acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

winter thrills

We are expecting guests today. visitors from the first world. So we
have been busy trying to make our living space ship shape. Its a good
thing we get the occasional visitor i think for this reason, and we
are forced to speak in real sentences instead of grunts and personal
code. The onset of guests also pushes us to Get Things Done that we
have been putting off. Yesterday we finally succeeded in getting a
Fireplace installed in the lounge. Every winter we have talked about
how nice this would be, as we huddle under blankets, wearing jackets
indoors and hiding from the biting wind. OK its not all our fault -
this area is famous for slowness.

 The motto should be 'never do today
what you can put off until next week'. When you phone someone to
support their business, you can hear in their voices that their knee
jerk reaction is to stall you. Quite often it is a case of 'give me
your number and i will call you back' - ha we dont fall for that one
any more. you can wait and wait and wait until the cows leave home for
the umpteeth time.

Another one is "how soon do you need this?" NEVER EVER SAY "oh its
not urgent" - its the same as saying "dont worry I am just calling
because I am lonely and wanted to chat to someone - anyone"

Anyhow, the fireplace is in, and has been fired up for the first time. I am so impressed i have taken some pictures of it from different angles. And then i took some more of my relatively tidy spaces because i was equally impressed with those. I might bore you with some.

Lately we have been having the best fun with the camera trap.  Its very interactive, and quite often things go wrong, so it keeps you thinking - but recently we have had some fabulous candid night shots. All along our main aim was to catch sight of the leopard. We see his tracks, we even hear him calling very occasionally - a sound like someone sawing wood; but its really hard to find leopards here amongst the granite boulders, and scrub bush - combined with the years of hunting and trapping that ended only quite recently.  We finally 'caught' a magnificent male leopard on camera at night, while we were snoozing at home.

The night creatures are strange AND mysterious.  And there is definitely something voyeuristic about the camera trap.  The hide in the dark for their own reasons, but we insist on blowing their cover!  My second best shot - or maybe my first best - or maybe its a tie - is the aardvark.  Look at those ears and those eye balls shining like diamonds.  They have sparse fir, and look a bit like mobile kiwi fruits with extraordinary heads and tails. They eat ants for goodness sake!  Thanks guys.

Then there are the exotic civets, hyenas, lions, shy bushbuck, stately kudu, baffled impalas and baboons being, well, baboons.


Diane said...

Wonderful photos. Enjoy the fire. We have had one installed in France and our lives have changed for ever. Diane

Lori ann said...

Hey! that is exactly what it takes for us to get those "must do's" done too.

Well done on the fireplace, it looks smart and efficient. And your kitchen looks like it's built for guests too, i love your blue table, i think i remember when you painted that? i was looking for monkeys out the window :)

Your camera trap is awesome, the photo turned out great of the Aardvark, i'll show Chuck tonite! i wonder did he get any ants near that rock? did i already tell you of a book about a camera trap on the Mexican border,it's of photos of the jaguar, they look (and probably behave) much like the leopard. i think you and K would like it.

great post Val, you can bore us with more photos anytime you like!

Kristin said...

Fabulous pics. I was just talking about your adventures with porcupines and I love both the aardvark and the baboon. The baboon is great.

pink dogwood said...

I know exactly what you mean. we had some cousins over in April and I cleaned the whole house and it felt so good. Funny what we do for others that we don't usually do for ourselves.

I love you fireplace. looking forwards to more treats courtsey of your camera trap.

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

I love those kinds of fireplaces that can be appreciated from any corner of the room. Lovely.

You have captured many amazing photos with and without your camera trap. I so enjoy them all!

e said...

You have a beautiful home and I know you'll enjoy the new fire place...Here it is sweltering...I could do with a bit of cold right about now.

Lori ann said...

Chuck says RAD! (and i think he mumbled "it's just not fair", you know he's dying to see an aardvark.

I don't know how i missed it, but i don't think i saw a porcupine when i was here earlier. i'm so glad i came back. and Kristin is right, that baboon is great.


