acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Saturday, October 2, 2010

saturday snippets

'it's a hot one – like seven inches from the midday sun' Santana

The words and tune are playing through my head today as the temperature pushes past 40C. Even the birds and monkeys are still, snoozing somewhere in the shady branches of a tree that still has leaves.

Talking of monkeys, they got into the kitchen again yesterday.  It was around midday and I was (ahem) reading a book, K was (ahem) watching the news.  They came in silently, in whisper mode. We didn't hear them, but when I walked into the kitchen it was clear that some monkey hands had found the rice, and the bag of onions left on the table cunningly concealed by a dishcloth.  Onions rolled around  aimlessly on the table and floor as if woken from a deep sleep too.

I think our monkeys have been in training, and have become an elite squad of special forces – the SAS of monkeys.  They case the joint from  all angles – through windows, and from rooftop vantage points.  They identify caches of food and plot routes in and out. Soft monkey feet move silently across the cement floor – using their long tails for balance they can leap onto a counter or table top, grab the targeted morsels, and move to the door again in one fluid motion.  Ninja monkeys. Thank heavens it is not the baboons.

The heat is bringing the frangipani trees into leaf, and some of the baby baobabs are showing tiny green dots at the end of their branches – like a slow motion conjurers trick. Warthogs are spending more time at the house, and last night a rhino walked by unseen, leaving large scalloped plates of footprints in the sand.  Have you heard about all the rhino poaching in southern Africa this year? It has been an onslaught – over two hundred rhinos killed for their horns this year alone.  In the past couple of weeks there have been some significant arrests of poachers. Although everyone is out on bail again pending court cases, at least there is some counter-action taking place at last.  Perhaps the rhinos have a chance to stay around a while longer.

The sky is dust haze white again, and the mountains have not been seen for days. The mopane trees that still have leaves have turned every shade of gold thru copper and bronze that glow richly in the late afternoon sun. It seems strange that we get our 'fall' colours just as we head into the extreme heat of summer.

The lovely Susan from   very kindly passed on this award to me recently. Thank you Susan! The Mermaid Gallery is a wonderful lively creative venue in beautiful British Columbia Canada. The name comes from that memorable Joni Mitchell classic song.  But let Susan tell you about it when you go to her blog. Go and  see what she has been up to with her inspirational artworks, and deliciously tempting etsy store.

  • To accept this award, you must post the award, thank me, (you're welcome)  and post the link back to this site.
  • Pay it back and pick a few blogs to receive the award and post links for their sites.
  • notify the winners that you have chosen them to receive the award....
There are so many fabulously inspiring and uplifting and downright fascinating blogs out there that i would like to throw this award out to all you guys. 

I would like to send it out to Mandi at Byrds Beautiful World where a group of photographers and lovers of landscapes each post different random photos from their worlds that celebrate the beauty they see around them. It really is a visual journey into the diverse and astounding nature of our beautiful planet. Do go and take a look.

And secondly to my friend Pam at Spiny Marshmallow , who is relatively new to blogworld but who comes armed with humour, creativity, original artworks, quirky photography and great insights in to her life in Zambia.

And also to Rob G of Rob G's World  who has recently made the move from Inukshuk Adventures blogspot to start a new blog to showcase his artistic talents.  If you didnt already know, do stop by and enjoy the creative process with Rob.

and to all of it ready?


Kristin said...

What a world. With temperatures so high, I'd be napping, too. Definitely too slow to catch ninja monkeys.

Lori ann said...

Maybe if you invited the monkeys in for tea and cake, they'd stop trying to sneak in...heehee.

Poachers make me cry. I HATE them. I wish there were zero tolerance for them. Get caught, go to jail. Forever. Or worse.

Congrats on the award Val, you deserve everyone there is. I love your blog.

x L

Val said...

kristin - hehe yes it certainly makes me feel sluggish; doesnt seem to make the special monkey forces slow down though :)

Lori -can you imagine a monkey tea party! there'd be some cleaning up to do after!!

ya, the poachers; lots of strong feeling here against them, but meanwhile we are losing Ndumu Game Reserve to land invaders and that hardly reaches the press :(

Thanks for your lovely comments - hope you take home an award for your blogs too xxxV

Anonymous said...

well deserved award Val.

