SAFETY IN THE KITCHEN

There are no handy hints here. However, as a change from our usual mode of camping, we spent a few days after Christmas in one of the delightful Forest Cabins in the Addo Elephant National Park. Each of these log cabins is tucked between hedges of Spekboom and other indigenous plants to ensure oneโ€™s privacy.

This is a typical path leading to one of these cabins.

You might wonder what these pictures have to do with the title of this piece. While each of these cabins is equipped with a pleasant braai area, they also have a fridge, kettle, toaster and a microwave. There is also a camp kitchen containing two-plate stoves and the sinks for washing up. I am probably not the only visitor not to look up when I enter the communal kitchen to either cook or clean the dishes. That is, until I kept seeing this pair of Lesser-striped swallows preening themselves nearby throughout the day.

What a wonderful opportunity to photograph them from so close, I thought as I passed by them yet again. They didnโ€™t seem to mind the attention.

It was late on the second afternoon of our stay that I spotted one of them flying out of the communal kitchen. Curious, I at last looked up to see this sturdy, well-constructed mud nest against the ceiling of the kitchen.

Safety in the kitchen indeed. Here their nest is safe from the elements; it is high enough not to be disturbed by any human visitors; and has probably been used year after year.

28 thoughts on “SAFETY IN THE KITCHEN

  1. Oh my goodness what an odd place for a nest. Don’t you wonder how and why they chose this place? Is the building open sided? So interesting. I could probably sit there and watch them for some time coming and going about their business.

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    • Their coming and going were well worth observing for a while. The communal kitchen is open in the front so the birds are not hindered getting to their nest.

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  2. A great treat for us visitors and I think the fact that the nest is still there is proof that the staff who need to keep the kitchen in tip-top condition for preparing food has their hearts in conservation!

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    • You are right. In our experience, the Lesser-striped Swallows make very little mess beneath their nests compared with the White-rumped Swifts that make a foul mess on our front steps.

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    • They have found a perfect place for their nest: sheltered from the elements and not easy for the swifts to see – the latter have taken over a well-built swallow nest built outside our front door a few years ago.

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  3. Ha ha – well I’d be happier with Swallows tucked in the corner of the kitchen, than a big ol’ spider. ๐Ÿ™‚ The long scissor-tails on these Swallows … much bigger than our Barn Swallows I see hovering around and building nests in the covered bridge at Heritage Park.

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