Anonymous said...

love the pics and the fireplace is hot!!!

the cameratrap pic with the baboon is typical - almost human and just as inquisitive as a child


Anonymous said...

What's your prickly resident/visitor think of the fireplace??

Lauri said...

Love the night photos! And the fireplace. The way it's cold right now I think it might get lots of use.

Unknown said...

From this side of the world- I am totally caught up - daily to see what your posting. Thanks for such a wonderfully interesting site.
Miss Maisy

Val said...

Diane - yes i can see that a fireplace can change the world!

Lori - yes you did tell me about that book - i must look for it; the camera trap is addictive xx

Kristin - hehe yes that baboon is soo typical :-)

Val said...

pink dogwood - yes its so true - good that we do have visitors now and again!

Bonnie - i am learning to drive the fireplace - what makes smoke and what makes flame etc - so so nice on a cold winter night

e -i am enjoying the winter - here its about perfect, with beautiful sun and blue skies - just the shadows are icy cold...and the wind..

Angela said...

Ha, I am late but oh, LOVE your blog again and again! I nod to every comment, but hey, where is the leopard? Have I missed that one? The aardvark is the cutest little creature, and how he should be encouraged to come back and treat himself to more ants!
Now I know what your kitchen looks like, too. Can I come and sit with you? I`d eat anything of your guest-leftovers. But maybe I`ll wait till your cold times are over. Our heat here is so enjoyable at the moment! Hugs from Geli

Val said...

Lori - thanks for coming back! i meant to upload more but connection was/is haywire at the moment - leopard should have been there...maybe next time?

Janet - you have to love baboons when they do such nerdy things :-)
porcupine been a bit absent at the house, i think because we have been away so much, and broke the cycle; see the odd quill around tho so i think he still goes past

Lauri - ha the fireplace is earning its keep today!!

Miss Maisy - thanks for your visit and comment. where are you? am going to look

Angela - can you believe the aardvark - like a little space creature :-) yes yes come and chat!!

thanks everyone - xxxV

Unknown said...

Hi Val- We're in a little village in Upstate New York where the houses are all about 170 years old - our cottage is considered new ( built with love in 1930).
I love reading your site
thank you for allowing me into your world- it's incredible!
Miss Maisy

Anonymous said...

Grr...blogger ate my post.

Love the new fireplace. That will warm things up for sure and make the 1st World visitors comfy. Isn't it funny how we so often need that little bit of motivation to get stuff done.

The camera trap pics are wonderful - keep 'em coming.

Val said...

Miss Maisy - wow that sounds lovely!

Rob - the fireplace was just in the nick of time as it turned out ! very cold and windy today. 1st world visitors have continued on their adventure :-)


Unknown said...

We love our fireplace-old fashioned but very functional. Winter's here are very cold and we get anywhere from 2 to 4 feet of snow from the end of November to the end of March. I love winter for the reason of putting logs in the fireplace and keeping warm. Everyone gathers around it- which is the purpose - right?! Your home looks filled with love and I BET your going to get so much use from your fireplace.
Maggie in Beautiful New York State

Amanda Summer said...

hello val, geli encouraged me to visit so i'm following her advice! i've always wanted to know what it would be like to live near lions and elephants and now i can do so vicariously thanks to your wonderful blog -- these are fabulous photos (esp the baboon!! and the cats in your last post).....can't imagine how you get that close?

will be back!

Reya Mellicker said...

Wow. Amazing pictures. It's great to see your kitchen since, when I read your blog, I always feel like I'm sitting there next to you.

Camera trap!! So so cool.

Love your blog re-design as well. Enjoy the fire!!

karen said...

haha! I love the 'hurry up and wait' experiences - welcome to my world!! the porcupine is oh so beautiful - one of my favourite animals! Will have to come back on later to see the photos of the fireplace and so on, as they only are half showing (too slow here!)

Hope the visitors from first world were suitably impressed!!