Friday, July 31, 2015

Sunrise in other forms

Traveling to the city earlier this week, I captured the sun rising in the mirror, on a house window and on vehicles on the road. 

I'm linking to Skywatch Friday here

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Good fences, necessary barriers

I was in the city on Tuesday  for my annual medical check-up. It's now mid-winter in South Africa and was still pitch dark when we glided onto the N1 Highway. 
I grabbed my camera and snapped...
29 minutes later we drove through the Toll gate

I'm linking to Good Fences Thursday here

Here's wishing you all a very happy Thursday.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Crested Barbet

This post is done with apologies. 

On  Monday I decided to video a Crested Barbet at its early morning song. With the bird perched ever so high in a Syringa tree, I had no lean for my elbows as I recorded this bird's call. I hope you can look past the shakiness and enjoy the Barbet's vibrating bill and chest while it called out the early morning greeting. 

The Crested Barbet's  yellow face speckled with red; black crest and chest band make it easily identifiable. It's the largest barbet in the area. Its call is a loud and sustained unmusical trill: t-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r likened to an alarm clock. 

I'm linking to World Bird Wednesday here

Have a great day! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bib for Baby Liam

Last week I saw a knitting pattern online for a baby's bib. It's knitted in garter stitch (all plain rows) and can be completed in two hours. I had yarn and needles and started immediately. 

I knitted 3 cm and then became involved in computer work. Rina sat in the sun near me and shortly she asked if she could continue knitting the bib. I said yes, and within an hour and a half, she'd finished the article! With a button hole on one side of the neck strap and the button on the other, the bib was ready to be worn. 

We walked over to Amanda who was in the nursery; Liam had just woken up from his afternoon nap. 
Darling Liam just awoken, but interested in what three women were up to! 
How do I look? 
I was interested to see that the yarn had been dyed and balled by women from an economically depressed rural area in South Africa

I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here

Monday, July 27, 2015

Puzzle solved!

Several weeks ago I posted about a jigsaw puzzle that Rina built - right to the last piece, which was missing. I took photos of the box, the puzzle made up of 1499 pieces and e-mailed them to the book club where I'd bought it. I've been a member of this particular book club for two decades and knew they would put things right. 

Two weeks ago a parcel arrived by snail mail: it was a complete puzzle. Rina just had to find the piece, after which I'd parcel up the puzzle (this one now containing 1499 pieces LOL!) and send it back to the book club. 

Rina sat near a sunny window with a tray on her lap.
 Within half an hour she'd found the errant piece...the one on the right! 
Finally, the puzzle is completed! 

Because Rina almost single-handedly built this puzzle (I remember building some of the gazebo roof), we said she should hang it in her bedroom. Grant built the frame, we all slid the puzzle onto the Masonite backing, and Grant finished the product. 
It suits the space above her bed
Another masterpiece 

To end this post, here's a video of Skabenga enjoying the warm paving bricks on our patio yesterday morning. If you listen carefully, you can hear grandchildren playing in the garden next door! 

Here's wishing you all a wonderful week ahead. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The other cats...

Hi Bozo and all Mum's blog readers; this is Ambrose posting about "the other cats" in our the Hedges Kitty Household. 
Cousin Tipsy sleeping on the green couch with Mum; we're not in the same room - we're asleep in bedroom at this time!

Aunt Chappie resting on the patio chairs 

For more cute posts about pets, please click here

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Saturday critters July 2015

Stopping at the One-Stop (rest rooms, shop and fuel station) outside the city, I snapped the geese in an enclosure
On closure inspection, we noticed that the birds had a green sheen on their chest feathers - 
Grant thought it might be the dam they swim in (not visible) 

 I tried to capture cattle along the road from the city. 
Windmills are common in the Free State

Beasts grazing on the side of the road

Back in Marquard we passed a house where there were two little dogs in the street. We give our pets extra love and care because of other animals who aren't so privileged
Across the road a rooster strutted out of the grass
A handsome fellow! 
As I wrote this post, privileged pup, Skabenga lies on his blanky in the sun near my computer
 He fell asleep with his striped mouse in his mouth ! 

