Remembrance of a sorrowful day...Adventures along the river...Friends coming to visit...


Many species can share a space in harmony.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
Our resident helmeted guineafowls climbing a tree at dusk shortly before they take off for the night to sleep in the nearby parklands.
Many of us recall the travesty of the horrific loss of life and injury of thousands of individuals on September 11, 2001, and where we were when the events transpired.  

It almost seems as if it was but a short time ago when images flash through our minds of the scenes replayed over and over again on TV of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers and their eventual collapse and the loss of many lives in two plane crashes, one hitting the Pentagon.

Based on the size of the tusks on these elephants, many of them were young.
The visual impact on every person watching then easily remains today in our hearts with sadness and sorrow that will stay with us forever.  For those impacted by these tragic events; survivors, family, friends, and observers, we extend our heartfelt sympathies and compassion for all that you have endured.

The simplicity of our everyday lives seems insignificant compared to these events but somehow, those who remain managed to pick up the pieces of their lives and carried on with grace and dignity.

There were more members of this parade nearby.
Now, as we discuss our daily experiences in the wild, we're reminded how precious life is for all beings on this planet and the fragility of our existence.  Today, we share more wildlife photos, feeling especially touched on this anniversary of September 11th.

After yesterday's foray to the Crocodile River on the Marloth Park side of the fence and seeing lions at a distance, along with many others in attendance (word gets out quickly in Marloth Park when lions are sighted) we decided we'll venture out more frequently than we have in the past.

Mom and baby elephant enjoying the beautiful day.
Our every other day drive through the park has now been escalated to every day when we don't want to miss a thing.  Whether we have to leave South Africa on November 21st (71 days) or are given an extension to stay until February 20th (163 days), time is running out in South Africa.

As we mentioned earlier, instead of worrying about which time frame in which we have to leave, we've decided to embrace each and every day as if it's our last.

With the excitement of our friends Lois and Tom coming to stay with us for three weeks beginning on October 9th (29 days), an entirely new level of enthusiasm has washed over us, making this a very special time.

Impalas at the Crocodile River.
How exciting to share the magic of Marloth Park and Kruger National Park with friends who've never been to Africa.  It's indeed an honor that we'll be able to watch the excitement on their faces when they experience the stunning wildlife right before our eyes.

It will take every bit of self-control we possess to temper our enthusiasm to let them discover the joy for themselves without our speculation of what they'll most likely see next.  

Elephants moving closer to the Marloth Park side of the river.
How will we not describe even the 12 bushbabies that visit every evening or the regular visits and sounds of Frank and the Mrs. at dusk each and every night?  We want to let them see these magical occurrences for themselves and formulate their own responses to each visiting creature in the bush.  What a gift for us to experience this with them.

We met Lois and Tom on a 33-night cruise circumventing the Australian continent in November 2016.  We spent almost every evening with them and another couple, Cheryl and Stan, from happy hour through dinner.  

See this post here for details.

This may be a dad and his son who's horns have yet to shape as an adult.
After dinner, they'd wander off to relax in their cabin while Tom and I usually played pool, danced at the disco or commiserated with other passengers we'd met along the way.  It was an exceptional time.

We hit it off so well with Lois and Tom, we stayed in touch the past few years and now, they're making the long journey from New Jersey, USA to Africa to the airport in Nelspruit/Mpumalanga, South Africa where they'll rent a car and head this way.

Female lions at quite a distance.
Today, we'll be sending them an email with suggestions as to what to bring, clothes to wear, etc.  We'll share these details in an upcoming post for those who may be considering coming to Africa for the first time and who may be a little unsure as to what they'll need to bring.

We'll be back tomorrow with more and better lion photos from today's visit to "Two Trees," the overlook area where the magic happens almost every day.

May your day bring you purpose and joy!

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Photo from one year ago today, September 11, 2017:
This photo taken in Costa Rica is the remainder of a banana tree's inflorescence described as follows: From 26 to 32 banana leaves will have wrapped around themselves by the time the inflorescence emerges from the center of the pseudostem. This process is called shooting. Ten to 20 flowers spiral around the stem of the inflorescence. Each flower is covered with a fleshy purple to green bract that it sheds as it matures.  While we were living in Madeira Portugal, we post a continuing story with photos of the progression of these amazing blooms.  See here for details on another story with photos of the morphology of the banana tree.  For more photos, please click here.

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