acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

cubs and cushions - a pool party

the proud parents

Here we are ankle deep in the new year already. This one is showing all the signs of being the V8 version of the 2009 model – with overdrive. Hopefully the suspension has been improved as well. So far, the aesthetics are very pleasing although it has yet to be tested in heavy rain, and our rainy season is almost through.

This past week has been dominated by lion visits. Heralded by baboon alarm calls from the granite koppies, the pride seems to have taken to whiling away its free time in the area between our water tank and the guest cottage. The cubs are big now, and at that enquiring age. They have been venturing into the thatched lapa next to our pool, finding treasures, and returning triumphantly to the long grass to impress their siblings.

It began with a large cushion – dragged into a nest of teeth and claws where the victor tried and failed to possess his kill. The cushion, an old friend, provided an hour or two of distraction and entertainment for the young lions. They pulled, and dragged, and shook and squabbled over it until finally it burst sending sprays of disintegrated foam into the air. There was a bout of sneezing whereupon another cub could seize the quarry and race off with its remaining rags.

the cushion finally explodes

They went back for more, finding an empty bottle of hth pool acid. This was carried back like a grand prize, and munched on happily. Prizes had greater value if they were of interest to another. And so it went on, they have now destroyed several of the large cushions, fished another pool thingy out of the water; ravaged the exercise machine and started on the wooden bowls on the table. I took some paparazzi style photos in the early morning light, through long grass, and around corners, to give you some idea of the fun and games.


As they started moving off we went back to the house. The four big cubs followed and watched us through the window for five minutes, before heeding the calls of their elders.


It was probably time for new cushions anyhow, and the cubs will grow out of this phase soon enough.


Anonymous said...

OMF&^%k - how exciting!
Ja, I suppose this is the opportunity to do some re-decorating . . . ! The next fabric will be Chainmail no doubt.

They are toooooo cute Val even if their visit might have been a tad nerve wracking. K must have been thrilled to bits(pun intended hehehe)

The pics are fab and I love the new monkey pic

This is a far cry from the tedious boredom at my desk. I'm so glad I can share some of your excitement

Janelle said...

heh he heh! brilliant! love it. xxx j

Angela said...

I hope the last acid drops didn`t burn their tongues. What amazing photos! Really, like boisterous children, and then looking innocent!
I was looking round my house what lion toys I could send you. Paco`s old blanket? Cardboard boxes? Stuffed animals? You`ve really got the most unusual visitors, of ALL! We only have some crows. I wonder how the rest survive, in this snow, the foxes and marters and deer. Well, if we ALSO had lions, they wouldn`t I guess.
Great post, Val, as always!

Miss Footloose said...

What a wonderful post! Makes me itchy to get on a plane again, especially down your way, a part of Africa I haven't been to (unless you count 3 days in Harare).

Hope the lion cubs didn't ingest any of the cushion foam! What a fun thing to be watching right outside your own house. I'm watching deer and squirrels ;)

Miss Footloose said...

P.S. I didn't mean to suggest that Harare is in Botswana ... ;)

Lori ann said...

hahahaha! heehheeehee!

sorry, they are so funny and mischeivious i can't help it. fantastic Val, i would be glad they ate up the exercise equipment, i would have thrown them the vacume cleaner too. ☺ ☺ ☺

i can't wait to show this to chuck, you know he always says, this is NOT fair! hahahaha!

well done on the photos, fantastic post!
lots love,

Fire Byrd said...

Aaaaaawwwwww! I want one to cuddle, especially the last one peeping over the rocks.
What a wonderful juxtaposition the danger and destruction of lions with the playfulness and sweetness of them.

Kerry said...

OH BOY!! The excitement, beauty, and sheer wonder of where you amazing. When you step out your door I bet you have to look in all directions before venturing further.

Anonymous said...

Oh goodness me. Talk about close to home - they couldn't get any closer. What an exhilarating experience and worth the cost of a few worn out cushions etc. Besides that colour was so last decade! He, he.

Wonderful post n pics Val.

Word veri = gamers

Reya Mellicker said...

Oh. My. God.

The pics are amazing as always and you're so light hearted and humorous about it, but I would be completely unhinged with all those huge cats all around.

You have nerves of steel! Wow!!

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Val - This is simply amazing, exciting and a little frightening! How do you ever feel safe outside?

I am just so intrigued by your lifestyle - and so jealous that you have all these beautiful creatures on your doorstep!!!

Thank you so much for posting this. I called my husband over to take a look!! Simply amazing.

Off to buy new cushions, now?

Val said...

Janet - oh yes - been having lots of fun with those guys last few days !

Janelle - me too! :-)

Geli - was a bit worried about that but it didnt seem to worry them. As for lion toys - pretty much anything will do!

Miss footloose - yes i hope so too but i imagine its quite hard to swallow?

Lori Ann - it was such fun watching them - and well worth the bait..

Fire Byrd - I dont think so! if you saw what happened to that cushion..

Kerry - yes i do -especialy when these guys are around

Rob - even older i think...

Reya - well i dont know about the nerves of steel, it is just a wonderous thing - and we are pretty careful

Bonnie - well i dont see myself snoozing at the pool for a while... probably till these guys grow out of this phase..

thanks for your visits and comments all - have a wonderfl day wherever you are - and blog on xxx

Kelly Lovegrove said...

