Sunday, September 30, 2012

Over And Out

A few images I've been unable to squeeze into a post:

A Quiver Tree with it's head in the clouds.

Southern Rock Agama - Males have a white stripe on the back during the breeding season.

A blow-up of the hind quarters of the Agama.

A bareback Horseman on the road.

Sociable Weavers' Nest.

The underside of a Sociable Weavers' nest.

A dead car with a cactus growing from it's nose serves as a Farm-entrance marker.

An Angulate Tortoise - this species is endemic to Southern Africa and occurs in the Southwestern areas of South Africa and a few kilometres into Southern Namibia.

Another view of the Angulate Tortoise - the delicate bottom scales make it look like it's wearing a skirt.

The Cat's Whiskers.

I allowed Mutt (the cat) into the house and left him with Stoffel grooming him on a desk - when I looked again Stoffel had chewed all his whiskers off.

Whiskerless Mutt looks even dumber than normal but it doesn't seem to affect him adversely - it was not the first time Stoffel had chewed his whiskers off - they've grown back again.

My apologies for not visiting your Blogs lately - I've had to deal with a death in the Family and also my broadband connection was down for a few days.

Tomorrow I'm going home to cyber exile again, until the beginning of December, (goodness! how time flies, it's almost New Year again) - October/November are the hottest months in Namibia but, with the weather going haywire all over the World, who knows what it will be like.

I wish you all good health and happiness.

Until we meet again.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cairns - Kilroy Was Here

Over the last ten years I've noticed small rock Cairns popping up all over Namibia, especially in the desert areas - on the verges of remote gravel roads and at popular Tourist spots.

It seems that they're mostly built by Visitors intent on leaving a little bit of themselves in the Desert.

Some people may say that they spoil the landscape but personally, up to now, I don't find them to be an eyesore - I enjoy the surprise of finding them.

A large Cairn built near the uncompleted house mentioned in this post.

Some structures are quite creative, like this one on the edge of the Fish River Canyon.

They do serve their purpose because I often stop and wonder about the Unknown Travellers who built them - come to think of it, I've never seen anyone actually building a Cairn ... maybe ...

The sides of a hill near the Ai-Ais Hot Springs are covered with about fifty small Cairns, painted white.

I'd love to know the story behind them because their construction was obviously a concerted effort by a large group of people.

Star Wars Cairns

I often feel the urge to build a small Cairn but, I haven't found the 'Right Spot' yet - I guess I could argue that I have already built one and that I'm living in it ... :)

This gigantic Cairn was built by some creative Road Builder during the construction of the Aus - Rosh Pinah road a few years ago.

A finely-balanced Cairn - one of my favourites.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Rhino and Hyaena

More pics from a trip to Etosha:

Two Zebra sparring - Spring is in the Air!

These two Gnu were locked in mock-battle - we stopped to watch them ...

... after about a minute, as if on cue, they both paused and turned to stare at us ...

Gnu are You?

It was a chilly morning and the wind was blowing hard ... we didn't expect to see much.

Suddenly, a young male Spotted Hyaena lying in the grass just off the road ...

... and a Rhino appeared from across the open plain.

The Rhino stopped to graze on some bushes and also mark his territory.

Hyaena started following the Rhino ...

... it was then that we spotted the pride of Lion in the distance to the left and on either side of the central tree - it was likely a kill ...

the Lion were watching the Rhino.

Rhino became irritated and started chasing the Hyaena ... it was not a serious charge and soon ended.

The Hyaena slunk away and went to lie down in the grass again.

A few minutes later we encountered another young male heading in the direction of the Lion.

He took fright at the car, turned around and came charging back across the road.

Hyaena have a really strange gait, their hind legs appear weak.

I was really chuffed about the Spotted Hyaena because I'd never seen them before ...

... not bad for a day when we expected to see nothing at all.

Blog buddy Joan, at SA Photographs, recently did an informative post on these fascinating creatures - check it out here.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Jumbo Day In Etosha

I spent two days in Etosha with buddy Stretch - we traveled in his new second-hand Mini-bus Camper which has a cool hatch in the roof, great for Game viewing and photos:

Hand-crafted curios for sale just inside the Namutoni entrance gate.

I was disturbed to also see carved wooden Porcupines covered with real quills - saddened because I know that the animals the quills came from were probably caught in snares and died a torturous death.

We saw many groups of Elephant on day One - the first being these two bulls ambling along the road.

Strangely, on the Second day, a chilly wind was blowing and we didn't see one Jumbo.

Something I've heard about but never seen - people getting out of their cars and walking around at waterholes - despite being given a list of 'Dos and Don'ts' upon entering the Pans and signs at almost every waterhole saying 'Stay In Your Car'.

In one day we came upon four separate groups walking around at waterholes and Stretch, being bolder than me, minced no words when ordering them back into their cars.

For my part, on these occasions, I was disappointed at not getting pics of a Lion Feast ... :)

We encountered two separate pairs of Lion mating.

A Bus-load of Tourists jostle to get a view of the Big Cats doing the Deed.

An Elephant drinking at a waterhole - he surprised us by sticking his trunk through a hole in the ground to get to the water under the ledge ... considering the water level, this shows how long his trunk is.

A Kori Bustard takes off - these heavy birds don't fly very far, just enough to get out of danger.

Black and White.

Young Black-faced Impala drink at a waterhole.

Close-up of an Elephant drinking.

Etosha's Elephants are the largest in Africa but they have the smallest tusks.

Notice how small and worn his tusk is - due to a mineral deficiency in their diet.

A Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk surveys the world from the top of a thorn tree.

A small herd of Elephant approach a waterhole near sunset - the camp gates close precisely at sunset and sadly, it's impossible to linger at a waterhole as the sun goes down.