Tag Archives: Welgevonden Game Reserve

Patterns

Patterns have purpose.


ZEBRA PATTERNS – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa


ZEBRA PORTRAIT – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa

PATTERNS

Nature’s babies note
their mothers’ markings;
Zebra foals imprint
mares’ patterns

Wild dogs follow the flash
of parents’ tails,
Lion cubs spot the black
behind adult ears . . .

But what of humanity –
makers of mistakes,
thanks to the gift of
free will?

Our patterns too
serve a purpose,
teaching lessons
long after leaving

negatives belong
to the winds of change,
positives provide the framework
for fulfilling lives

Quotes to consider:

“To understand is to perceive patterns” – Isaiah Berlin

“When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.” – Unknown

“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” – Edward de Bono

“Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconcious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character…” – Stephen R. Covey

“A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed…It feels an impulsion…this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reasons and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons.” – Richard Bach

“The same gold is fashioned into various articles; just so, the Lord has made the many patterns of the creation.” – Atharva Veda

To illustrate a few more of wildlife’s patterns:


AFRICAN WILD DOG walking away – Madikwe Game Reserve, SA


LIONESS looking away – Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana

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Celebration

Celebration ↔ Smiles


WINE BOTTLE WITH GLASSES – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa

It’s nobody’s birthday or anything like that. Just an exquisite evening in a beautiful lodge on a gorgeous game farm. African style. That’s reason enough for a special occasion. This one comes with grateful thanks to Dave’s brother and his wife. ‘Cheers, Mike and Lisa!’ Chinking of glasses mingles with the music of vibrant voices. Smooth Cabernet caresses tongues, tinted with friendship and the mouth-watering aroma of roasting lamb. A humming log fire inspires reveries as it swallows time. Warmth swirls around relaxed bodies, casting a glow across familiar faces. Smiles adorn mouths, hinting at the Celebration happening inside. When all is said and done, does life really get any better than this?

Quotes to consider:

“Fly free and happy beyond birthdays and across forever, and we’ll meet now and then when we wish, in the midst of the one celebration that never can end.” – Richard Bach

“Tolerance and celebration of individual differences is the fire that fuels lasting love.” – Tom Hannah

“The thing about performance, even if it’s only an illusion, is that it is a celebration of the fact that we do contain within ourselves infinite possibilities.” – Sydney Smith

“Think of the magic of that foot, comparatively small, upon which your whole weight rests. It’s a miracle, and the dance…is a celebration of that miracle.” – Martha Washington

“The Olympic Games are the quadrennial celebration of the springtime of humanity.” – Pierre de Coubertin

To help set the scene, here are two more pics of the lodge by day:


LODGE VIEW – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa


LODGE VERANDAH – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa Continue reading

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Apple iPhone is birdsong to my ears

This blogging world is super cool. What a great way to discover new things and interact with awesome people around the world. Last week, we were horrified to learn about the fatbooth iPhone app, which appallingly adds weight to an ordinary mug shot. This was thanks to an excellent post by Agrigirl: It’s Only Funny Until Someone Gets Hurt. Take a look – honestly, seeing is believing! Tammy mentioned more apps, inspiring me to investigate and, quite frankly, take my iPhone more seriously 🙂

My number one app, though, is Sasol eBirds. Dave, being my personal techno-wiz, loaded it for me (if it weren’t for him, I’d have an ancient Nokia). So, if I’m feeling like a bush fix in the middle of Jo’burg, I simply tap in, close my eyes and listen to a few calls. Within a virtual moment, I’m lounging in the luxury of the African wild. Of course, when literally there, we have the bonus of identifying birds and reading all about them.

Or even engaging in conversation, such as recently at Welgevonden. A Mocking Cliff-chat (impressive bird knowledge courtesy of our friends who are accomplished birders) took a shine to the lodge bar. Whipping out the iPhones, we returned its warbling (“loud, melodious mixture of mimicked bird song”). It’s so delightful that I’m going to share it with you – via my iPhone, Sasol eBirds app, and Wordpress’ brilliant Post by Voice feature 🙂

But first, here’s a picture:


MOCKING CLIFF-CHAT – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa

As well as two photo’s of birds that have my all-time favourite calls. These are the Woodland Kingfisher, abundant in the Waterberg during summer:


WOODLAND KINGFISHER – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa

. . . and the African Fish Eagle. It occurs here in South Africa, but is a more common resident of the Okavango Delta in Botswana:


FISH EAGLE TAKING OFF – Khwai River, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Now, for the audio of all three . . . ENJOY!