I'm linking to Saturday Critters with Eileen, here

May you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Sunrise reflected

A rosy dawn glow over the township bordering Winburg 
(This image is taken through the  car window)

The sun appears just under the bridge as we pass through 
(This, and the next images were taken in the side mirror) 

Further along, the sun seems a little lower - still beautiful

And a huge orb preparing to light the world for another day! 

I'm linking to Skywatch Friday here

Happy Friday to you all! 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Good fences, good city

On Tuesday while in the city, I took snaps of the fences and walls surrounding the homes as we passed. 

South Africa has many wide-open spaces - even in city suburbia. This shot is of pillars and palisades surrounding a large open tract of ground before the houses which are barely visible in the background (all behind their OWN fences) 

These houses were built years before the National Freeway - the N1 between Johannesburg and Cape town. Now they have to contend with traffic noise and pollution
Another suburb of houses along the National Freeway
Then the closer to the freeway, the higher the security

This section of residences are duplex houses all the same (reminded me of the song: Little Boxes, little boxes...

Crossing the flyover which spans the N1,  with another bridge in the near distance

Bloemfontein, although a large city only has two skyscrapers! 

Bloemfontein is the capital city of the Free State province, and the judicial capital of the nation; one of three capitals of South Africa; Cape Town is the legislative capital while Pretoria is the administrative capital. 

I'm linking to Good Fences Thursday here

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cape Robin-chat

This Robin-chat is always in the garden - summer and winter; from early morning till after dark. 
Cape Robin-chat
The Cape Robin-chat eats beetles, ants, moths and caterpillars - occasionally fruit

Cape Robin-chat's call is distinctively guttural: wur-de-dur

I'm linking to Wild Bird Wednesday here

Happy Wednesday to you all!

Modern Dad

Angus on the way home next door from our house 

I'm linking to Wordless Wednesday here

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

My world in SA continues...

While we're at home, I've the opportunity to raise and train our new Labrador pup, Skabenga. He's come up trumps with every aspect of obedience and is almost fully house-trained. He'll probably eventually sleep in the laundry with the door ajar, but that's a few months hence yet. 

Meanwhile, at ten weeks (he's now 11 weeks old) he was due for his next inoculations. We collected the injection from the vet en route Welkom to Marquard last week. Yesterday, with Grant holding him under his arm, (and looking the other way, the ninny!) I inserted the needle under  Skabenga's neck skin and injected the meds into him. Not a peep out of the little dog! 

Of course, with Grant holding Skabenga and Rina squeezing her eyes shut, there was no-one to photograph me injecting the pup! 
Skabenga's veterinary records; I tear the strip off the little vial and paste it into the book  

Was I a good boy when I got my 'jections Mum? 

Skabenga is rewarded for any good obedient deed.  I say "Good boy", pat his head and then I clap my hands. (fortunately the neighbors know me, LOL).  I find this method teaches a dog listen to you,  to be obedient and to rise to the occasion (as it were) every time I, his handler, expect it.  I bought a treat tin at the vets in Senekal; the biscuits rattle when I shake the holder. Skabenga took about two minutes to realize what this tin means! 

A little tin of treats which I bought at the vets in Senekal

When the treats became less, I Googled recipes for homemade dog treats. Although on the tin you see that these treats were "wheat free", I found very healthy-sounding dog treats in an easy recipe. 
 Homemade doggie treats 

The biscuits contain whole wheat flour, wheat germ, melted bacon fat, egg and cold water. 

Rina and I rolled the first batch  into small kibble-size balls. She pricked each one several times with a toothpick (often resembling a face!) and I baked them in a hot oven for 20 minutes. 

When baked and cooled, Grant and I tasted one... we found them delicious. 

The dogs? They LOVED them. 

While we were in Welkom, Rina and I looked in all the kitchenware shops for a cookie cutter shaped like a dog bone. No luck. I asked Grant to make me a dog-bone shaped cookie cutter. 

The next batch of dough, I rolled out and cut each one with the cookie cutter.
The raw dough cut out to look like dog bones! 

Baked to brown deliciousness! 

An instant success!

Later when I worked out the cost of baking these treats, they will be far cheaper than the commercial variety which I give Megan and Eddy with as bed-time treats. 

I'm linking to Our World Tuesday here

Happy Tuesday everybody!