Tuesday, September 25, 2012

20th Wedding Anniversary!

Oh wow, what a fun safari... Craig and Allen, thank you so much. We had a very successful hunt, with happy hunters every day - despite some rainy cold days.  Snip and Champ certainly were kept busy, and Snip is showing amazing potential...  Now Ken officially has 2 PHD's!  (Professional Hunting Dogs!) ;)
JohnD was very involved with this hunt, and it would be impossible to recount all of the small stories collected over the past ten days! Needless to say "reflections" took quite some time, and we certainly are proud of how he is growing in his own hunting skills! 
Ken and I were so blessed to be able to go through to Merensky for Micaela's prize giving for her Tritech project. She was awarded Silver, in the National competition, along with many other talented children. We are so proud of her!
Tomorrow we celebrate our 20th Wedding anniversary.  We truly are blessed! We have so much to say THANK YOU for, and we give our Heavenly Father all of the glory.

Friday, September 14, 2012

JohnD's Zebra Hunt...

11 September, 2012
Hello, my name is Johnathan Dennis Ball. This is the exciting story of my Zebra Hunt.
It all started on Sunday, the 9th of September, 2012. We had just had guests leave, and Dad and I had the opportunity to go hunting. We left home at about 2o’clock, and went to the koppies to look and try to see some zebra. Way off in the distance we saw some zebra in an opening. So, we got the 30.06, (shooting a Winchester spring barns x tsx 150grain). After walking about one kilometer we saw them in the bush … we crouched down to try to prevent them from seeing us.
We tried to get to another koppie just behind them, so that we could see them better, and we had to take our shoes off so that we could walk quietly without scaring them! We eventually had to go down on our bellies and stay really low. After about 30 minutes we saw they weren’t looking our way, so we got set up to shoot. Unfortunately, we did not get to shoot but, when they were not paying attention we were able to get to the koppie…. Sadly the rest of the herd saw us and ran.
Then we decided that I would go up the road slowly to see if maybe they were still there, and my dad would go and get our shoes. So I went up the road and must have spooked them. When my dad caught up with me he climbed a tree to try see where they were, while I put my shoes back on. As he got up into the tree, he spooked them, and we heard them running! I immediately got ready to shoot in case they crossed the road. Unfortunately, they didn’t cross the road.
We walked down the road and then turned left and saw that they had crossed that road! So…. We turned around and back left and walked half a km and turned back into the bush. After walking another half km, we came to a blue wildebeest skull. I looked up and saw two waterbuck. My dad told me to stay on the zebra tracks, while he went to get the blue wildebeest skull. When the waterbuck ran off we heard the zebra run off as well! We kept following the tracks and saw where they were walking on the road, so we followed the tracks and after about three minutes, we saw them in the road.
Luckily the road was windy and the wind was in our favor, so we crept a little closer and we set up to shoot. The three zebra in the road, stood right for me to shoot and my dad said to shoot the middle one, but they all moved before I could shoot.  So, we waited a little longer and saw a nice zebra in the bunch and my dad said if it comes out on to the road, to shoot it … and sure enough, it came out on to the road. Facing us, I shot with a beautiful outcome… a 99 yard shot! Just as I shot, the dog went flying out from behind us to find it. We listened for the crashing and the barking to indicate where it might die. I reloaded the gun and we went to go and look for it and we found it right next to the road, dead.
We took a few pictures and called my Mom to come and bring the truck and the camera. So we waited and when they got there we took some more pictures, loaded it up and we went home.
This is my story of the Zebra Hunt! Thank you again Uncle Gerold. It was a lot of fun.
Love Johnathan

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Big Buffalo Bull.... and little sneaky Snippy

This little Snip just has no idea that the buffalo are not like the cows that she has come to love and play with! She bounded out of the Landy today, thinking that they were going to be excited to see her, and were going to lick her nose just like the cows do...
Well she got a little surprise when she realised they didn't want her around and she made it out fast enough and hid under the Landy...
Talk about learning!!!
We have been so excited to welcome Craig Smith and Allen Wells. They are with us from North Carolina. This is their first African Safari.  :)
We saw the clipping of Micaela in the Letaba Herald today! There is a nice write up...  Let's see if I can get it on to this.....

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A few photos! :)

 JOHND with the Harris' Zebra! Thank you Uncle Gerold :D
 OH YES, MISS SNIPPY WAS VERY EXCITED.... she had us in giggles!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


For the first time in my 20 years living here, we have had 25 mls of rain in SEPTEMBER!!!  Thank you Lord for the blessing of such wonderful, gentle, soaking rain!
We had our power knocked out for three days, but hey! IT'S BACK ON NOW! :)  Yippie.  Now we wait and watch the miracle of the transformation around us....

We had another special blessing for JohnD.  Gerold and Pat Harris have a friend who wants a Zebra skin rug, and they asked JohnD to please get it for her. :) So our young hunter, together with his DAD, was very blessed yesterday evening after an hour and a half long stalk from the kopjies.  He made an absolutely perfect "dead centre" shot in a very tricky situation, and was rewarded with a beautiful stallion.  Pics to FOLLOW!!! 

A little quiet time...

I have had this in drafts... waiting for the pics. Sorry, but will post them later when I actually get them!!!

What a joy and a blessing to have family here! Oh how we miss them all. We have had some quite time now, and were able to get some Waterbuck and Wildebeest captured... the weather was not that cooperative, so we were not able to capture all that we wanted to.... bit too much wind.
We had the joy of experiencing the SA AirForce Weapons Capability Demonstration, and Ken got a few really neat pictures!
Much needed catchup in the filing and admin has kept me out of mischief, and we have thoroughly enjoyed watching our little Snippy learn all sorts of important lessons in her young life!  We laughed ourselves silly the other night when she bit through the light cable, and dashed out of the office, without even a yelp.  We couldn't understand why the sudden exit... but when she came back in licking her lips, we suspected something was up. :)  Needless to say she has not chewed the light cable again. 
Micaela was blessed to go to the Pretoria Show last weekend with Merensky's Agricultural class. They were showing the PinZyl Breed of Cattle that they have at the school.  Well, we were delighted to hear that she placed second for showmanship - beating all of her seniors, and was asked to please represent the school this week for the President's cup final, as some of their cattle went through to the finals. I can't wait to hear more about it this weekend when she comes home! 
We are looking forward to our next safari next week, and will have the pleasure of Craig and Allen hunting with us for their first time! :) They are from Charleston... hopefully this overcast weather will lift for them, and we will have some relief from the dry, dusty and hot conditions.
Big hugs to you all!