The falling leaves...Lion sighted in MP!...More visitors come to say goodbye...Four days and counting....

Looking through the fence at the Crocodile River from the Marloth Park side.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
Elephants grazing in this lush area.
It's fall here in South Africa.  With the slightest breeze, the leaves fall and then scatter in the garden and onto the veranda.  I'd hoped we'd experience cooler weather this last week as it rolls into fall. But alas, it's still been hot and humid, most days around 32C (90F) which feels cooler compared to many other days over the past summer months.
One of our favorite experiences in Marloth Park in the past 15 months...this mom and single chick looking for dad.
The water was returned to service on Monday.  Fortunately, we were only out for a short period when we turned on the surplus tank and pump.  When the water returned, the faucets spewed a brown dirty looking flow.  

I'm still doing "sponge baths" with purified water each day.  I haven't been able to shower since my legs became infected for fear the less-than-ideal water contained bacteria which may have contributed as the source of the infections.
They began to hike down the road, Volstruis, which means ostrich.  Go figure.  They are often found on this road.
Surprisingly a good head to toe scrubbing with a rough washcloth and antibacterial soap has served me well each day, certainly as good as a shower.  Plus, it has enabled me to keep the bandages and wounds dry which if wet, would be detrimental to the healing process.
The ostrich has the largest eyes of any land animal.  The giant squid has the largest eyes of a marine animal.
Yesterday, wearing my new BFit device on my wrist, I managed to get in 6000 steps for the day.  I can now see it won't be too hard to get to 10,000 steps a day or more once we get to Ireland and I'm further along in recovery.  

Wearing the device made all the difference in the world to my motivation and kept the boredom of walking indoors to a minimum. Unfortunately, my cheap smartphone (to be replaced when we get to the US in six months) is unable to sync with the app for the device on the phone.  
Mom stopped dead in her tracks when she spotted him a long distance down the road.  Look closely to see him.
And the app can't sync on my PC either, making it a bit frustrating to only read the stats on the face of the device itself.  Based on the fact it won't sync by Bluetooth to my phone, the time on the device is off by over an hour.  
They all picked up the pace as they got closer.
I got ambitious today and loaded the app on Tom's newer Samsung phone for the purpose of getting the correct time and date. Also, if I wanted to look at a more detailed readout I could use his phone when he's not using it.  It didn't work on his phone either.

We've learned to improvise when we're living where access to the newest technological devices is limited.  The fitness watch is a South African made device as is my difficult-to-use cheap smartphone.  
The chick was anxiously heading right for dad.
That's not to imply all products made in this country are inferior.  They're not.  But, less expensive off-label brands in any country may easily be inferior and in both cases, that's what I'm dealing with.

Yesterday, we received a message and also read on Facebook that a female lion had been seen on the loose about three blocks from here.  Of course, the already existing nighttime curfew was reminded to all locals and visitors with vigilant daytime precautions as well.
Note dad and chick playing in the bush while mom kept watch from the road.  Amazing!!!
There's no way of knowing if the lion has returned to bordering Kruger National Park unless someone specifically sees her crawling back under the fence that enabled her to escape in the first place.  That is highly unlikely.  As time passes and no sightings are reported one can assume she's returned to her usual territory which is likely.  Lions are highly territorial.  

More of our favorite visitors have come to call.  For me, the most exciting was Little when he dropped by yesterday afternoon for quite a lengthy visit.  He ate pellets lying down as he prefers, listened intently while I spoke to him, had a drink from the cement pond and rested in the garden.  I stayed on the veranda watching him for some time thinking about how much I will miss him.

This morning, Mike and Joe, (named after US vice presidents), Basket and his girl, One Tusk,  Frank and The Mrs., Big Daddy,  Little Daddy, Cupid, dozens of helmeted guineafowls and many more stopped by.  Surely, sometime today, the large band of mongooses will cackle their way into the garden.

At 11:00 am we're heading to the home of the lovely woman who loaned us a walker which we're returning with a few bottles of sundowner beverages as our thank you.

For the remainder of the today, we'll continue organizing and sorting items to be packed, stopping each time a new visitor comes by, offering them treats when soon Tom will open our last 40 kg (88 pounds) bag of pellets. There's enough in the bag to get us through the next few days until we leave early afternoon Saturday to make our way to Nelspruit to the tiny airport to begin our journey.

Tomorrow, morning, it's back to the doctor to hopefully, get good news that the wound is on the mend to avoid the necessity of driving three hours a day, three times a week, to a wound clinic in Ireland.

Oops!  Did I just hear the roar of a lion?  Hmm...

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, May 7, 2018:
A baby kudu found comfort standing at the base of this tree when there was lots of action in our yard.  For more photos, please click here.


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