Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Amur Falcon

Driving back from John and Debbie's home last weekend, I stopped to photograph the falcons sitting on the pivot. Like last year, I managed to get [reasonably] good photos of the male and only a fuzzy photo or two of the females. These latter are ironically prettier than the males which is not the norm in the avian world.




 The Amur falcon (Male)
 Then, lo and behold, a week later I popped up there again to see Debbie who'd not been well, and stopped on the road to photograph the female! 

 Amur Falcon (Female)

The Amur falcon male has white underwing coverts which are visible in flight. The male has uniform grey plumage and rufous underparts. He has an indistinct malar stripe. The female is a lot more striking with streaked underparts to chestnut belly. She has an even less prominent malar stripe. These birds are common non-breeding Palearctic migrants who travel enormous distances from Asia to the Eastern parts of Africa.  

I'm enjoying seeing them on powerlines in medium to largish flocks at the moment. 

I'm linking to Wild Bird Wednesday here

HAPPY WEDNESDAY TO YOU ALL!  








Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Walking around Winterton

This morning at 7 I arrived at my technical advisor, Clint's house on a small holding outside Winterton. I dropped my car off for repairs which were established when I put it through its COR/ roadworthy test ten days ago. 

Clint drove me back to town and dropped me a the beauty salon where my nail technician, Jessica treated me to a manicure and pedicure. 

 I walked out of Jessica's beauty salon feeling like a million dollars! 

Now... it was 9am and I had three and a half hours to while away. 

On foot...

First I walked up to the automated teller machine to deposit cash from the accommodation which I manage.   This is normally a simple process except that when I checked the "cardless services" screen there was no option to "deposit cash" It was still too early for the agency branch to open so I walked down the main street to the hotel to wash my hands and chat to the receptionist. 

And to while away more time...

Thirty minutes later I walked up the street to the ATM; checked the screen; still no option to "deposit cash" By now the agency office doors were open and I went in. There were two tellers and I was the third customer. Not a bad ratio. Uh-uh. I waited and waited while each respective teller seemed to have problems with the customers standing in front of them. Eventually the man in front of me was finished and I approached the counter. After greeting the young lady behind the grill, I told her the problem at the ATM. She looked at the teller in the booth next to her and asked her to go and sort out the machine. 

By now there was another customer behind me who wanted to deposit cash. So we both trundled outdoors to the ATM. I placed myself in front of the machine while the other man waited behind me. The screen now showed: "being serviced; please be patient"

Oooh! 

I stood back and read all the instructions on how to use this ATM and what services were available. I also read about how you should take great care when using the ATM; don't allow strangers to "assist" you; don't divulge your PIN and so on. The lady teller was inside the booth behind the machine and I could hear her doing things in there but the machine still wasn't working. 

Rather than stand and stare at the screen any longer, I decided to walk down the main street again and pop into our retail clothing outlet called PEP Stores . (if you can, do click on the link) 

It was the day before the start of the school year, so the place was humming with activity. I had all the time in the world, so I collected a pair of rubber gloves and walked to the end of the queue where I struck up a conversation with a young mother and two children waiting their turn. 

Leaving Pep, I stopped off at the local soap shop and had a chat with the proprietor, Benny. Further along the road, I stopped at the farmer's store where I bought fly bait. Living in the center of a dairy farm, and with the hot dry weather, flies are a problem. I don't use poisons but have always found the fly bait trap to be the safest, albeit smelliest, options. 

Arriving back at the bank ATM (remember this is at the top of the main street!), I checked the machine; still being serviced. I walked into the agency where one teller was chatting to the other customer and a third one who'd joined us in a quest to deposit money in the card machine. The other teller appeared from behind a heavy door (which obviously leads into the back of the teller machine where all the money is stored!) and said the machine was operable but there were no slips.

Oooh, er!  I specifically needed a slip. The first teller accompanied me to the ATM and watched while I made the cash deposit. When my transaction was complete, it gave me the option of viewing the amount. She used my smartphone and took a photo of the slip onscreen. It was very vague so she asked me to come indoors and she'd issue me with an old-fashioned written deposit slip which she would date with the bank stamp. 
 The automated bank receipt was far to fuzzy to be of use to me

*Sigh* Finally I had my deposit slip safely in my purse, bid the two ladies farewell, thanking them for their assistance and walked back down the main road. 

Half way down the street, I thought about blogger friend, Sandra (Madsnapper) who often entertains herself and later us on a post with the photos she takes while she's in town. I looked across the street and an rusty old car, covered in succulents and thought I should snap that. Then I remembered that in our travels through town, Grant and I had seen a sign in a back street which said: Wintertown Museum. At the time, we said we should pop in there sometime and check it out. 

We never did  so today I walked right up the main street, around two blocks and came across the museum. The curator was on her way into the garden and said I was welcome to browse and to remember to go upstairs to view more relics. After checking on the Anglo-Boer war display cases and reading the notices about old families who's descendants are still in the area, I climbed the steep steps to the loft above. The first thing I notices was an organ which is operated with bellows. When we were teenagers, my sister, Rose and I used to accompany the congregation on such an organ in a farm church. Succumbing to temptation today, I pumped the bellows and played a few cords. Within seconds a door to my right was flung open and a lady popped her head out. I looked up and said: the organ still plays...
  A bellows-operated organ
 A family tree framed and preserved
 A baby bath and carriage which looks so uncomfortable I was pleased it's outdated!
 I grew up with my mother reading the Woman's Weekly
 Ditto: Butterick patterns. My Mum made my sister and my clothes using these patterns.
 I wasn't sure whether the office lady would pop her head out of the door again and complain because I was taking photos, hence the blurriness of the Singer Sewing Machine - another relic from my childhood
 I remember my paternal Grandmother, Liza being a great fan of Cuticura remedies
 The old bottles made a nice photo op against the light of the window behind them
 I remember my Mum using Gillette's Javel bleach in glass bottles 
 Outside were farm implements from yesteryear and also Zulu huts and other artifacts
 I've lived in Africa for 65 years and never been inside a Zulu hut so I decided today was a good time to start!I'm 5' 4" short and had to bend double to take this photo
By now Clint had messaged me and said he was on his way. I took this photo of the farm machinery before hoofing it back  to the main street where I met Clint with my car 

I sent Estelle a Whatsapp saying I'd probably walked 15 km today. She replied with: Now you can miss three Parkruns! 

I'm linking this post to Our World Tuesday here

HAPPY TUESDAY TO YOU ALL!


 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

She's what?

Hi Bozo and Mum's blog readers, this is Ambrose; I need to post about something we kitties have discovered on Mum's laptop. 

A CREATURE! 

A KITTEN! 

We haven't seen it here at home and hope that never happens. We think it's at that place Mum goes to every day when she leaves us alone until late afternoon. 


Here: take a look and see what you all think...



 I can just imagine everyone saying AWWW 


We Hedges kitties have decided to like this little kitten as well. As long as it stays F A A A A R away from our place! 

For more cute pet posts, please click here