I can see those monkeys in 3d through your descriptions!

Rhino poaching (any poaching) is horrific. I hope the perpetrators are convicted, the rest of the synidcates caught, and the whole lot are left to rot out in the blazing sun when some of their body parts have been hacked off. No ways I want my taxes to pay for them to be jailed!!!!

The Ndumo story is also horrific Val - I'm still reeling. It's going to get worse.

Other than that - have a fab rest of the weekend. Hugs to K


Anonymous said...

Hi there. I am from Malaysia and have been visiting your blog for awhile. Congrats on the award and on an interesting post. would love to hear more about the Monkey SAS.

Cheryl Cato said...

Ditto on all Lori Ann says! I love your monkey & other animal stories. It befuddles me that anyone will kill an animal just for it's horn or tusk or feet. I suppose extreme poverty spurs this, but greed inflames it!
My husband loved hearing the story of the thievin' monkeys.

Val said...

hi Janet - its a terrible feeling of helplessness - as someone once said 'saving rhinos is like trying to keep ice cubes in the lake' we though he was cynical but he does have a point. hope you are having a happy sunday too? x

Igsquirrel - hello Malaysia!! thanks for your visit - i am off to visit you next :)

Lizzy Frizzfrock - alas the main market for wildlife products seems to be the far east; the guys they employ here to do the risky dirty work rarely earn very much - but perhaps this is changing too. the whole effort seems to have become more sophisticated, organised and, well, intent. A bit like the monkeys round here too :)

happy sundays to you all xxxV

Vagabonde said...

I did not realize that it was so bad for the rhinos. I thought that my now security for them was much stronger. It is so sad. As long as people buy those horns then they will be hunted. I think pressure should be placed on the buyers too, given them fines and placing them in jails. As for your heat, I know what it is like. For over 85 days here in Georgia we had close to 40 C heat. My daughter called me from Los Angeles a couple of days ago and the temperature there was 113 F (45 C.)

Anonymous said...

Oh Val, you are too kind. For the wonderful and appreciated award, kind words and for the plug, I thank you.

Anonymous said...

What? 40C and beyond!!?? That's too hot. Oh dear me, I'm thinking that I may just wilt when I emerge from the plane in Joburg in a weeks time.

I love the tales of the mischievous monkeys - I remember well similar scenes at our cottage on the Natal South Coast. Naughty buggers, but amusing.

The poaching and Ndumu thing, upsets me so. I hope sanity will prevail.

On a lighter note, I love the mud job (paint job) that rhino is sporting!

Amanda Summer said...

that's heart-achingly sad about the rhinos---just sickening to hear this about such noble creatures..

but on a happier note congrats to you on your award val!! and yet another mindblowing story about monkeys, onions and your incredible life. love those ninja monkeys ;-)


Margaret said...

"Monkeys in my Kitchen and Elephants in the Yard". I think you should write a book. You live a very interesting life - and YES, poachers should be punished severely. Love your blog.

mermaid gallery said...

Always love hearing about your life Val....all those wonderful animals around to keep life so interesting. Poachers should be severely is too heartbreaking to know that people can be so cruel. I'm going to check out the deserving blogs now.....greetings to all your monkey buddies! best, Susan

Angela said...

I thought that since the invention of viagra no oriental man needed (bleah, what for, you buggers!) a "stimulating" horn anymore? They are all just dumb and crazy and ignorant and I wish somebody would TELL them! Janet, you have such lovely drastic words, you ought to!!
I wonder if anyone knows a blogger in China whom we could send a link of this blog to?
Val, your life REALLY is fascinating, and it gives us insight into a totally different world (to mine, and most others, I guess). Keep on writing, and yeah, MAKE THAT BOOK!

Rosaria Williams said...

Lovely interview, Val! Congratulations on the award! Good to see you on Facebook.