Monday, 15 April 2013

Lessons in the sand

Phudufudu Tented Camp - Borakalalo NP 
Water outlet - Klipvoor Dam [Moretele River]
Staring into the dying coals, open to the elements and without an umbrella against the liquid splattering which rained down from the tree above, I coolly contemplated my son's drubbing on the rugby-field.

Our belated sunset arrival at Borakalalo's Phudufudu Tented Camp, post-match & a half-whistle earlier would have rattled most. Even so, we'd been here before and were soon settled in. Not long thereafter we shared a traditional bushveld dinner prepared over an open fire.

We intended to walk the banks of the Moretele River early next morning for African Finfoot which we needed for our 800 Challenge. We'd seen Finfoot here many times, knew the best spots and were, therefore, quietly confident. As it turned out we weren't wrong. We ticked good views before the sun's first rays had warmed the chill and at least an hour before a well-earned gas-cooked egg & bacon breakfast. [..which is why I roll more than I rock these days!]

En route the spillway & on other short excursions nearby, we noted nesting Meyer's Parrots, Brown-backed Honeybird, Ovambo Sparrowhawk & Shikra. The day's birding would prove successful but for two targeted birds which we failed to find but I digress. Breakfast was still a restless night away.

African Finfoot
Back at the fire the violence above heaped scorn on my scowling melancholy. The monkeys, gassed to the eyeballs and without any notable sign of remorse, rained down the contents of their bowels in shrieking paranoia. It was abundantly clear that the troop in the trees was, quite literally, getting the living sh-one-t squeezed from all orifices in leopard-induced paranoia.

They are, as we know, liars, damned liars & statistics will prove as much! There was no leopard; they were not 'bigger-than-us' & my irritation boiled over! Hurling obscenities as only a cheated father can, I went to bed. Early next morning the clear pug-marks of a large male leopard littered the sandy soils all around the tent.
Ovambo Sparrowhawk

'They were bigger-than-us, Dad...!'

Yes, they were..

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