Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Happy Birthday Landon! 4 years old~

This is when it all started. The very moment our lives were changed and 
Landon Adam Trosclair melted our hearts~
 He's growing up! He's 4 today! He plays soccer, he climbs mountains, and loves to go camping with Mom and Dad.

 Giving cousin Holly a helping hand with her hat.
 Uncle Tanner, Aunt Aly and Cousins Taylor and Clara. couldn't be here. 
But they sent a BUNCH of BALLOONS!
His best bud, # 1 cousin, partner in crime.
Taylor and Landon back in their younger days driving around at 3 years old.

 Friends and families came to celebrate Landon's special day. 
 4 years old and swinging at the pinata! A walk down memory lane 2 years old.  
  Can't help but grin ;) Here he is at 1 year old...
 Giving Holly a chance. Thanks Uncle Adam!
 Such a gentleman helping Holly.

One last try before it breaks open
Landon turns 1
I'm 2 now
Blink an eye and I'm 3.
Now he's 4 with all smiles and more girls standing around him.. So handsome!
 Big dreams and Bigger wishes.
 Love, love love me some LandO..
 Grammy loves her boy too!
Uncle Hunter and Holly cheesing it up.

Papa Joe loves all them babies.
Happy Birthday little buddy! Memaw and Pawpaw love you to the moon and back.. 
My blog is for my grandbabies to always have and enjoy~

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

~AFRICA~ Dande Safari Area and Claw Dam

Our drive to Dande from Chikwenya was an all dirt bumpy road. It took us right at 5 hours. I enjoyed seeing the countryside, the mountains, the rivers and all the native villages along the way.
When a drum doesn't have the beat any longer just fill it with cacti.
When we left the U.S headed for Africa our intentions were to fish and Ken wanted to try out his predator call.
So he did. He tried and tried and tried some more. Fourteen times, but no animals came. Surprising, especially at night.
Villages along the way.
Smiles were always in store for us as we drove by. Life seems simple but I'm sure they have their own struggles to deal with.
Graham and Ken have walked many paths together. A friendship that started 15 years ago and is still going strong. We figured we've traveled 2000 miles since we've been here going all over. Fishing mostly, a lot of laughing, telling stories, drinking beer and driving.. Thanks Graham and Tammy for an incredible month.
We drove and walked 2 miles down this dry riverbed to a site that Graham is thinking of building a dam for animal water and maybe fishing.
The colors of the rocks were incredible.
There was evidence of poachers in this cave.
Big world, small people.
Rocks are always something I bring back from wherever I go.
A strangler fig tree with another tree in its grip.
A trickle of water still existed in this river bed.
Wild aloe vera grew everywhere.
Painted rocks. Painted by nature.
Elephants, baboons and other animals would dig holes in the dry river bed looking for water. They often found it too.

Ken used borrowed guns. A Browning A-bolt in .22 mag from Graham and an Austrian made .308 from Phil, the camp manager.
Mud rubbed on this tree by an elephant rubbing on it. Or a really big hog.
Saddle bill stork. He stood about three foot tall. Amazing while flying off.

The pic below shows palm trees dotted along the rivers. The story goes that palm trees aren't native to this area of Africa. More than a hundred years ago the Arab slave traders came up the rivers looking for slaves. As they traveled they would eat palm dates and leave the seeds behind.  So now as you look across the countryside the palm trees are the dark tracks they left behind.

A flower pod from a sausage tree.
The sausage tree fruit
The male baboon had well worn teeth, but was still hanging with the troop.
He was a big old boy. Ken made a great shot at about 150 yd as this guy was in a tree proclaiming his dominance. Made excellent hyena bait.
Elephant dung scattered along the river bottoms where they look for water.

If you know me, and if you don’t, I’ll be the first to inform you of the fact that we spend a lot of time out on the land  and here in Africa in the bush. It’s a great honor to be able to live from it, to take from it what we need to exist on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels, and to give back, when I can.  Not a day goes by when I don’t step out into the wide beauty of the world and notice firsthand, the cycle of energy between the living and the dead, the bones and the wildflowers, the trees, the mountain and the rivers that run wild.. Guinea fowl for dinner.
I’m connected, and so very grateful to be so. 

We were all out walking around looking for signs and noticed vultures flying around in a  tornado. A sign that something is dead.
This may be the saddest picture I've taken. May the person who did this rot in hell! It's a horrible reality that poaching is all too common in Africa. It's caused by greed! Poachers wanting nothing but the ivory. Leaving  behind all the meat. The meat could have fed many village families. Instead it will fill the bellies of whatever finds it first.
The carcass of a young bull elephant was only 2 days old when we found it. Everything still intact but the trunk and the tusks were gone. My heart sank.
Graham told the game scout to start patrolling this area for more poachers. They'll be back.
Crocs and hippos lined this pool of water that was left along the dried up Angwe River.
This pool of water was near the road to Dande. It was lined by local people doing wash.
And fishing. Careful where you fish!
5 gallon buckets stacked on top of each other to hold the water tank for this old Tsetse fly camp.
The many smells of the African bush, I never want to forget this feeling.

That part in the upper left was the Dande South concession. It's a Campfire Area, meaning that people live in parts of it. Hunting is done only in the southwest part away from villages.
The Murara Camp was on a beautiful site. A hike up the hill was good for us.

Just in case you missed it. A welcome sight after a long bumpy ride.
This is Africa. Sights, smells and sounds like no other place.
Baobab tree planted into this pot 70 years ago. Also, ele skull.
 The Claw Dam Tournament was a lot of fun. We camped along the lake, hung out with Graham's friends and I laughed so hard.. Fun Times with Great Friends! Ken finished 12th out of 92 and I finished 2nd among the ladies. Not bad for a couple rookies.
 The Berrys starting the morning with a happy hello!
KJ and Pumba kept us laughing continuously ~  Sure going to miss you guys.. Love to you both.. ;) Come go smallmouth fishing with us!!
 Boat race, a real one this time. No beer involved, until later. Pumba WINS!
 Pumba, you have the best heart ever. Thank you for my CCC shirt. I'll be wearing it again for sure!
 The other kind of "boat race". Table before the race. Four beers, four guys with the winner being who downs them all quickest. Pumba's team was the winner. Graham's team came a close second.
 This is the highly regarded trophy that went to the CCC, A team racers.
Funny stuff right here! Thanks for a Great Time!