Mating season in the bush...A memorable dinner party at the bush house...

Wait until you see how many animals came to call last night in this video including 
Wart Face who's pictured here.

"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
Tom set up our new bushbaby stand on a tree close to the veranda.  We purchased it a Daisy's Den for ZAR 100, (US $8).  Now they're sufficiently close for better photos. 
There's never a day that passes without something magical occurring in our surroundings.  Whether it's the appearance of a bird we've never seen before, a visit from our favorite wildlife friends, making new friends or spending time with old friends.  It all matters to us.

Yesterday and last night fit right into this premise when we had a mind-blowing day and early evening in the bush, later topped off by the warmth and love we felt at our hosted six-person dinner party.
Warthogs make a train-like noise when they approach a female during the mating season.
Meeting Louise's parents, Estelle and Johan was as easy as it could have been.  This kindly couple who live near Cape Town felt like old friends.  Not only did they already have a nickname for us, even before they met us face-to-face of "Tom and Jerry," they easily slipped into the comfort zone of playful banter and teasing.

As shown in today's photo, Estelle had beautifully crocheted a sweater vest for me, having never met me and it was perfect.  Tom called it "sexy" when I tried it on, wearing it for the remainder of the evening.  I sometimes forget how old I am and being called "sexy" is all a girl can ask for from her beloved mate.
It's evident when male warthogs are ready to mate.
Sometimes its easy to forget about how meaningful and precious a little love and attention from friends we make along the way can have such a profound of our psyche. 

It was quite a night.  We all enjoyed the meal we prepared but more than anything, the easy laughter, the rich-flowing conversations and the warmth toward one another set my heart spinning as it always does when we spend time with our friends here in Marloth Park and, in other parts of the world as we continue on our journey.
Yesterday morning, four "Big Daddy" kudus stopped by with one female, all vying for her attention.  They were more interested in her than pellets.
And then, them...the animals, they came in droves as if to say,  "We're here to dine but also to gaze into your eyes," hoping to show whatever morsel of connection one can glean from a wild animal, maybe more than we can ever imagine.

When Tom's "Little Girl" bushbuck shows up daily at the edge of the veranda, we both feel a special affinity with her, in the same way, when "My Girl" kudu stops by several times each day.  Sure, they're motivated by food.  Aren't we all?
Kudus sniff the female to ensure she's ready to mate.
Isn't that, in essence, why we plan a dinner party, an evening event centered around a good meal?  But, it doesn't end there.  It's really just the beginning of the connection and we don't believe for a minute that it's a whole lot different with the wildlife. 

They too, share in some sort of magical connections with us humans, not only revolving around the food.  Sure, we respect they are wild animals and must be treated as such but who's to say we can't embrace a special connection?

This male was the "king pin" and kept the three other mature males away.  Check out the size of his neck which enlarges during mating season.
Dreamer, that I am, some may say I'm a fool for nurturing such a belief.  It takes living in an animal kingdom, such as this, to grasp the full meaning while accepting such a premise.  I'm not the only one around here

This was particularly the case when last evening, shortly before our lovely dinner guests arrived, that we had 13 warthogs, 30 helmeted guinea fowl, a handful of mongoose, and a mating pair of francolins, whom we affectionately call "Frank and Mrs. Frank" all in the yard simultaneously.
Even Frank and Mrs. Frank have been working at building a nest in the bush in our yard.
We were excited by the display, some of it centering on mating, some of it on celebrating our handfuls of tossed pellets, seeds, carrots and apples and some of it, just for the fun. 

I must admit, I took the above very jittery video.  I just don't have the steady hand required for great videos, mainly for emotional reasons as opposed to any physical limitations.  I get so enthused I can hardly focus on my subjects.  So be it.  It's been almost six years and I'm still struggling with videos.

Louise's dear mom Estelle crocheted this lovely vest for me.  I couldn't love it more.  It will look great with a safari shirt or a tee shirt and jeans!  Thanks, Estelle!  You're the best!
However, I keep making them.  I can't help it.  Occasionally, I get lucky as I did with the horns-stuck-together video from a few days ago in Kruger National Park.  Click here for that post

As a matter of fact, Kruger National Park, SanParks (South Africa National Parks) contacted me asking permission to post our video on their site.  Once it's live this upcoming week, we'll post a link here.
In the dark, this adorable male duiker visits, eats a little and hunkers down for the night.
For today?  Feeding the seeming endless flow of visitors, working on Tom's computer that's having monitor issues, enjoying some delicious leftovers from last night and, if it doesn't rain, a drive in the park searching for more and more and more.

May your day also be filled with wonders!

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Photo from one year ago today, May 27, 2017:
Historical government building in Victoria, British Columbia.  What a beautiful city!  For more details, please click here.


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