Monday, October 13, 2008

Stare Down, Africa style 10/12

This morning, Darin headed off to church by himself. We told Amos at least one of us would go to hear his pastor preach today, and seeing as Tyson was awake before 6 this morning we were not feeling like it would be such a great idea to have our kids at church. So Darin left and the kids and I decided to head out for a walk. That's not totally true either. I decided we would all go for a walk, the kids didn't think this was such a great idea. Jori was asking to be carried about one minute into the walk, and Tyson thought it would be a better idea if Darin drove us somewhere instead.

Anyways, we start walking on one of the roads through the farm. It was quite hot, but the kids each had a bag of cereal to snack on and I did remember to bring water. They were pretty quiet, other than some complaining about how far we were going. We had just stopped so Jori, who was being quite pokey, could catch up to us when I saw something move ahead of us. I am horrible with distances, but I'd say less than half a football field in front of us some impala were running across the road. I told the kids to be very quiet in case there were more impala around. Right then, a male impala and toddler sized one, starting crossing the road. Then they both just stopped and stared at us. I mean, no movement. Tyson and Jori actually stayed pretty quiet. Jori was “talking” to the impala and even started walking closer to them. Still no movement. So I told them that if we were very quiet, we could walk closer and see if there were more impala behind the trees. The little impala took off as we got closer, and we could see the whole herd watching us. The male just kind of stayed put, to keep an eye on us I am guessing. I did make the kids walk behind me, because I wasn't sure if he would go after one of them if he felt like we were a threat. We just kept getting closer and closer. The whole herd took off through the tall grass. The male slowly followed them, but he kept an eye on us the whole time. It was awesome.

We kept walking, but didn't see any other game. We turned back to go home and about half way down the road, we came across that same herd. They were farther off the road than they had been before. They did poke their heads up to watch us, but they didn't run away at all. Usually I am not super excited about seeing impala because they are everywhere. They are WAY cooler when you see them while out on foot. This same herd has been outside our fence the past few mornings, but they usually take off pretty quickly if you try to get a closer look. So that was our morning adventure.

Later this afternoon, the four of us headed out on a walk. The kids were in no mood for this, so Darin ended up taking them home and I went on by myself. I decided to walk around the whole farm, hoping to see some game along the way. Darin had given me the ominous warning to watch out for snakes, so I was a little paranoid about running into a puff adder or black mamba, but thankfully that didn't happen. I had made it half way around the property and was headed back towards the house when I thought I saw something off to my right. So I slowed way down to take a look. Right off the road, like 100 feet away was a HUGE kudu. Again, I was pretty sure that the kudu would run away before it would ever attack me, but kudu are large animals and I am sure they could do some major damage without really trying too hard. I thought it was best to keep moving, so I slowly walked down the road, but kept looking to my side. The kudu was staring back at me every time. I walked past a tree and lost sight of him for a second, but then he was right on the other side of the tree. I thought that was kind of odd that he would move so quickly, and then I realized there were two kudu standing right next to each other! So now I had two sets of eyes staring at me. This was even better than the impala.

I made my way back home to where Darin had started making dinner. After was ate, we decided to take a drive to see if the kudu were still in the area. We got back to the area where I had seen them earlier, and they were gone. In their place, however, was a herd of wildebeest. Our car startled them and some headed across the road. We got to watch several of them pass right in front of us. There were also some off to our right that just kept on eating. After watching them for a few minutes, we drove on. I thought I saw one of the wildebeest that had crossed the road under some trees, so Darin stopped the car. Well, it turned out to be one of the kudu from earlier (my eyes are horrible at dusk!). While we were trying to get a better look at him, we saw the other kudu come out from the trees as well. They were not very close to us, but for someone like Darin who has perfect vision, they were close enough!

Maybe this week we'll run into some rhino!!


Anonymous said...

ohla la
what are kudu
I looked it up but found no answer.
Hopefully we can see then next week.
Guess who
Hugs and kisses to the kids

Anonymous said...

What's kudu???? We need some clarification! Sounds like fun and how awesome to be in nature like that! Love you. JRJJ

Anonymous said...

Hoping you did not get eaten by a kudu or rhino!!! Shat's with no e-mail for several days. I am madly packing and w/out dad as he is at Dordt Board. Can't believe how great I'm doing-Let us hear!!! Mom