Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Cave Weekend in April

Last month, we went on a weekend adventure worth mentioning. We  drove to Baviaanskloof through Willowmore, to a place called 'Bakkrans'. Together with the Burgers, 'tannie' Anel's brother and friends of theirs, and Kate we spent the weekend there - in a real cave!

"No loitering is allowed on this bridge."  Of course we loitered.

Antique shop/restaurant in Willowmore. 

After many a pit stop on the way, we arrived at our cave... A fire was immediately started (for cooking purposes, not scaring animals off...yet).

Lunch pit stop. 


 From above.

Snack platter!

Late evening walk up the gorge. 

We could see there used to be water. 

Me playing baboon (the person is my dad). 

Flying object incoming...

The first night passed without event, and the next day we hiked up the gorge to where the stream is still actually flowing.

The 26th of April was my parents 18th wedding anniversary.
 Special tree.

Friendly shadows. 

Maarten and the arum lilies.

Monday, May 25, 2015

An Outing to 'Twee Riviere'

At the beginning of this month, we had a fun day outing to a place called 'Twee Riviere' (literally translated Two Rivers), where we visited the Bothas, who established the South African Institute for Conservation in this small town about 20 years ago. Located on campus is found The Belfry Kitchen, where we had a delicious lunch and heard the most interesting story of how this place has come to be.

I will say no more - go visit their website. 

Wise quote...

"Lekker gesellig".

Also on campus is an arboretum (a botanical garden devoted to trees), which in full autumn colors was a major reason for our visit. The trees were very beautiful, and I took plenty of pictures.

Stages of autumn.

"The Yellow Boy and His Tree."

Looking up...

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Autumn Picnic in the Apricot Orchards

Here in the Kammanassie, we have been right in the middle of the yearly, wonder-filled time called autumn, which pass so quickly that if you're not careful you might just miss it. To celebrate Mother's Day (but also just because we have this cool opportunity to live on a farm for a while, surrounded by orchards), we decided to go on a picnic between the apricot trees. After everyone made their own sandwiches in the kitchen, we 'romped' over to the bright yellow apricot orchard and had our little lunch there.

A few days before the picnic, everything was still mostly green.

But then, from yellow and green...

To yellow and brown.

Two good things combined - family in nature.
 A little bit of sunshine.

It was fantastic, as it was not too cold but not too hot either, the sun came out a few times to light up the hordes of fluttering 'butterflies' around us, and the sandwiches were very tasty.

My always-willing (extremely handsome) young model - adventurous brother Maarten.

My other younger brother Theuns prefers to hide. He also picked the greenest tree for some reason.

I just love this picture - every tree is a battle-ship these days... 


Next week will have some more autumn photos from a newly discovered little town called Twee Riviere,  so stay tuned...

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Business Projects Update

Almost halfway into May, there has been a few lessons learned in the business world... Refer back to my post on the start of these projects here. To recap, the idea was to give us a hands-on experience in the world of running your own business. My brothers chose to raise piglets and sell them again, and I had a few chickens to sell the eggs. What we learned however, is that what makes perfect sense on paper and spreadsheets, doesn't always work out the way you want it to in the real world.

By the end of March I could already see the chickens were not laying nearly enough eggs for me to be able to make a profit.  So we gave them another month to see whether there will be any changes using the eggs we got now and then, in our own household. Unfortunately one of the hens turned into falcon-breakfast, and I began doubting whether we should keep them at all for the 1 or 2 eggs they supplied now and then... To confirm my doubts, another chicken died rather mysteriously a few weeks later (it was probably a snake). That was the last straw, so we decided to stop the egg business and after a sad chicken funeral, the remaining 8 were caught and given away.

The piglets have fared a little better so far. In total there are 7 of them, the oldest two will be soon be 5 months old and should be ready for slaughter. They haven't grown as fast as desired though so maybe we'll give them another few weeks...

All of them have names: Bacon, Ham, Minions 1, 2 and 3, Fig, and Plum far at the back.

As with all animals there were ranking issues, and the little ones got some nasty bites; as a result we still have to keep them apart.  

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Horse Stuff Continued

Two months into being horse owners, things are looking interesting. It has been a journey; not a destination. Arend's hormones has calmed down a bit, but he is still rather difficult. Valk is still wild, as she won't allow you to touch her, but at least she eats out of your hand very carefully.

One Saturday, a shelter was built for the horses. The horses like it and often stand in it - for once Murphy's Law was wrong!

Team at work.



A neighbor's son and daughter once came to see if they can help with the horses as well - soon our horse 'team' arrived too. Mission one was to ride Arend:

Once they accomplished that, a halter had to be put on Valk. At first they tried gently, coaxing with treats and using Arend (who stood quietly held by a leadrope - I think he was intimidated) to push her against the side of the fence.

Step 1: getting her trapped behind Arend. 

Step 2: grass and treats. Notice her ears though; she's not impressed. 


She ate out of their hands, but they couldn't touch her otherwise. 

She refused to trust them though, and pretty soon it was the two seventeen year old boys having the time of their lives as they tried catching the 'stubborn old wife'. They got a cowboy loop around her neck, but that didn't help much since she just dragged all the boys hanging onto the rope around the enclosure.

Action photo!

 At first they tried it alone...