Pennington residents are tolerant and patient

A change is as good as a holiday, so the saying goes.

In my student days, we had a college lecturer who believed that a holiday simply allowed one to work in a different environment!

To each his own! My change in abode from Scottburgh to Pennington for the past fortnight, has been a change in many ways. Although the two villages are only about a ten-minute drive apart, there are many differences, for example, the wildlife.

At our home in Scottburgh South, we have a wide variety of birds ranging from mannikins, weavers, doves, hadedas, occasional owls and the almost daily visits by vervets.

The vervets have in recent times taken up to bedding down in the trees in our back garden and then, as soon as the sun’s rays appear, the entire troop start their morning training run across our roof as they dash towards Davallen Road where they end up sunning themselves on the warm road surface and on rocks and trees on the pavement.

By contrast, here on the 20-acre property in Pennington where I am residing for a while, the property is largely covered in indigenous forest, and I have been privileged to see bushbuck, blue duiker, hyraxes, Spurwing and Egyptian geese, yellow billed ducks, hornbills, fish eagles and cormorants.

Two very special sightings for me this time around, were a pied kingfisher and a Giant kingfisher. Most interesting is the fact that, despite the surrounding bush, I have hardly seen any vervets. In the past two weeks I have seen, at most four individuals!

I have enjoyed cycling on the smooth surface of the R102 to Sezela and back. To date I have not taken my mountain bike out into the Umdoni forest.

However, cycling past the notorious Black Hole of Pennington, I have found that nothing much has happened since last year. In fact, for the past 5 years since I started house-sitting in Pennington every August, not much has appears to have happened to remedy the problem. What has been consistent is the horrible smell that one encounters when cycling past.

At least when in a motor car, the closed windows prevent one from being overcome by the stench. The tolerance and patience of the Pennington residents should be admired.

As an outsider, I must confess to not knowing anything about what is being done to fix the problem, but I would be interested in knowing what expenditure has been incurred over the years in this regard, and who is picking up the bill? Would the province be responsible or would it be a municipal matter?

The Sappi Scottburgh Mountain Bike race held on Sunday, was well attended and the welcome downpour during the week, not only dampened down the track, but, in many spots, turned the dust into mud.

Mountain bikers are not daunted by the conditions and the cool weather resulted in hot racing.

Our local lass, Candice Parker-Dennison, who was hoping for a third consecutive win, was unable to race due to illness.

The results, not at hand at the time of going to press, will be published in next week’s column.

Henry Parsons

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