoiding increasing our luggage weight.

Ten minutes later, a bra and eight pairs of panties were being rung up for a grand total of US $23.16, ZAR $259.  What?  In the US, I would easily have spent US $75, ZAR $838.67 for this type of quality.  What's wrong with this picture?

After making the purchase we headed to the ATM area with two machines, neither of which was working, prompting us to head back to the ATM at the Marloth Park Bush Center which once again worked with ease. 

This injured zebra was near the road when we drove by.  It wasn't enclosed in a fenced area.  This fence happened to be on the edge of a property.  This injury could easily have been a result of a kick from another zebra.  The distended belly of a Zebra is common. Their intestinal tract is such that they become bloated with gas from eating massive amounts of vegetation each day.  They are prolific at passing gas, as we've heard fro time to time. Hopefully, this injury heals on its own.
Afterward, we drove down one of the two only paved roads in the park. Okee Dokee, aware of my photo dilemma quickly made a sharp left turn into the local dump.  (As yet, we hadn't seen any wildlife).  Wouldn't you know, the dump was not only littered with garbage (which is entirely removed every few weeks) but was also littered with what I'd originally thought were beautiful Marabou Storks. 

Thus, the photos we're showing today are the storks we found at the dump.  Leave it to Okee DokeeAs we slowly meandered down the road toward African Reunion House I chuckled. I don't recall ever taking a camera to the grocery store in my old life.

This morning at 6:30 while contemplating getting up I heard animal sounds outside.  Quietly and slowly I exited to bedroom to look out the full wall of glass to the yard. Scattered among the bush were no less than 50 impalas, 25 Helmeted Guinea Fowls with chicks and one large lone male warthog.


Male impalas along the side of the main road in Marloth Park on our return drive from grocery shopping.
Quickly I awoke Tom and together as quietly as possible we opened the door to the veranda, camera in hand.  Alas, the impalas scattered but, the warthog and the "guinea hens," as Tom calls them, stayed behind. 

Mr.Warthog was very shy, as we've noticed in the lone males. He meandered about the yard for a half hour finally checking out the pellets, deciding to partake. The guinea hens and chicks had a blast picking away at the too large pellets, easily knocking them into smaller pieces.  Even they are fun to watch.


The baby warthogs are getting huge.  When the mom is ready to mate again, she'll leave the babies to fen for themselves as their own maturing life cycle begins.  This particular mom has been a favorite of mine.  She has no fear of me, makes eye contact that is endearing and is such a good mom, holding back while the babies eat the pellets first.  I always make a point of tossing several in front of her and only then does she eat them.  Warthogs eat on their front knees which have tough pads from the day their born.
As for the rest of today, this morning after posting, we're heading to the little house to pack all of our stuff to bring it here for packing.  Originally, we'd planned to do it on Tuesday, the morning after the dinner party.  But, we decided to get it done and off of our minds. 

We'll put everything in the main floor guest room shutting the door until Tuesday when we're ready to begin the dreadful task of sorting and packing everything we own into two large suitcases, two overnight bags, one duffel bag and two computer bags.  Everything we own.  More dwindling down.  Letting go of more stuff due to increased weight restrictions over prior flights.

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