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Journey

Journey = Joy


‘GEARBOX’ – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg

‘Gearbox’. Not for nothing is it named that. Gnarliest road on the reserve, it snakes steeply up the side of a spectacular valley. As we approach, I engage my core, calling on my inner yogi to straighten my spine. It’s one of the ways I maximise the pleasure of being in the bush. Along with breathing deeply. And looking for little things among the magnificent. Pulling aside to let another vehicle pass, we spot a Chameleon. The feather touch of its feet feels like love on our skin.

Further on, a Kudu bull leaps across our path, the heaviness of his horns tilting his head. Chattering Monkeys peep from treetops, sending a Warthog bolting from beneath. It kicks up the scent of faintly bruised bushes. As we stop and start, warm air contrasts with cold wind on our faces. A mystical moon begins to rise. The main gift of the game drive is its focus on the moment. There is no destination. Instead we return to the same place we started, each experience unique. All the Joy is wrapped up in the Journey.

Quotes to consider:

“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” – Matsuo Basho

“A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles” – Tim Cahill

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” – Greg Anderson

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end” – Ursula K. LeGuin

As an afterthought . . . here’s a pic of the little guy:


CHAMELEON – Welgevonden, Waterberg, South Africa
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Depression

Depression ↔ Distance

DARKENING DAM – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa

‘Pleasure,’ I say, returning the sincerity of his smile along with the document, duly signed. Absolute serenity marks the moment, disturbed only by the screeches of some Loeries outside. Just as he’s happy to feed them daily, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to help our friend. It’s wise to have a will, simple as that. Fit and strong as he is, it won’t be needed for decades, but still it’s good practise.

‘Give my regards to Dave,’ he waves, after we hug goodbye. ‘Sure. See you soon!’ Warm, breezy farewell, like the kiss of summer flowers sharing a field. Knowing that their neighbour will be there come sunrise. Only he isn’t. Not ever. Dear friend, had you any idea of how much we cared? Of the hole you would leave behind? If only our love could have reached across the Distance and dispersed the Darkness. If only we’d known it was there.

Quotes to consider:

“Depression is rage spread thin.” – George Santayana

“Deep, deep depression is the flip side of comedy. Casting agents don’t realize it but in order to be funny you have to have that other side.” – Parker Posey

“That terrible mood of depression of whether it’s any good or not is what is known as The Artist’s Reward.” – Ernest Hemingway
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Taking a shower on the Wild Side…together with Lions!

Little compares to the quiet symphony of a bush shower. Hot water is preferable, regardless if it spouts from a tap, bucket or bag. But the essential ingredient is open air. That perfect blend of shampoo mixed with wildness. It holds a primal pull. Midday is best, mellowing the burst of freshness from drying off:


CLEANSING SUNLIGHT – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg

Sometimes, however, caution is prescribed, like once at Mabuasehube in Botswana. Our own campsite barren, we investigate another, only to find that we’re not there first. A pride of thirsty lions precedes us. Maneuvering our vehicles into a safe scenario, we oblige with a steady trickle, before retreating to let them drink. It’s clear that the water tastes delicious to their tongues. You’re most welcome, magnifient friends, with all our love 🙂


YOUNG MALE LION LOOKING FOR WATER – Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana


LION DRINKING IN SHOWER – Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana


LIONS EXITING SHOWER – Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana

LIONESS LICKING HER LIPS – Mabuasehube Game Reserve, Botswana


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Conservation

Green over greed.

FLOWERING BUSH – Welgevonden Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa

Quotes to consider:

“Every day is Earth Day.” – Unknown

“We cannot command Nature except by obeying her.” – Francis Bacon

“If I keep a green bough in my heart, then the singing bird will come.” – Chinese Proverb

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” – Native American Proverb

“For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.” – Martin Luther
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