December 2009 - Sue & Gordon's Notebook

 The arrival of the egyptian geese heralded the start of our summer rains and what a delight it has been to see the result. The bright emerald green of the bush and the rapid growth has been amazing.



The wildebeest and impala have started to calve and we are seeing these little ones taking their first wobbly steps into the world. Another junior visitor to the waterhole is a very young elephant who has a distinctive kink in its tail. He hasn’t mastered the use of his trunk yet so waves it and his head wildly and smacks the water in frustration.


Baby elephant

Now that the fence in front of our house is down the animals are all getting more and more brave, as well as inquisitive, in exploring the grass next to our deck.It is so exciting to see everything grazing so close to the house.


One ele decided that not only was the swimming pool water MUCH more tasty than the waterhole but also the trees on the deck were planted solely for his culinary pleasure. After pulling down one branch he needed to be persuaded to move off and try the reserve’s trees instead!



Whilst baboons and their antics are cute to watch at a distance they are a nuisance and very destructive when they get into camp. We watched as a large male drank at the waterhole, sauntered across to the house and jumped onto the deck. Gordon flung open the door to yell at him which resulted in this fellow getting such a fright he fell into our swimming pool. After swimming frantically to the the other side he high tailed around the side of the house for safety only to find Zazu and Mufasa. They took great offence at this hairy fairy in their space and flew at him snarling and barking.



In desperation he baled over the grass mound onto the lodge lawn and raced past guests who were sitting down to afternoon tea in the breezeway. This has to have been one of the funniest baboon deterrents yet!


As you know we are blessed with amazing birdlife at the lodge whilst working in the office at home I heard the sound of klinking glasses and the sweetest bird song. As I put my head around the corner I saw two Mocking Cliff Chats standing on the shelves at the bar whistling and singing at their reflection in the mirror behind. I couldn’t understand where they got in until it was time for them to leave and they flew out of a hole in our leadwood front door! How they worked out that they would fit is a mystery as they fly in and out at speed.


The weavers are hard at work making their nests in trees all around the lodge and whilst they are rather messy they are fascinating to watch. The dexterity with which they weave out using grass and strips of leaves is amazing.


Falkor, our Persian/chinchilla cross, very proudly deposited a “present” on my lap the other night. It was the most beautiful and delicate butterfly like creature. The colour was an exquisite green and looked to be make out of filigree. Stefan tells me it is a Lunar Moth and is only seen seven days in the year. This is the first time we have ever seen one and I am only sorry that I didn’t photograph it. We were more concerned about releasing it outside, well away from Falkor’s predatory grasp!



Our summer days are gloriously sunny, hot and bright with the new green from the rain. The waterhole is having great visits from all types of animals. We are thrilled at the very regular visits of a brown hyena who walks past the house on the way to and from the waterhole. He is very relaxed with life it seems!


Wishing you and your families the Happiest of Holidays.
May the festive season be filled with laughter and 2010 bring all you wish for yourselves.


Hope to see you soon,
Gordon, Sue and the Bush House Family