Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Snap slide show

Yes, Legion of Fans (LOF), it's another slide show because, you guessed it, I can't think of anything else to write. Thank God for the Kruger National Park and its abundant wildlife and photo opportunities (and I know you really only come here for the pictures).

Work-wise, I am now at Page 176 of the new novel (nearing half way), and have completed my edits and re-write of the top secret second non-fiction book. This, thankfully, has been well received by my very good friends at Macmillan Australia.

If you've been having trouble getting hold of a copy of one of my earlier books in South Africa (and I know a couple of you have, because you've told me), rest assured that resupplies are on their way, via airmail, from Australia following a bit of a glitch in the supply chain system.

I do, actually, have some interesting stuff to write, but the swimming pool and cold beer at Skukuza Rest Camp are beckoning, so here are a few pics, instead.

If you think this bird looks odd, you should see him in the flesh 'n feathers. He is (I think) a black-bellied Korhaan. His call is a series of quacks followed by a noise that is - and I kid you not - exactly like a cork coming out of a wine bottle. To impress the ladies, during the mating season, he flies up into the air and then stops, mid-flight, like he has been shot, and then tumbles to earth as though he is dead. As with so many things in Africa, truth is stranger than fiction.

It's rootin', tootin' and fightin' season in the African bush, LOF, and everyone is at it everywhere. All of our major grass and leaf eaters are popping out babies left right and centre and that's as good a cue as any that it's time for some sex again.
Who asked for the Zebras? Ah, yes, Mr Shamrock Safari - he of the Zebra-painted Land Rover. Here are a couple of feisty stallions testing each other out to see who will have the honour of getting the most piggy back rides in the next few months.

The rainy season is good for raptors, which is what twitchers call killer birds. Mrs Blog and I, we just call them killer birdies. I snapped this chap just after he had finished a meal of Chameleon a'la mort du rue. He's some sort of eagle (I usually say Tawny Eagle, to people who know less about birds than me, when I don't know what type of raptor I'm looking at). I stand to be corrected (by Kathleen, I suspect, if she is still out there).
Anyhoo, this chap had a Black Breasted Snake Eagle (I do know that one), circling enviously and greedily above him. The Snake Eagle swooped this guy a couple of times. In the end, the bird above woofed down his Chameleon in one big bite. He had to waddle around on the road a bit after that (I know how he feels - indigestion is a bitch), before taking off in front of my camera lens.

"I could eat you, if I chose," this young fellow is saying to me, as I sat in Brumas the Land Rover, just metres away from him, "but I know I'd get in trouble for eating a tourist, so I only eat Mozambican illegal immigrants."
"Oh, sorry.... didn't see you there," (because like all rhinos he is half blind and therefore ludicrously easy for poachers to kill), "would you like to take my picture?"
Big, friendly, slightly daft, overweight, short-sighted and sporting an enormous horn. Is it any wonder why I identify so easily with the White Rhino, LOF?


ali g said...

nudge nudge wink wink.....say no more...

dozycow said...


Once again you have given us some wonderful pics - thank you!!

MAX said...

The silly, craziness of musing does emerge when you have writer's block, it seems! I love your pictures and I love your musing too!
(and oh, how I long for the park!)

Crookedpaw said...

While on the subject of horn-endowed, near-sighted pachyderms, thought you might be interested in this news item.

Good luck to them in their endeavours, but I really think it's just delaying the inevitable. I don't know that eight is a sufficient number to supply a genetic diversity that will ensure the survival of the species.

Plus the cynic in me does wonder if this isn't really a disguise for a cost cutting exercise, given their current location.

All that aside however, I know what these animals mean to you, and this would really be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to photograph them in their natural environment. With that in mind - and to give you a legitimate excuse to hotfoot it over to Kenya - I should like to take you up on your offer, which I think went something like this;

"If you've got a fave animal, post a comment if you'd like to see it. Short of Pangolin or Aardvaark I could very well have a picture of it. If I don't I'll go hunting for the big game of your choice, because that's the kind of blogger I am."

The big event will take place at Kenya's Ol Pejeta reserve on December 19.

I hope you read this in time.

Live long and prosper.


Crookedpaw said...

P.S. to the previous comment.

Maybe there's a new adventure for Alex Tremain in there, as well, given his views on poachers.

I'll get out of your way now, so you can take a photo.

ali g said...

leaving on a jet plane so picture of beer please.
see you Monday at Melalane.
Lady Chatterley very excited.
yep yep

tonypark said...

Very interesting, crookedpaw. If I was one of those rhinos I think I'd probably prefer the safety of a czech zoo (even if it is a bit chillh) rather than a kenyan game park. I don't much fancy their chances.

Unfortunately, I won't be in Kenya until Jan 5-ish otherwise I would have tried to wangle a trip there under the thin guise of research.

It might have given me a chance to spruik my books to the czech media, as well, and land another fabulously lucrative eastern european publishing deal.

Karen Bessey Pease said...

These photos are excellent, and the 'green' is very soothing.

So says a girl buried in early-season snow.

Thank you for the beautiful pics of some extraordinary animals.

(When we see a critter we can't put a name to, we call it a 'foe-dee'. No idea why...)

Have a great trip, Ali g!

JR said...

Kenya...Jan 5-ish

Jan 4/5-ish I'll be in Kampala until flying down to Maputo Jan 9...drop on over.