The falling leaves make us sad...Today is the first day of fall in South Africa...Socializing galore!!!...


I was indoors preparing dinner while Tom noticed this mongoose digging a hole in the yard.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush" 
A grasshopper we found on new friends Janet and Steve's veranda.  Four years ago, we'd written a story with photos of hundreds, if not thousands, of grasshoppers in our yard.  For videos and details, please click here.
Today, south of the equator its the first day of fall.  This morning, out on the veranda as always, we both noticed leaves falling from the trees and low lying brush. 

Perhaps we noticed the leaves falling to the ground in the gentle warm breeze simply due to our awareness that fall has arrived.  As we mentioned in earlier posts, fall and winter may not be good times for the wildlife in Marloth Park, most of whom are dependent upon the green vegetation on the trees, plants, and bushes.
It appeared she/he may have found something.
We've never been here in the fall. Four years ago we left on February 28th while summer was in full bloom. February is comparable to August in those countries located north of the equator.
Of course, for our family and friends in Minnesota, today is the much revered first day of spring when those living in cold climates jump for joy at the prospect of warmer weather.
More digging.
There's no shortage of warm weather here.  Today is expected to reach 95F, (35C), dropping to a high of 79F (26C) tomorrow for a huge weather change.  That's South Africa for you.  But, it's these big weather variations that have an effect on foliage.
In our old lives, we'd never stay outdoors all day and evening with temperatures in the 90's.  But, here it's the course of life in the African bush.  The locals have adapted and we have as well.  The only air con we use is in the car (a must) and while sleeping.
Francolins are commonly found in the bush.  They don't fly much but are fast walkers and, very noisy.
We'll watch and see how winter in the bush will be for the wildlife, hoping only for the best for them while praying for rain.  Winter is the dry season in this part of the world.
This week has been and will continue to be a busy social time for us.  Sunday we visited Gail and Mark (their story will be posted on Friday).  Last night, Wednesday, new friends and neighbors Sandra and Paul (two doors down on the right) came for 5:00 pm happy hour and stayed until almost 10:00 pm...we had a blast!
Helmeted Guinea Fowl often hang around the yard.
Today, Wednesday, our dear friends  Louise, and Danie, who happen to be our property managers, are coming for dinner.  On Saturday,  Janet and Steve (whose home we visited for dinner a few weeks ago) and Lynn and Mick are coming for dinner, with both couples leaving Marloth Park at the end of March, who'll be gone for a few months, later in the year.  We'll see them all again since we'll be here (in and out for visa purposes) until March 24, 2019.
On April 2nd, we're attending an Easter party at Kathy and Don's MP home on the Crocodile River, after they'll have been staying at one of their other homes located in Pretoria, South Africa, returning to Marloth Park for a while.  Surely, we'll socialize regularly with that wonderful couple as well.
It appears there are more ostriches in Marloth Park than four years ago when we were here.  We're enjoying every one we encounter.
Friendly, fun and welcoming people have taken us into the fold of their social lives as many come and go between other homes in other locales, often other countries.  We're looking forward to Linda and Ken returning in a few months for plenty of good times with the two of them.
When we look back at all the countries we visited where it wasn't easy to make friends, we're so grateful to be here among our human and animal friends.  Last night, during our fun evening. Big Boy (warthog) stopped by to check out the pellet situation. 
 At "our house" the pellet situation is good and will remain so regardless of our social activities, the time of the day and of course, the season of the year.
We spotted these two zebras on the side of the road on our way to the market.
Today's heading reminded me of Nat King Cole's song, "The Autumn Leaves," a favorite song of many of his fans.  Here's the link to the song on YouTube with the beautiful lyrics below:
"The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sun-burned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall"
Whether today is the beginning of spring or fall for you, may you have a very special season.
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Photo from one year ago today, March 21, 2017:
The sun peeked out for a few hours while we were in Manly, Australia making our way to the ferry to head to the immigration office regarding our "illegal" status.  For more details, please click here.

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