Margaret’s Wild life from Hoedspruit.

Barry: Another great bit of Margaret’s Wild Life writing. I
call them my Nature Videos. LOL…

For a long time a Civet has been living on my plot & judging from
the different sizes of the faeces on the midden, I’ve got two of
them. The faeces are very similar to those of a dog, white if
a lot of bone has been consumed, dark grey to black & containing
strands of rough hair if that’s what the prey had.

I’ve also had 2 sizes of porcupine, going by the droppings on my
drive. The porcupine roam around, not always staying in my
property.

(Here she describes a drive from Hoedspruit to Acornhoek) This
was the first time since I got my car that I let her go – 120km,
& she loved it, just flew along.

Kapama Game Reserve on the left, much bush on the right ending
in the mountains with Mariepskop rising high into the morning
sky. Glorious.

There is virtually no grazing in Kapama & the big dam near the
road has very little water in it. It was home to a couple of
hippo before the drought. But – there was one very big giraffe
browsing on a thorn tree, & a herd of about 20 buffalo, all just
inside the fence! All seen briefly from the corner of my eye!

In Wits Rural Facility, 3 very large, very tame giraffe standing
in the road or just beside it. As I had time, I parked to keep
them company. One of them stood about 8 feet away to peer down
at me. She then browsed off a very small thorn bush with long
white thorns & I was fascinated to watch her tongue curl round
the small branch to rip off the leaves moving upwards towards the
branch tip, but leaving the thorns behind. And NOT getting
pricked by them! She then turned her back to walk away, decided
to urinate, straddling her hind legs a bit to do so.

One of the others was trying to scratch its fetlock on a very
small, round, metal sign. Fascinating to see that the giraffe
could not see the tiny piece of metal so very far below & kept
missing it. Also the amount of effort needed to move the
oh-so-long leg, such slow movements. It then wanted to scratch
an itch in the middle of its back. Again, the oh-so-slow heavy
movement of that long, long neck to get its head on its side in
the middle of the back. A couple of slow rubbing movements, then
bringing the head away a bit to put out the tongue to lick a
small spot, followed by the long, long slow movement to get the
head back to where it normally is – way up top.

Now I understand why a number of lions can bring down an adult
giraffe when it is standing amongst trees or bush. It just
cannot move fast enough – not like when it is out on the plains.

On the way home, on the other road that runs along the bottom of
the mountain, down a steep bank from the road, I briefly saw a
bushbuck male with his female. Again out of the corner of one
eye!

The Spotted Eagle Owl gave me a huge treat at 2.30 one afternoon
by sitting right out in the open in the sun, on a low branch in
full view of me walking along. Its back was towards me. I
froze, watching its head swivelling around, up & down, round
about, as if on a ball bearing & the big yellow eyes boring into
me. When I finally moved, it allowed me to get within 12 feet
of it before flying off into a nearby tree, again low down, this
time facing me so I could see the lighter spotted marking of the
feathers on the stomach, with the slightly darker ones on the
chest.

Blogger Barry: Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoyed.

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