Monday, 28 October 2013

Defying imagination

Imagination is more important than knowledge.... [Albert Einstein] 

Flap-neck chameleon - NSA agent in SA
Before I caption this weekend's activities, some housekeeping. Our intended migration south for four coastal species turned out to be a figment of our imagination. Unintended consequences imposed on us by the touchy-feely world ruined what would have been a thoroughly enjoyable weekend; at least as far as I envisioned. Hoping for a reprieve from the airlines turned out to be as bizarre as Merkel's choice of pizza c/o the NSA. Sauerkraut pizza indeed..!
Thoroughly grounded & chewing tickets we were faced with the weekend's conundrum... Cry or spy - outside the rain kept falling on the p......roverbial.  We elected spy & targeted two hitherto untargeted, locally-grown species ie:  Freckled Nightjar and Grey-headed Kingfisher. Pinning a bulls-eye to the two species was as simple as a squint-back through the mists of our minds. We knew where to look. With one eye on the nightjar & the other across the tableau on the kingfisher we shed our formal threads for our green-clad weekend paraphernalia. Early Saturn's day morning we fired our first arrow at Borakalalo NP, north westwards & in the general direction of the approaching storm gods as they quarreled bitterly over seasons or something.. 

Late-afternoon storm gods still cry a picture
There we encountered fellow questers, a lottery throw by any stretch of the imagination. Who would have guessed? These two gentlemen sought national recognition for a local milestone, a feat they accomplished. Well done gentlemen. Whilst I dither at times's halftime-siren & on this, a cold summer's day, the spirit of youth seemingly invigorated these gamy-legs...
Grey-headed Kingfisher - the target
With renewed Red Bull-like energy we trotted out ourselves & found the first of five (5) Grey-headed Kingfishers. None, unsurprisingly, played ball and none sat for the obligatory photo-shoot. Creative stirrings thus stifled we were forced, nay obliged, to shoot unannounced; without a warrant & from the hip, whilst the birds looked t'other way. Wrapped, tagged & delivered!
Splitting the atom of a single thought - foreboding
Meanwhile, in Elysium, the gods of thunder & lightening spat their agenda. The boredom of the quarrel, not lost on us, mere mortals, had us running for the hills of home, two hours yonder. Hardened tears, like ice, battered us all the way. Vehicles lay littered this way & that. New rivers raged, unimpeded. Man-made structures groaned despair; some buckled at the seams. Above us, blurred through rain-distorted glass, jolts of lightning jagged across the blackened skies. Any thoughts of nightjar - freckled, speckled or even heckled were quickly quashed in the impending flood.

Sipping too deeply on the Sunday-morning duck-down covers consigned the morning's intended activities to a history that never was. The nightjar, by rights, is not a dayjar & only the very lucky or the overtly energetic brave the day-time scree-slope roosts. We would wait for Sunday's crepuscular watch, when the grass-swishing hob-goblins emerge. Sometime later in the valley of the Wilge river & with one eye on the prize and the other on the bushpig sounder frolicking in the goo nearby we're pleased to announce species no. 696 for South Africa (calendar 2013). Freckled Nightjar! All around from within the blackened green emanated the sounds of squeaks, quacks, groans & croaks. We can't say for sure, by any stretch of the imagination, just who said what..

What does the Bullfrog say? A bulls-eye...

I'll leave you with this....

'*Dog goes woof, cats go meow
Bird goes tweet, and mouse goes squeak 
But there's one sound that no one knows...'
What does the Frog say?

Grewww - grewww - grewr - bro
Broohwer - brewha - broohwer -go!

So we did.

*with apologies to Ylvis & 'The Fox' []

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