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Dear Readers and faithful friends,

After a number of years of wonderful blogging, this blog has effectively become dormant - except for occasional updates regarding my book, MAXDOG. I have left this blog as a legacy to my dog and a place of sanctuary where we can reflect upon his life. Take your time, peruse the pages spanning Max's 18 months in cyberspace. Feel refreshed and uplifted because his story is an amazing one of..."LIVING LIFE TO THE MAX!"
My activities have now moved on to my new blog entitled "LIVING LIFE TO THE MAX". Please join me there where you can read about my family and canine companions. I also invite you to visit MAXDOG's FANPAGE on FACEBOOK. You can follow the specific links by clicking below:

* MAXDOG, the book: click HERE

If you would like to follow me on a deeper, spiritual level, then I invite you to visit my more personal blog:

May God bless you and thank you for following me!


Sunday, October 4, 2009



Hello there, all my furry friends from across the world!
MAXDOG present and reporting...

Last night our humans went on an adventure.
Unfortunately us dogs were NOT invited, but it's not too bad because I get to blog about their adventure...

Well, Mom had organised to attend one of Jonathan Leeming's NIGHTTIME walks at the "Kloof-en-dal" nature reserve. This is a pretty awesome reserve, set in the heart of our big and highly populated city. Jonathan is a renowned expert in scorpions & spiders and a published writer in his field. Every so often, he organises night-time walks for interested participants. It is so wonderful to be in a natural setting like that despite the fact that it is in the middle of our city.

As you know, Mom is a VERY interested participant in all things wild and natural, so she packed a picnic bag for the family and they abandoned us dogs....sigh!

But I would very much like to tell you about Mom and them's evening....

They arrived at the Nature reserve just after sunset.
Luckily there was no rain around, but the sky was really beautiful with its cloudy backdrop.

It was full-moon too, and although Mom doesn't have the best of cameras, I am sure you will get the idea of the magnificent setting!

After an interesting lecture, everybody got their torches out and set out on the walk. Throughout the time, Jonathan was giving us valuable and interesting infomation about the fascinating nocturnal creatures in the nature reserve. The walk went up quite a steep little hill and led the group towards a magnificent view of the surrounding city...

Mom says that it was truly wonderful to sniff the clean air, feel the chilly breeze and hear all the crickets. The terrain wasn't too difficult either, but it was quite dark, so they all had to watch their steps.

The first creature they saw was a red toad. Mom wishes she can remember the proper name for this toad, but it was pretty awesome! Apparently there are also walks arranged which focus solely on frogs, but last night the theme was

In order to find the scorpions, a flourescent light is used. This shows up their external skeleton magnificently! Jonathan explained to us that there are about 180 varieties of scorpions and only about 3 are truly dangerous.

Scorpions with large pinchers and small/thin tails generally have the least dangerous venom. Indeed many of them actually prefer not to sting!!!

The dangerous ones (like the one shown below) are very toxic and will deliver a very painful and dangerous sting when threatened.

Mom was very lucky to be able to photograph the above scorpion from very, very close.
It really is a great privilege to be able to get up close and personal with these creatures. They are widely misunderstood. A lot of information (in movies/media/etc) is false and sets out to give these fascinating creatures an unfairly bad name.

If you want to learn more about SCORPIONS, please visit Jonathan's website at:

Here are some more pictures of the event...

(There were plenty budding scientists in the group too.)

" What's to be afraid of...it's a BEAUTIFUL SPIDER!!!"

"Look what I found!"

"Lifting up rocks and finding the shy creatures. "


Well, Mom says that the evening was truly wonderful!!!
To be able to participate in an excursion like that, with your family, is a real treasure!

As for me...
I am going to sleep away this Sunday.
Later on I will pester Mom for my own walk.

I hope you enjoyed my SCORPION post! Look out for Jonathan's book (if you are interested) and if you are ever in SOUTH AFRICA, perhaps consider participating in one of the nighttime walks.

Lots of licks


Mango said...

Your mom went out AT NIGHT especially to hunt down those giant bugs? EEEEE! I am glad you stayed home.


Stella said...

I wish I could say I am more interested in the buggy world, but my Mom doesn't like them so neither do I. Not to bump into them personally, or to read about them, or to get to know them in any way.