Wow Vallie those are amazing pics! Wish I was with you guys!
Think I would be staying in the house though they are BIG cubs!!
Lots of love to you both! Belles xoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

karen said...

wow, just beautiful photos, Val - it must be so tempting to just watch lion cubs all day long!! That last photo is my favourite :)

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Hi Val - thought I should let you know I just did a little post telling people how wonderful your blog is. Hope that is all right??

Expat From Hell said...

I am here due to Bonnie's kind post. What a great addition to my blog readings...! Thanks for taking the time (and the great pictures). I will be back again! EFH

Wanda..... said...

Oh My!...and I thought my squirrels gave me problems stealing from my garden!

I came here here from Bonnie's...

Val said...

hi Belles - hehe yes they only just qualify as cubs now and not for much longer! xxxxxxx

karen - well of course we have to spend a lot fo time watching when lions are here...research you know :-)

Bonnie - you are too kind! i am so glad you like the post, and am hugely honoured to be mentioned on your wonderful blog! wow thank you

Expat from Hell - hello and welcome. thanks for the visit. i am off to yours now

Wanda - we have squirrels too but they are a whole other scenario! thanks for coming to visit and leaving your mark!

Thanks everyone for your visits and messages - lions just have a whole superstar aura about them - whatever they do, but these big cubs are the most fun, xxxV

Stacey J. Warner said...

Val, I just found you from Bonnie's blog. So glad I did. What a wonderful life you live...

much love

Vicky said...

Oh yes, having a shout out from Bonnie will bring us over to you in force! And you, do not disappoint!! Oh my cow!! Was not expecting such a magnificent sight... and in your back yard? Wow! Wait till I show my boys! Thank you for sharing... gives a whole new meaning to "pool safety" now doesn't it!

Vagabonde said...

Val I just love these lions pictures. The last one is so cute – it certainly is a feline. After looking at your blog and your lions for a few months it made me itchy to see some “an naturel.” I just booked a trip to West Palm Beach in Florida for my husband’s birthday (in 3 weeks) where they have a “lion safari.” Their site shows the lions roaming free and you can take a slow ride in the park to look at them. It is a long way from what you experience, but at least we’ll see some lions close. As usual, your post is splendid and makes me dream. I would not have thought of going to Florida to watch lions if it were not for your lovely blog.

Nancy said...

How wonderfully exciting and scary! The last picture was utterly adorable.

Lauri said...

These are fantastic photos! Great.

Anne said...

I came back to follow you. I hope you received my response to your blog. If not, I just wanted to tell you again. Wow!Wow! WoW! Wish I was there with you up close and personal. I have always had a fascination with Lions every since childhood. I read every book I could get my hands on to learn all about Lions. As an adult, I have a lion picture hanging on a wall in my house. So as you can see, I just love it!
I came from Bonnie.
Thanks so much for sharing. I will be back.

Sarah Laurence said...

Bonnie @ Original Art Studio sent me over to take a peak at your blog, and I’m so happy to connect with you. I see that we are both writer/artists. I also know Aerial Armadillo, Windy Skies and hazy moon. Such a small blog world!

What a delight to have wildlife as neighbors, although a bit rough on your cushions! I love how you took this all in stride (in pride?) I’ve spent time in Kenya and Tanzania, and now I want to see Botswana. Following you is clearly the next best thing. You’ve warmed the chill from my cold fingers. Thank you!

kathryn said...

Hey! I've stopped by via Bonnie Original Art Studio.

Fabulous writing here! And this post? Well. I'd like to say I've seen something equivalent to this in my backyard...but I don't think a pheasant or wild turkey would impress.

I'm sorry, but they would scare the crap out of me! And what if they go home and tell their friends about all your goodies? You could have tour buses of 'em cruising by for a look-see!


Barbara said...

Hi! I'm here via Bonnie, at Original Art Studio. And she wasn't wrong! I absolutely love your blog! Oh, the lions....and the pictures. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful piece of the world and for your lyrical way of seeing it.

Barbara said...

PS. I'm happily following you!

Val said...

dear all - thank you so much for visiting and commenting; i am thrilled by your responses to this one. I want to visit everyone, but my internet started freaking out - opening multiple pages at once, Has this happened to anyone else? so am a bit wary of going back, but will get there slowly - one at a time then .

the lions have moved off, but i am missing them already. it was a fun visit! hopefully they will be bak again soon. (my letter 'c' is also not working properly....whats going on?)

thanks again and happy blogging to all xxxv

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Fascinating. And much more interesting than the squirrels that frequent my back yar.

The pale observer said...

Wow!!! Living in West Africa we never have such exciting guests. The most exotic things are mosquitos!!!

Love the photos as well. Excellent :)

Charl said...

a Great story and lovely pictures Val. Sure miss Africa and living in the wilds.

Marilynne said...

I love your blog so much! Imagine having lion cubs steal your pool cushions - and photographing it too.

Jenny said...

How totally fascinating. I'm a new follower. I'll be back. This is really, really amazing.

mermaid gallery said...

Wow! They aren't shy at all. We have cougars in the woods around us and we never see them. You live in a fascinating place. I'm astounded!

Angela said...

Has nobody given Val the Blog of Note yet?
Val, make a movie of your life! is all I can repeat over and over!

Sandy said...

OMG so much fun! For you and for the cats!

日月神教-向左使 said...