“To me, the word wisdom means ancient knowledge.
It’s the kind of knowledge you not only see but feel when you look into the eyes of an elephant or stop for a moment to marvel at the deep wrinkles on its skin, both of which I believe contain the truths learned from each intentional step their feet and those of their ancestors have placed upon the earth.”
― Molly Friedenfeld
When I was very young I loved a red plastic elephant called Ele, he stood on top of four bright yellow wheels and had a small loop at the end of his trunk with a string tied through it, with which to pull him along behind me wherever I went. My Dad painted his name in both English and Irish on both his flanks, Ele on the left side and Elí on the right side, in big white letters. When Ele and I got a little older, I cut a trapdoor with my Mom’s sharpest paring knife in the top of his back and stashed my secret childhood things within his cavernous belly.
Unlike many other people, I don’t get all excited about Christmas, Easter or New Year but I feel differently about my birthday. I think it’s a very auspicious day; another 365 days have past, a new cycle begins and there is opportunity for new beginnings and fresh starts, a time to reflect. All three of my brothers and my son live overseas and it’s often the special occasions when I miss them the most, that is why and my birthday this year was the best one I’ve had in a long long time because my big brother (T2) and lovely sister-in-law (M2) traveled all the way from Ireland to spend two weeks with Mr T and I and the most touching part of it all was that I got to spend my birthday with my loved ones and some very special friends in the beautiful Eastern Cape.
Good times with T2 and M2 at the Knysna Heads, Western Cape.
We spent three fabulous days with our special friends Mandy and Pete a.k.a Pete ‘n I, at their home in Sundays River, which is a stones throw from Addo National Elephant Park. Pete ‘n I outdid themselves, they carted us all around the park, packed picnics, made flasks of tea and coffee, cooked us wonderful braaivleis every single night and on Friday evening Mandy made me a special birthday dinner, not only that but she baked me twelve delicious and glittery beautiful cupcakes too! We celebrated in fine fashion with champagne and wine, laughing and chatting late into the evening until one by one, we finally fell into bed replete with glorious food and drink. Nothing was too much trouble for this generous couple.
Addo was a huge surprise for me, I have never seen a park so lush and green with flowers dotted everywhere, it has got to be the one of the most beautiful parks I have ever seen.
Buffalo enjoying the fresh morning air.
These guys are still in their pyjamas.
Heffalumps playing near a water hole.
Vervet monkey triplets, Mommy monkey sat close by watching to make sure they didnt get into too much mischief!
The only image I managed to get of a jackal pup hiding in the undergrowth and the strange loopy creature on the right is an ostrich looking for stones to swallow to help with her digestive process. I don’t own a zoom lens but Mandy was a darling and lent me hers, a Canon EF-S 55-250mm telephoto Zoom Lens to use in the park. I normally use a prime lens and I missed some good shots with Mandy’s lens because it took me at least half a day to remember that I could zoom the lens to get a better image!
M2 and T2 having a relaxing time at the rest camp, Mands and Pete cooked us a magnificent breakfast right there in the African bush.
Warthog, coming and going…
Ele cooling down.
I almost forgot, Pete ‘n I took us up the Sundays Rivers to show us the sand dunes and where the river flows into the sea, it was a tad windy but well worth seeing those gorgeous dunes.
Pete is well practised at casting his net into the river for fish…
Those naughty monkeys again.
Red necked spurfowl with her chicks and would you look at that purple thistle growing in the middle of an African plain?
Kudu female on the left and male with his magnificent horns on the right.
I have a soft spot for these tusked, wart faced piggies.
An adorable young heffalump playing in the muddy water.
Steppe Buzzard alert and looking for prey.
“Watch a human being walk through a bush, and it is a messy business. Watch an elephant encounter a thicket of twigs and thorns, and he seems to flow through it.”
Anthony Smith – Throw Out Two Hands
Life is short, be lekker