So, sorry ,Max, I think you are lucky to get left at home!


Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

What a khool post!

Tank woo fur sharing your mom's great skhorpion adventure!


MAX said...

Hey everyone.
I just wanted to explain that this particular Nature reserve does NOT have any large and dangerous wild animals! It is a place for people to walk and experience the beautiful flora and the various interesting small animals. Perfectly safe for the nature seeker.

Scout 'n Freyja said...

We think that our momma would have liked to have gone but she would have worn boots that reached alla' the way to her nose to PURRtect herself!

Anonymous said...

Hi MaxDog,

Your humans do very interesting things. We sure do enjoy learning all about their adventures too.

I'm with you though, I don't want to smell no scorpions. No sir!

Hugs, Tessa

Benny and Lily said...

Wow, that was very cool. Mommas brave. I think Lily would have screamed, she is afraid of the dark. Mom said thanks for sharing your unique adventure.
Benny & Lily

Deborah said...

Holy Cow! That was unbelievable...Good pictures~I'm going to show my son these! I thought all scorpions were poisonous, I don't think we have any here in New England. I hope not and I don't think I would go for a walk to look for them any time soon!! Have a great Sunday, Max is too cute!
PS. I like Midnight also...

JD and Max said...

Hi Max - wow, we know we keep on saying it so we apologise for being a bit boring and repetitive but you really do live in an amazing and beautiful part of the world don't you? That was amazing - the photos were incredible, thanks for taking us along with you (or with your mom at any rate, he he!) with this post. We hope you enjoyed your Sunday snooze - it's what Sunday's were designed for! Schnauzer snuggles - JD and Max.

Jonathan Leeming said...

Pleased you enjoyed your step out of the norm! Scorpions are way cooler than many people think :-) You just need to take the time to have a closer look at the creatures at your feet! Amazing what you can find if you know where to look.

Maggie and Mitch said...

Wow! What a neat adventure for your mom! I bet you're glad you stayed home, Max! You surely wouldn't want to get stung!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Jan Mader said...

You guys are so lucky...I'd die to have an adventure like that...not literally of course!

Lorenza said...

Hi, Max!
Your family had a pawesome Nighttime walk!
You are right. Scorpions have a very bad reputation!
Thanks for sharing it!
Kisses and hugs

The Army of Four said...

Ooooh, I just love those pictures!!! And ah rooooooo, I want to howl at your mom's photo of the moon! Great job! (We had a full moon here, too. Isn't that funny?!?)

Kira The BeaWootiful said...

Woooos Max, cool pictures of neat little critters, I have never seen one of those, but if I did I would try and eat it, which would probably upset Mom. That is why they left poor you at home I guess, a walkie without a dog, how sad.
-Kira The BeaWootiful

Honey the Great Dane said...

OH what a great post!! My humans love going on these nature walks too (they also organise some in Auckland in summertime - they have been on a Spider one and a Bat one) - so it was so interesting to read your post. Actually, Hsin-Yi loves spiders and she agrees that these creatures (& similar( are very misunderstood and given a bad name in media just for the thrill!

Honey the Great Dane

Tanuki Maxx said...

Hi Max! Wow! great adventure post! Beautiful scorpions, and that full moon, i just have to hooowwl..!!!!


chicamom85 said...

Mommy is a big chicken about that kind of stuff, but we love the pictures that you took. They are so cool and beautiful. I am sorry that scorpions get a bad name but they still scare Mommy and she doesn't want to meet one. Thank you for sharing all of that and I hope you got a good sleepy in.

licks and sniffs, Sasha

Abbey said...

What a brilliant night out, and they sky when you arrived looked gorgeous. We have scorpions out West.. I cant remember if they are venemous or not and you only seem to find them if you go looking..

The toad looks like one we have here. The infamous 'Cane Toad' that was introduced to eat moths, but decided to poison everything else.. grrr, they make leather from their skins and gave a diary covered in it to Charles and Di...

Theres a bit of useless trivia..

Honest nights like that are what family memories are made from. What a great man to pass on his knowledge. We have night walks but its to see animals and birds, think id pass on the frog one... great post

houndstooth said...

Max, your mom sure takes some amazing pictures! That looks like fun!