A couple of days ago I was lucky enough to return to Elephant Family Sanctuary, in the Maewang District of Chiang Mai. On this day it started raining just as we got to the camp, so things were done a little bit differently from my previous visit. Our lovely guide Cookie gave us a bit of a run down on elephants and safety around them, then we grabbed our feed bags and climbed the hill to load up on cucumbers. Once again our group was small – there were five of us – and we were joined by a likely couple of lads from London, upon who I directly lay the blame for the ensuing discussion on elephants and flatulence. You know who you are, Aziz and Shay. Continue reading
I’ve just had the privilege of playing with elephants at Elephant Family Sanctuary, in the Maewang District, about an hour and a half south of Chiang Mai. It’s run by my Thai adopted brother Chaiw, who rang me on Saturday afternoon and said he had booked me in for the next morning to go on a half-day excursion and I would be picked up earlier in the a.m. than I am generally comfortable with. So I hauled myself out of bed, foregoing my crucial morning coffee, (potentially fatal to those around me) and got myself ready for this momentous occasion. The EFS silver van duly picked me up at 7.15am and we did the rounds, via back roads and lanes, to pick up the other clientele that were in on this particular trip, Theresa and Tom from California and a young lady from Israel who I think was named Carly. We were a small group today, which I’ve found is always a good thing, as you get to ask your guide lots of questions. And I am indeed rather nosy, although I prefer the label “Curious” or “Enquiring”. There was also a driver, who didn’t speak English, and our guide was a lovely young lady called Hnong, friendly and full of smiles, with quite reasonable English.
Aha!! I have found a nest. I will get very comfortable, for obviously this is My nest.
But wait, there is a human watching me. It must be jealous, for I have never seen it in a nest.
I will wash. I will wash and ignore it and it will go away.
This is not working. The human is not going away.
I must come up with a plan. Let me think.
Aha! I will stick my leg out. Everything knows that when a cat sticks its leg out, it is obviously washing. And the universal law of cat washing says that a cat washing must be left in peace.
Hmm. It is not going away. Okay, I will act nonchalant. Everything knows that a cat being nonchalant must be left in peace.
Not working. Okay, I will sniff. Everything knows that a cat sniffing something is busy and must be left alone.
This human is not leaving. It is obviously ignorant of cat law. I shall put it to sleep. I will yawn and it will go to sleep.
Drat! It is not going away. Then I must go back to my nesting.
Perhaps it will leave me alone and go and inhabit the other nest I have left for it. Then it will not be jealous any more.
It is seriously ridiculous what a cat has to do to keep a human happy.
Kereru – New Zealand Wood Pigeon. They’re a handsome beasty, with red eyes, beak and feet, a white breast and the head, throat and wings are a shiny green-purple colour, with a bronze tinge to the feathers. They’re endemic to New Zealand and are unfortunately a threatened species, so it’s pretty fortunate to spot one so close to town.
We have several berry-laden trees around us, and that’s a favourite thing of the Kereru. Sometimes the berries start fermenting and when the kereru eat them they get quite drunk. I saw one in the bush up a mountain once, crash-landing in a tree. They’re quite big birds, around 51 centimetres (20 in) in length and 650 grams (23 oz) in weight, and a drunken kereru throwing himself at a tree with the hope of actually stopping on a perch rather than falling off the other side is quite a sight to behold.
We woke up one morning and couldn’t find Smudge anywhere. Grey hairs were almost instantly developed while running around calling her for ages and worrying ourselves silly that she was okay. Then ‘other servant’ called to my attention a creature sitting very high up in one of the tallest trees in the neighborhood. Sometime during the night, Smudge had decided that she should be a tree bear. By the time we found her though, she looked like she’d had enough of being an arboreal-type animal and wanted to come down. Read it HERE Continue reading
Some say I’m a little hard on my friends, but I honestly wouldn’t do anything to them I wouldn’t first do to myself.