An elephant park should have elephants…and they really can’t be missed. Not a one in sight this particular day…but lots of birds…Mr. P…my avid birder husband incredibly happy and we really didn’t mind the absence of the mammoth pachyderms that the park was named after…Addo Elephant Park
Addo is a short journey we randomly make to embrace nature’s healing tonic…a respite from the day-to-day sameness and stress (although I haven’t been able to figure out how two retired people can get themselves stressed🤣)
Morning is our preferred time…although coffee is always a required first event…
A flock of Red-Necked Spur Fowl…although in the morning light they appeared more orange than red… there appears to be a great deal of geographical variation…a gamebird in the pheasant family, a common resident here…but a first sighting in Addo. This is a male…he has two leg spurs and the female only has one (Mr. P will be so proud that I know that. He will make a “birder” out of me yet)
I can almost hear the zebra listening to the red billed oxpecker’s sales pitch of “hey, I’ll eat your ticks and parasites AND I’ll be your watchman for potential dangers too…all for the price of a tick or two” and thinking…”hmmm, yeah, right”. The Oxpecker lives in a symbiotic relationship with large mammalian herbivores…I’ve usually seen them on rhinos and water buffalo…this was a first.
Morning Meditation anyone…peaceful “grey ghost” Kudu…often materializing and vanishing quietly and swiftly …mature spiral-horned antelope, not a deer…I was corrected quite a few times before I got it right, more times than not…deer in the US and antelope in Africa…these horns take 6 years to grow and complete the two full turns…
“The greater kudu, with his massive yet delicate spirals of deep nutmeg brown, tipped with almost translucent ivory, seems to me the handsomest.”Peter Hathaway Capstick, Safari, The Last Adventure
Very common but still exquisite in my eyes …The Namaqua Dove or the Long Tailed Dove/Cape Dove …although a tiny sparrow sized pigeon a beautiful long tapered tail …0nly averaging 22 cm (8 inches) and 40g …an adult male with its yellow and red beak and black face, throat and neck …the female doesn’t have the black and a red based grey bill …possibly sitting on a nest …the female sitting at night and early morning while the male incubates the eggs from midmorning to late afternoon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namaqua_dove
So reminded me of some long-legged beauty …believe that this is a female …she definitely has the attitude of one beautiful lady…hiding her enchanting appearance though the dumpy brown plumage with its greyish brown legs and toes …but when she flies …her beauty is revealed with bold white patches on her wings…
A incredible day …it is always an adventure when we take the drive …listen to the immense quiet …savoring the wide-open spaces …inhaling the different smells as we travel through different biomes …Addo has 5 …it is rather heady …the succulents …the sweet grasses and herby fragrances that inundate the nose when the windows are opened to Mother Nature …the pungent elephant dung even reminds of the circle of life …
Boys will be boys🤣
“Africa is mystic; it is wild; it is a sweltering inferno; it is a photographer’s paradise, a hunter’s Valhalla, an escapist’s Utopia. It is what you will, and it withstands all interpretations. It is the last vestige of a dead world or the cradle of a shiny new one. To a lot of people, as to myself, it is just home.”
I send you love and laughter …a peaceful heart …wrapped with the magic of life❣
Another beautiful post! The photographs are gorgeous.
Thank you so much!! Your comments are so appreciated.