Part 2...It's a flexible life...

I squealed with delight when we got this photo.  Love that face!
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
It was dark when we took this photo of a bushbuck mom, dad and baby.  The calf couldn't have been born more than a week or two ago.
The flexibility continued last night after we'd decided to have dinner at Jabula, our favorite restaurant in Marloth Park or even in Komatipoort which is a 25-minute drive.

We can count on the food and the service and, since we'd yet to go out to celebrate our 23rd anniversary on March 7th, Friday night at Jabula sounded especially appealing.
Female waterbuck scrounging for food in the dry riverbed.
We love the casual bar where one can be a true bar-fly or not, where conversation flows easily between customers and staff, and the bush location with outdoor dining is a treasured experience for most who stop by, including us.

Our plans to head to Ingwenya had passed with two power outages, a massive downpour and cloudy nights which would make river and sunset viewing more appropriate for another evening.
Two waterbucks with large antlers on the Crocodile River bed, parts of which have no water, creating a hardship for wildlife.
We've been preparing many delicious meals at "home" but getting out once or twice a week is appealing, not only for a change of pace but also the social interaction and the festive bar environment.

Last night, we weren't disappointed.  We got exactly what we anticipated; the good food and service and, of course, the playful atmosphere and friendly chatter one can expect on a Friday night at the popular lodge, restaurant, and pub.
A waterbuck resting on a sandbar in the river.
Knowing we had to be out the door early this morning for our "mysterious-yet-to-be-revealed all-day event which we'll share in 48 hours with scream-worthy photos, prompted us to dine by 7:00 pm and be on our way "home" by 9:00 pm, hoping to get a good night's sleep.

Yesterday, the morning was delightfully cool and dry and we couldn't have been more thrilled after several days of scorching heat.  It's still summer here in this part of the world and the heat and humidity can be relentless. 
We stopped at a covered brick structure which overlooks the Crocodile River with bleacher-type tiered seating, perfect for viewing wildlife.
We're looking forward to the cooler fall and winter, soon to be on the horizon and hopefully with cooler temperatures.  But, with that reality comes the dreadful facts that the wildlife suffer dearly during the winter months when leaves have fallen off the trees and most vegetation has turned from bright green to stark brown, leaving little to nothing for the constantly grazing wildlife.

It is during this time, more than ever, that we'll see even more wildlife, in part from the wide open bushland without the greenery and also them visiting in hopes of food.  Many residents of Marloth Park make every effort to help provide some sustenance for the wildlife but many won't make it through the barren season. 
Due to recent rains, some areas of the river contained shallow water.
This is a heartbreaking reality and the first experience for us.  Four years ago, we were here from December 1st to February 28th, still during the rainy season.  The river ran deep from the summer rains and trees and shrubs were abundant in lush greenery. 

As I'm writing here now, Louise has sent me a text (on FB) that there's been another sighting of "lion on the loose" in Marloth Park.  No walking in the early morning or after dark.  We certainly will stay diligent.  We've heard the lion's roar a few time but haven't seen it. 
While driving down a road we'd never seen, we spotted this sole giraffe, nibbling on tree tops.
We don't expect "safari luck" to prevail on our almost daily car trips enabling us to see and/or take a photo of the lion.  But, one never knows.  Of course, safety supersedes one's photo taking obsession above all else.

Anyway, back to the culling of wildlife in Marloth Park...I found this article that explains it further.  There's no doubt its heartbreaking to know that the beloved wildlife of Marloth Park must be culled. My heart wrenches thinking of what may transpire again while we're here. We'll keep our readers informed as time passes.
On the return drive to our holiday home, we spotted this woman carrying perfectly
balanced laundry on her head. Little did we know, until we got closer, it was Martha (pronounced Mar-ta), our housekeeper, returning with laundry from another holiday home where she works in the neighborhood for Louise and Danie.  We offered her a ride back and she was thrilled to be able to return to the property in a vehicle on the awfully hot day.
Tomorrow, we'll be back with one of two wild stories we're sharing over two days.  Please check back for some serious storytelling with photos you may not believe.

Have a safe and peaceful day!
Photo from one year ago today, March 10, 2017:
There was nothing in this case, I wouldn't have loved in my old life.  Now, they're only for viewing and drooling.  For more photos, please click here.


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