Monday, August 2, 2010

last thoughts from capetown before AZ

a couple of things we forgot yesterday -- (1) we could see the milky way (not to mention other stars) rather amazingly well from the mts., but unfortunately the cameras would not oblige; (2) we had ostrich last night for dinner and it was very good....

Sunday, August 1, 2010

four sorts of antelope

back from anysberg

I am going to keep this short, since it's after midnight and we are wicked tired, plus leaving tomorrow night to try to get to Arizona. We are back from Anysberg tonight. The work was productive, and it was not too cold at night (more so in the mornings). We saw much of what we had been seeing previously, w/ regard to animals -- baboons, lots of ostrich, jackels calling every night (and we finally saw one this morning - see photo) and birds that did not want to be photographed, plus lots of types of antelope, inc. oryx, springbok, etc. We saw many meerkat holes, but no meerkat; likewise aardvark holes (which cause problems in the road). A few small reptiles. Colin's 14th birthday was yesterday - we had pancakes and cookies for dinner. Too tired for more, right now....

Monday, July 26, 2010

monday july 26

it's still me -- Colin is doing something with a field guide and a notebook. Today was laundry, shopping, etc. day, plus back to kirstenbosch for some sampling of specimens there, which I did not witness, because I went and had tea in the tea shop, then read my nook.

tomorrow early a.m. we are heading to the hills, literally. I am not looking forward to this. Although it has been cold here, we've had electricity, light, good plumbing and a kitchen (and an electric tea pot to heat up the water for the hot water bottles each night), none of which we will have in Anysberg. Plus I suspect that it is going to be really REALLY cold up in the mts. Plus once the ipod and nook run down, I may not be able to solarcharge them to use them - plus we think it is going to be pretty wet, and I'm not likely to be using them in the pouring rain (while I stand and do nothing) anyway. I hope that Colin appreciates this.... (Plus, there are leopards, which I hope will keep their distance more than the baboons have.) Anyway, we will be back in Capetown on Aug. 1, and will try to check in then before we leave for AZ on Aug. 2. Think good thoughts towards us!


p.s. Colin says he would like it known that the hyrax yesterday charged him, but it really didn't charge so much as decide suddenly that it wanted to be standing where Colin was, which caused it to move rapidly in that direction. Easily sidestepped, in any case. Very cute, even with its fairly ratty (buggy) fur.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

more Sunday photos

we also saw a bunch more ostriches, but we've stopped taking photos of them....

sunday, july 25

This is Jessica again; Colin is working on analyzing some data he collected today.

Today the team worked all day down on the cape again -- technically, this is part of Table Mt. National Park, and the team has a permit, but since they are working in two groups, we keep getting stopped by officials, without our permit, leading to lengthy discussions. Apparently, Carl told Colin, who was working on his knees in the brush, to "stay down," so that his appearance would not cause questions -- I missed this interchange.

Mostly what I did today was stood and listened to the ipod, since there was a dearth of rocks at today's sites on which to sit, and the brush was thick, deep and full of busy ant hills. At the first site, a small but attractive frog was caught, but my photo of it is not as attractive as the frog was, so I'll wait for Colin's photo, which is better. Then we lunched at the shore (rocky) of the actual Cape of GH -- on Friday, we were at the cape point; if you look at a good map of Africa, you will see that they are slightly different places, though I think the point extends slightly more south than the cape does. I took a group shot (see photo) and we also saw a lovely hyrax, which is related to an elephant, though looks much more like a woodchuck or marmet. We also saw several eland (which we also saw on Friday), but I've not been able to get a good photo, as they are always far off.

I was trying to take a photo of an orchid when we suddenly left our second work site in a hurry because another large troop (swarm) of baboons was trekking up the path. They stopped traffic coming up from the cape entirely, with one of them lounging in the road on his back. Several of the adults were carrying small babies. (see photo) Then we went to a couple of other sites, which were pretty (along the Indian Ocean), but it would take too long to post photos of everything.

On the way home, we went the "long way" round along the Atlantic, vs. the Indian Ocean. It was very cliffy and swervy and I closed my eyes. We stopped for photos a couple of times, and the sunset was nice, though Colin's photos came out much nicer than mine -- we'll try to get his up on the blog later. (My nikon washes everything out; his handles color much better.)

We are leaving this locale on Tuesday morning (Monday night for Dear Readers) to head up into the cold, cold mountains, and we will have no electricity for the next week after, so if you want to say something to us, say it now!