Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A budgie of a day

Today has not been a good day.

An unknown beasty has gnawed through the water pipe that runs from the borehole to my house. I've been without water for three days now and things (i.e. me) are starting to smell. I'm having to water my plants with Evian, and even the cats are beginning to look askance at what's sprouting on the tower of dirty dishes (OK, some of the dishes were already there when the water cut out, but I was just about to do them; honest).

Last time the water pipe succumbed, the culprit was a thirsty elephant who'd decided that uprooting a pipe was more exciting than sauntering 100m down to the river; but there are no elephants around right now. I'm putting my money on the ever-helpful porcupines, who chew anything, just for the joy of it. The current rupture, which is gushing water so vigorously the dogs are afraid to go near it, is only 5 metres from the dam, so thirst was not the motivation. Perhaps it was a consortium of local wildlife, making a stand against the crocodiles.

When food gets scarce at the end of the dry season, some of Kruger's elephants come moseying up the Oliphants River to my place. Photo taken in my front yard, Nov '08.

On top of the annoyance of no water, I've made two fruitless excursions into town (70 km a trip) to collect an 'overnight' consignment of mealworms sent from Cape Town last week. The postal service now admits that the package has been sent 'somewhere else'. Where?? I pity whoever receives it - can you imagine opening up an unexpected parcel to find 3,000 mealworms?

Is this a pipe-vandal??

And then, to finish off a perfect day, the farm workers arrived in the evening with a sick bird they'd found. It was a tame, blue budgerigar. Heaven knows how it got here because its wings were clipped and it could only flutter short distances. Unfortunately, I think it had fed on something toxic, and - after many hideous spasms - it was dead within the hour. Believe me, I could've lived without sharing in its final death throes.

Maybe tomorrow will be better...


  1. Boy and I thought my day had crapped out. ha!
    Don't worry my dear, tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities for even more future stories we all can laugh at X years from now when we see you on the documentary channel! LOL!

    So whats the timeline for getting the water fixed?

  2. That porcupine looks decidedly punk to me. You don't think it's also behind the redirected mealworms?

  3. Desertnutmeg,
    My water is back! Fixing the chewed pipe didn't solve my problems because, having drained the tank so low, all the sludge from the bottom oozed out, blocking the pipes. I spent half yesterday prising open gushing pipes to flush out the awful goo. Very off putting: it was slimy and maroon (how?? why??). I think I'll keep drinking bottled water for a while!

    I think the porcupine is too busy plotting the downfall of the civilised world to pay much attention to my mealworms.
    But judging by the tummies on your little pademelons,THEY have certainly been feasting on something...

  4. Lynda, you need to keep a supply of duct tape - it fixes most things.

  5. Max-e,
    I just had a horrible vision of a budgie bound up in duct tape...

  6. We saw a porcupine in the bush a week ago it was amazing to see it in the day!

  7. Kristen,
    You are lucky. I've only ever seen them in wavering torch-light.

  8. My mom used to feed a wild porcupine in South Africa!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...