Unusual sighting in Kruger shown in our video...Do all body parts have a purpose?...Tom and friends...

Please note the first few seconds of this video, illustrating what transpired below.

"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
After returning from Kruger on Sunday we headed to Amazing River View, Serene Oasis, to watch the sunset and wildlife on the Crocodile River.  This waterbuck was busily grazing on the vegetation as we captured his reflection in the river.
On Sunday afternoon, upon returning home after our failed attempt to find our friends at Lower Sabie in Kruger National Park, once we knew they were alright, we decided to head out for dinner.

This elephant with only one tusk was standing at the Verhami Dam in Kruger leisurely tossing dirt over herself. 
Having been to Jabula Lodge & Restaurant on Friday night with Kathy and Don and with few restaurants in Marloth Park, we decided we'd stop for a sundowner at Serene Oasis and then drive the few kilometers to Phumula Lodge & Restaurant for dinner. 

The food is good, not great, but the outdoor dining area is very pleasant and for that reason, along with good service, we enjoy dining there.  While at Serene Oasis, we spotted to few animals but the sun quickly went down and we left for dinner.
It was fascinating watching her from our close vantage point.
The above photo, "Sighting of the Day in the Bush" made the river view stop worthwhile but, we've found the menu at Serene Oasis, difficult to accommodate my way of eating.  Also, their prices are considerably higher than other restaurants in the Marloth Park and as we book more and more into the future, we continue to diligently manage our budget.

As mentioned above and in more detail in yesterday's post, found here, we were unable to find our friends who'd planned to meet us at the Mug & Bean Restaurant at Lower Sabie in Kruger at 11:00.  We're planning to repeat the same scenario tomorrow at 11:00 am at the same location, hoping we'll find each other this time.
She grasped some vegetation while we waited patiently for her next move.
With our successful drive in Kruger National Park, spotting four rhinos shortly after entering, we felt the drive through the park and back was a success as shown by photos we'll continue to share over the next few days.

As shown in the above video, this particular elephant sighting was especially interesting.  We'd never witnessed first hand, the degree of adeptness elephants possess with the end of the trunks.
Suddenly, she lifted the end of her trunk and scratched her right eye.
Here are a few facts about elephant's trunks from this site:

"Did you know these three things about the elephant trunk?

1. The human tongue is similar to an elephant’s trunk. Both the tongue and the trunk are muscular hydrostats – body parts composed almost exclusively of muscle tissue that utilizes water pressure to move, the muscles providing volume constancy and reversible torsional force.

2. The trunk of an elephant is highly dynamic, able to move in a variety of directions with immense strength and precision, though there is no skeletal structure in the trunk.

3. The elephant’s trunk is made up of an incompressible ‘fluid’ (i.e. tightly packed muscle fibers) that maintains its volume to remain constant through a variety of movements. These muscles are arranged in three patterns (perpendicular to the long axis of the organ, parallel to the long axis, or wrapped helically, or obliquely, a round the long axis) and provide versatility to the movement of the trunk."
Over a period of several minutes, she reached up, scratching her eye again.
It's so easy to take physical features of wildlife for granted.  As we've observed nature non-stop over the past four months in Marloth Park, Kruger National Park and Chobe National Park (Botswana), we've come to the conclusion, supported by science, that every part of an animal's anatomy has a distinct purpose.
Whether its the curled tusks of the warthog, utilized for digging up roots and defense, to the huge antlers of the male kudu, to protect his "harem" and maneuver through dense bush, to the massive size, mouth and teeth of the dangerous hippo, it all has a purpose.
Further down the road, we spotted this wildebeest's youngster suckling.
Tom and I have discussed these facts over and again, often referencing scientific information to confirm our suspicions and satisfy our curiosity.  Wildlife isn't too different from us humans in this regard. Our anatomical features all provide a purpose in our day to day lives.
We laughed when simultaneously we mentioned the purported uselessness of the human appendix which has long been thought to be a worthless remnant in the human body.  
Tom favorite Ms. Bushbuck and her friend were to his right while my favorite, Ms. Kudu was standing to his left.
In conducting further research we discovered the following from this site:
"The body's appendix has long been thought of as nothing more than a worthless evolutionary artifact, good for nothing save a potentially lethal case of inflammation.

Now researchers suggest that the appendix is a lot more than a useless remnant. Not only was it recently proposed to actually possess a critical function, but scientists now find it appears in nature a lot more often than before thought. And it's possible some of this organ's ancient uses could be recruited by physicians to help the human body fight disease more effectively.

In a way, the idea that the appendix is an organ whose time has passed has itself become a concept whose time is over.

"Maybe it's time to correct the textbooks," said researcher William Parker, an immunologist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. "Many biology texts today still refer to the appendix as a '
vestigial organ."

Parker recently suggested that the appendix still served as a vital safehouse where good bacteria could lie in wait until they were needed to repopulate the gut after a nasty case of diarrhea. Past studies had also found the appendix can help make, direct and train white blood cells."


To see the elephant at the Verhami Dam so adeptly scratching his eye reminded us of how magically and mysteriously each creature on the magnificent Earth possessing skills, features, and structures vital to their existence in everyday life.
The wildlife in Marloth Park is "wild" but have become used to being near humans.
It's not as if we're only sitting back fussing over the wildlife that comes to call each day or those we find in national parks.  It's the opportunity to question, investigate and learn more and more each day, not only about the stunning wildlife surrounding us but also in learning more and more about ourselves, our planet and our purpose on this Earth.
For all of this, we are eternally grateful. And, we're grateful to be able to share it all with YOU!
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Photo from one year ago today, June 12, 2018:
Across the Bay in Vancouver, we could see the Olympic Mountains.  At first, we thought this was a view of clouds, not mountains.  For more photos, please click here.

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