Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dassies and Duiker

Hannah headed over to Rachel’s bed this morning to watch the rock rabbits outside her window.
They come really close to the house and don’t seem to be too worried about having people around. They make a huge mess on the veranda every night.
The first time Hannah saw one yesterday she said it looked like a little bear. A very good description.
It did not take them long to get down to the pool this morning. I stayed at the house while Hezekiah slept and once he was up and fed we headed down to the pool to join them. Hannah wanted me to take a photo of her "putting her face in the water". Good job Hannah.
Hezekiah was happy with the water temperature today and had a great time in the pool.

They had all been swimming for quite a while by the time we got there so it was not a surprise to see Ruth having some fun at the play ground area. Grandpa giving her a nice big swing.
Rachel had a great time playing in the pool with Uncle Frank. The girls are all forming such a special bond with him.
It was incredibly hot again today and so eventually we just let Hezekiah go without a shirt. He still has a little bit of a rash on his chest from all the drool so we have to keep a bib on to try keep it dry and to keep him from scratching it.
Uncle Trevor bought him some droe worse to chew on as those teeth have really been worrying him lately. Such a typical South African “teething ring”. He only pulled a face for the first few seconds and quickly decided (as most SA kids do) that it tastes good.
Aunty Joan had bought Fizzas – so the girls all got their first taste of that today. Ruth was the one that really enjoyed them and had fun stretching it the way I remember doing when I was a child.
This hornbill came into the trees at our camp this afternoon. Not as colourful as the one we saw yesterday but still lovely.

Back to the pool after lunch. Thankfully there is a nice big step for Hannah to play on. Ruth is loving having the wings and flippers from her cousins as she can now swim all over the pool on her own.
Hannah made huge progress this afternoon. She started off by heading out with Dad and slowly he encouraged her to let go of her grip on him. Eventually she was swimming on her own – realizing how well the wings keep her up. When I was with her later in the afternoon we had so much fun “dancing” together (and she put her head back nicely too).
I took Hezekiah up to the house when he got tired and was surprised to see these two Duiker right next to the path. It was wonderful to get such a lovely photo of them – just meters away from me. Hezekiah did well to keep quiet and not frighten them away.
Brendon came up to swap with me so I could head down and get a few more photos. Rachel has been practicing her diving – so I got a shot of her progress. The huge achievement here is the fact that she is getting her face in. She normally jumps in where she knows she will not go under. So well done Rachel.
This is a photo from the late afternoon swimming time. Hours of fun here today.
Ruth has been doing so well that I encouraged her to try without the wings. Her legs are getting so much stronger and she is really enjoying swimming with the flippers.
After the swim dinner got started and we were all even more surprised when this duiker came right across the patio.
Trevor letting Ruth help with the potjie. I have a photo of Trevor with Rachel at a potjie when she was this age.

We did not have a blanket with us at Bush camp (where we join the rest of the family for meals) when Hezekiah needed a nap (he likes playing with a blanket by his face before he sleeps) so Brendon gave him his shirt. It was so cute to see how quickly he found the label to play with.
Brendon then taught the girls how to play leggie. This was a Buckland favourite for Sunday’s after lunch. I remember when Brendon and I were still dating how this was played every time the family was together. I think Michael (Brendon’s nephew) must have been a major reason it was played. He is too old for it now I suppose and will be the one Buckland family member not joining us this week.
This evening Brendon, Rachel and Ruth joined 7 others from our party on a night ride. Hannah was too young (normally only children over 6) and it was far too late for her too. They only left at 7:30pm and were back well after 10. It was not the most successful night ride – but I don’t think many are. They did get to see a lot of jackal but the special sighting (a first for the ranger) was an aardvark. I am so glad they got to do it though. I remember the one that I went on many years ago and although I don’t remember anything of what we saw – the experience itself is a special memory.

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