drinking water

Nervously drinking

We came across this scene. A rare one indeed. A group of zebra drinking while being watched but not chased away by 3 bull elephants. They did chase them eventually.

Two of the male zebra got into a disagreement shortly after this and had a full go at each other. I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time and shot a series of photos. The best of the series…

Zebra fighting

Zebra fighting

Adrian d'Blanco - Zebra fight2

Zebra fight 2

Adrian d'Blanco - Zebra fight3

Zebra fight – rearing up

It shows the explosive power and agility of these normal docile animals. Each photo looks ominous, yet not one ended in a “hit” as the other animal managed to move or pull away in time.

Important interaction

At the farm, the most important ingredient for us was our son interacting with nature and seeing farm animals. Doing reading in books and showing him things on television is one thing, but nothing will ever beat giving your child the opportunity to interact with nature.

DSC_1050This happened on all 3 days of our trip, when there was a chance and at Kududu, the owners had a lamb, possibly orphan and chickens. The chickens slept with the parrots in their cage at night.

As we walked around the place, we eventually came to the area where they were and some toys as well. Boeta walked past all these toys, directly to the lamb, which he now mimics, asking and pointing.

DSC_1055 DSC_1058 DSC_1065He then saw the chickens and parrots, jogged around to them.

DSC_1036 DSC_1080 DSC_1101He was so pleased with this find and even tried to give the chickens and the lamb some grass. The best part, seeing the little one’s eyes. They were full of wonder and excitement. Each time he saw another parrot, ran over to point and ask, then he saw the lamb again, like seeing it for the first time, jogged over to that side.

I think another important note to this little story is the fact that mom or dad was always there with him, sharing his joy, answering the questions, laughing with him and exploring with him. It is amazing how quickly he picks up when you are not invested in a process, even at 20 months, they recognize it immediately and it takes the shine off their excitement for sure.

DSC_1040 After properly examining everything and feeling confident he covered all the birds and one lamb, properly, he decided to go and investigate the toys around.

DSC_1071Then he saw the parrots again…we started all over. We have seen it over and over; nothing beats giving a young mind space to explore. If at all possible, getting them outside in real nature with the family, to enjoy and explore, cannot be overstated and you cannot put a monetary value on it.

Interesting 2014…wildlife.

Interesting 2014…wildlife.

We are at the end of the year 2014. Time to look back at the year, for the most part, we only started blogging a few months into the year, but still shared many of our findings. What would be the top finds? (We will add links to the full posts for those who has not seen it.)

What about the starfish we saw? Lovely to see one again.

92-DSC_0372The post about the bathing elephant still remain a favorite but it hails from an earlier visit.

DSC_0626-001In 05-DSC_0791August we saw more bathing elephants, we saw lots of elephants to be honest, all of them presenting different angles to these incredible animals.

Our Favorite remains the daycare with playing youngsters.

23-DSC_0423Finding the Black-backed Jackal drinking water one early morning presented a nice photo opportunity, but the plover attacking it made the opportunity unique.09-DSC_02408-DSC_0281One of the most unusual finds has to be the Caracal we saw, by pure luck again, giving a yawn as it got up. We seriously decided we could hardly do any better on that trip. 6-DSC_06661-DSC_0654More recently we got a nice shot of a male lion, which we liked.

DSC_0359On the same trip the 2 Giraffes that had a mock “love” fight and then made a mirror image were going to count under the best catches of the year.

DSC_0681 DSC_0678We loved the whales (mom and calf) playing in front of the house, mimicking each other.

18-DSC_0397We cannot leave out the Blue-headed Agama’s that returned to the garden…they are still here and offer lots of interest for the family.

2-DSC_0288 The Leopard Tortoise that walked into the garden and stayed up to now, we see him now and then, feeding on the grass.

11-DSC_0367.NEFThe Blesbok with the calf was a cute find.

DSC_0640 DSC_0638Photographing the dolphins hunting small fish at full speed made December already something to remember.

2-DSC_0134 08-DSC_0073But it culminated into the find of the year, just nudging the Caracal and the elephant babies, we would say, with the Cape clawless otter, such a rare find, maybe not fully understood by readers seeing them regularly, but for us in South Africa not that common, adding the fish for breakfast added the cherry on the cake.

DSC_0035e DSC_0070We saw and captured much more than just the few we mentioned above and each time was special, because Boeta shared in almost all, except if he was sleeping, but it is also always an honor to be able to see and experience nature as we are fortunate to do. You can see a full list of the fauna posts under the fauna page.

Here is hoping to see more of the same to share in 2015! Cannot wait. It is one of our greatest gifts to share it with Boeta and teach him about the wildlife we see, and he is enjoying it too, more and more, even started to talk softer as we look at something – very cute…and then loudly – THAAAAAT!! Hehe!

Experience nature

We have shown a few photos of our outing yesterday, lion and giraffe, but Boeta also got to roam around at applicable areas. He had lots of fun investigating stuff as we walked around. Here are some photos, ending with mom pointing to something in front of them. Daddy is fairly proud of this series of photos.

DSC_0219 DSC_0230e DSC_0234e DSC_0238e DSC_0240e DSC_0255e DSC_0261e DSC_0270e