Yikes!!!...Monkey in the house!!!...Quite a sighting on the river...A meaty mishap...

Water spouted out of his mouth after he took a big gulp of water.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
An appropriately named Fish Eagle, stood watch over his "catch of the day."
Each day brings new excitement.  Whether its the sighting of a new bird, beast or blooming flower, not a single day passes without one form of adventure or another.  It becomes a matter of paying attention more than being lucky.  There's never a shortage of opportunities.

We're always hoping to have the camera on hand for such occurrences but sometimes something happens so quickly a photo isn't possible.  This morning was exactly that case.
Last night, while viewing the Crocodile River in Kruger National Park from Serena Oasis, aka Amazing River View, we noticed this solitary giraffe approaching the water.
Tom was outdoors and had noticed a number of Vervet monkeys trying to get seeds out of the bird feeder.  When this occurs, he often takes the bird feeder down from the tree which requires the use of a long pole we keep close to the front door.  He did exactly that while alerting me to the monkey's presence.

I was busy indoors, chopping vegetables for wildlife and to roast for tonight's dinner. While he was busy in the yard, in a literal second in time, a monkey ran into the house, onto the kitchen bar stools, perused what was available and counter top and snatched an apple.  There wasn't enough time with my wild response to grab anything more.

And respond I did!  I literally screamed at the monkey to "Get out!" while yelling at Tom, "Monkey in the house!"  There was nothing he could have done that I wasn't doing, chase the darn thing back outdoors.
Several times, he bent down preparing to take a drink but hesitated, standing and looking around.
This all transpired in literally 20 seconds or less.  Of course, my first thought, once the monkey was back outside, was, "Darn, I wish I could have taken a photo!" 

Generally, while I'm preparing food I don't plan for photo ops and didn't have the camera beside me on the wet granite counter top.  But, when I'm not in the kitchen or bedroom it's always within a second's reach.  Oh, well, this time we can only tell, not show, what happened.

We prefer to keep the door to the house open and while we're on the veranda, generally, the monkey won't approach the house.  This was a unique and isolated case of circumstances being just right for the monkey, not so right for us.
Giraffes are vulnerable when they slowly bend to drink when predators such as lions, cheetahs, leopards, and crocodiles may attack.
Many people are fascinated with Vervet monkeys and baboons.  However, as we've mentioned in the past, they are highly destructive and can tear a house apart in a matter of minutes.  That's why, most of the houses in Marloth Park has some type of protection over their windows, not necessary screens (which are seldom seen on windows in Africa) but bars and other protective materials.

With my heart pounding, I retold the incident to Tom and we both chuckled, grateful nothing was damaged and kind of intrigued by this first experience.  Luckily, we were out only one apple for the "other" wildlife.  We'd never had a monkey in the house.  Have you?  Such an oddity.

As for last night, we had a farewell dinner with Kathy and Don.  They're on their way to Pretoria on Sunday but fortunately are returning in about three weeks.  We have such fun with these two fine people and last night couldn't have been more perfect.
He didn't stay down for more than a few seconds, fearful of his vulnerability.
We met shortly before five at Serene Oasis, a bar/restaurant located in a local park with outstanding river views from their veranda.  They don't allow visitors to sit and watch unless they purchase a beverage and/or food.  We'd decided to have "sundowners" there and once the sun was set, head to Jabula for the best food in Marloth Park.

It proved to be a perfect plan, after all.  Not only did we capture many of today's photos but we had a fabulous time sitting outdoors yakking up a storm while enjoying nature at its finest.
Carefully bending his knees, he gracefully dipped for the first drink.
When darkness fell we drove to Jabula for a delightful evening with great food and again conversation.  Dawn, the owner (with husband Leon) her assistant, Lyn always make us feel so welcomed with hugs and kisses and the finest service and food in the land. 

Now, on to the "meaty mishap."  It goes like this...on Thursday we grocery shopped ending up at the butcher when we were done at Spar.  We purchased ZAR 798, (US $60.40) in meats, from chicken breasts, beef mince, pork tenderloins to bacon.
Another quick sip...
Twenty five minutes after leaving the butchery on Thursday we were back home putting everything away.  We hadn't used the little car for 26 hours  since purchasing the meat, when we left yesterday at 4:30 pm to meet up with Kathy and Don.

Upon getting our seatbelts on, I asked Tom, "What's that bag in the back seat?"  He turned around and touched the bag.
This morning I was cutting vegetables for roasting when the Vervet monkey entered the house.  There were two apples near this pan.  He took one of them.
"Oh, no!" he exclaimed, "That's the bag of meat!"  He had a pained look on his face. "Yesterday, I put it in the back seat, not the trunk, which was already full.  Then, when I brought everything inside the house I forgot about the bag in the back seat."

Since we both avoid "blaming" in such situations, my thoughts revolved on trying to make him feel better and not beat himself up.  It could have been a lot worse.  It the realm of things, its no big deal.  Sure, no one wants to be out the money and its only a small "hit" and not worth stress or frustration.
The monkey didn't have time to grab any of these grape tomatoes I'd washed with me shooing him outside while yelling all the while.
Soon, when we're done here, we'll head to the butcher store, another branch of the store in Komatipoort and re-purchase the items we lost.  We found a dumpster and unloaded them before we entered the restaurant for fear the smell might attract wild animals while we were at dinner. 

Tomorrow morning, we'll be posting but doing so earlier than usual. (We've booked another trip and will share details). We have a very exciting day planned.  We're meeting up with friends, Cathi and Rick in Kruger National Park, whom we met in Kauai, Hawaii in 2015. 
This big bowl of vegetables, for the wildlife, also caught the monkey's eye but he opted for the big apple as I shooed him outside. 
Avid photo safari enthusiasts having been to South Africa in the past, we thought it would be fun to meet up in Kruger rather than some other location.  They have other friends with them, otherwise, they'd have stayed with us for a few days.  But, seeing them for lunch tomorrow in Kruger will be such fun.

If we leave by 10 am, take our time driving in Kruger, we'll easily make contact at our prearranged destination in Lower Sabie where there's a popular restaurant.  It will be wonderful for all of us to be driving through the park seeing wildlife on our way to our get-together.

On Monday, we'll report back with photos and details!

Have a fabulous weekend!
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Photo from one year ago today, June 9, 2017:
Perfect pink orchids at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia.  For more photos, please click here.

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