Friday, August 18, 2017


While traveling to our breakfast run last Saturday, Grant stopped so that I could photograph a farm name along the road. I was interested as I had grown up in the Eastern Highlands of Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe today) The Chimanimani moutains are a beautiful range of mountains quite close to where we lived. Years later a general manager of the mill where my dad worked, bought a house in Pietermaritzburg and named in Chimanimani. And this is why Grant stopped - was this the same person (or his descendants) who'd since sold their suburban home and settled in the Kwa Zulu Natal midlands? 

For more  beautiful sky images, please click here

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Saturday through Thursday!

Last Saturday Grant and I didn't take part in the Parkrun; instead we met biking friends of ours for a breakfast run at the Nottingham Road Hotel in a village by the same name. 

Many years ago when Grant and I stayed at this same hotel, we queried the fact that they didn't have off-street parking for our [then] Harley Davidson Sportster. The sweet young receptionist said no problem, bring your Harley into the foyer and park it here. 

Which Grant did with a great roar of exhausts and throttle. Just then about half a dozen farmers rushed out of the pub and said if a Harley can be parked in the hotel, they want to park their farm pick-up trucks there as well! 
Grant, Jo, Jo and Lee 

On Tuesday I joined my hiking friends on a long walk along Porcupine Ridge to the Garden of Eden and back to our starting point. (12km) There was plenty of climbing (and getting your heart rate up), lots of descent and of course, a beautiful stop for tea at Cathkin Dam. 
 Cathkin Dam with Champagne Castle peaking out in the distance 
 One of the many steep inclines on our walk

After the hike, two friends gave me a lift to Grant;s workshop and later on we came home up on the hill. Then on Tuesday evening, while in the large house, I rounded the corner past my deep freeze too quickly, my right foot slipped out under me and I flew across the concrete floor. When I got up, I realized I had hurt my knee and calf muscles with the fall. Sure enough, during the night, I expienced excrutiating pain in my upper right leg, the pain was a little less in the knee and then spasmed awfully in the calf muscles. Yesterday morning, friend Estelle took me our local paramedics in the Valley. They prodded and felt and asked where it pained. The diagnosis was that I'd stretched (torn?) the muscles above my knee which cause severed pain in the calf muscles. 

The paramedics gave me Voltaren tabs to take and also strapped up my leg which gave me immediate relief. 

Great hilarity when we arrived at Steve and Estelle when Steve brought out his late mother's walker to use from the car to the house. 
Moi with the walking frame 

So I'm such a nutter: I hike up, down and along strenous mountain paths; I do the Parkrun every week but walking through the house, I slip and damage my leg/calf. Remember how I injured my foot about a month ago slipping off packing crates and sitting on my foot on the floor? 



Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Southern Bald Ibis

One of a small flock of Southern Bald Ibis in the fields next door

The southern bald ibis (Geronticus calvus) is a large bird found in open grassland or semi-desert in the mountains of southern Africa. As a species, it has a very restricted homerange, limited to the southern tips of South Africa in highland and mountainous regions.
This large, glossy, blue-black ibis has an unfeathered red face and head, and a long, decurved red bill. It breeds colonially on and amongst rocks and on cliffs, laying two or three eggs which are incubated for 21 days before hatching. It is a large bird that feeds and roosts in substantial groups. It feeds on insects, small reptiles, rodents and small birds. They do little vocalizing other than occasional gobbling sounds.
Please visit Wild Bird Wednesday here