What to do if a venomous snake comes into your home

The other day Shire, Kofi (our bull mastiffs) and I were shocked to see a more than metre long puff-adder in the lounge of my son (Matt) and daughter-in-law’s (Sasha) cob cottage in Suurbraak, where I was looking after their small off-grid farming operation. The puff-adder was equally shocked as it hissed, slithered and struck warningly at us. Terrified, I ordered the dogs out of the house; phoned Kria who lives nearby and, when there was no answer, her partner, Tristan, for the contact details of the local snake catcher who was unfortunately in Cape Town. Tristan, however, sent me the phone number of an alternative snake catcher, Nita Wessels, who, unfortunately, had moved to Riversdale, but who gave me the name of François Plaaitjies, who worked for the Swellendam SPCA, and who told me what to do, followed by a cautionary from Nita.

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Puff-adder

Somewhere out there, more than a metre long puff adder.

Yesterday Shire my bull-mastiff started barking in the direction of the thicket on the other side of the fence. She wouldn’t stop and as it’s difficult to see into it, and as I’ve learnt to trust her barking I took her the long way round to investigate. She was careful, but we found nothing. I thought that she might be going on heat and that it could be a brak (mongrel) from the village of Suurbraak across the river trying his luck and that I had better keep an eye on her.

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What happens after trust is lost?

I noticed a hard cyst on Pegasus the goat (see above and the footnote). I was staying on Matt and Sasha’s plot in Suurbraak (footnote). The following day the cyst was oozing. Sasha explained via email how to treat it (footnote).

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My goal is to take one or two iconic photographs of the Karoo and Overberg

I started a photographic club at almost every school at which I taught. At the end of my career, as a member of the Communication Directorate I became, by default, the unofficial official photographer for the Western Cape Education Department. Now retired, my goal is to spend a year in the Karoo learning how to take one or two iconic photographs of the Karoo as almost none of these representational Karoo shots speak to me. This blog is part of that aim.

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Camus, on the heart

I have spent ten years winning something which I find priceless: a heart free of bitterness

(Albert Camus quoted in ‘The Heart of Albert Camus’ in Watson, Steven (2012:174). The Music in the Ice. Penguin, Cape Town

What price heritage in Higgo Vale?

At the top of Higgo Road (1 Higgo Rd), just below Kloof Neck Rd is a heritage cottage similar to the one I restored and in which I am living, which is being allowed to disintegrate to the point, I assume, that the developers, who purchased the semi-detached cottages from the Dennis family, can argue for its demolition in order to replace it with a palatial structure similar to most of the other houses recently built in Higgo Vale, and that now fetch well over R10M a piece.
Note. This is a place-holder for my theme: Higgo Vale then and now which will explore heritage vs development.

Writers who help me make sense of my world

My concerns are a deadness consuming our planet, and tyranny. I believe the two are related, in that at their core is the human species, you and I. Deadness and tyranny take many forms but come about mainly because I disassociate by failing to own the actions that flow from who I am, and for what I stand. Consequently I live entirely in my head, being unable to feel anything. The extracts quoted below speak in their individual ways to these themes.

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I try to see things as they are