A Springbok, 17 April 2020. Copyright 2020 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.

© 2020 Forgotten Fields
I was surprised to spot a Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) yesterday, my first sighting of the antelope in the wild. (“Springbok” is Afrikaans for “jump-buck”, pronounced with a trilled “R”, “i” like the “a” in “about” and the “o” in “orange”.)

A Steenbok?

Steenboksberg, 19 October 2018. Copyright 2018 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.
Steenboksberg, taken exactly one year ago next Sunday, on 19 October 2018.

It is my custom on Sundays to venture out among the hills just before daylight. Twice now I have spotted on one of the hillsides an antelope browsing.

Though on both occasions it was too distant for an accurate identification, I believe it to be a female Steenbok1 (Raphicerus campestris)2.

I base this solely upon the general shape and colour of the creature—and the name of the nearby mountain, Steenboksberg3 (Steenbok’s Mountain)!

  1. Afrikaans for “stone-buck”, pronounced [steeyin-bok].
  2. Steenbok (Wikipedia)
  3. Afrikaans, pronounced [steeyin-boks-behRCH] with a trilled [RRR] and the [CH] in “loch” (not [ck] but the guttural [kccch]).

An Antelope and a Lily

Aandpypie (Gladiolus liliaceus), 19 October 2018. Copyright 2018 Forgotten Fields. All rights reserved.
Gladiolus lileaceus (Taken 19 October 2018)

A delightful fact I neglect to mention is that my beloved Gladiolus liliaceus, commonly known as the Large Brown Afrikaner and Aandpypie1 (“little evening pipe”2), has yet another common Afrikaans name: the Ribbokblom3, that is, the “rhebok flower”!

Whence the name, I can only speculate—perhaps because the rhebok itself is as rare, or that both are found on hillsides and are brownish-grey? Nonetheless, what are the odds that two of my favourite things—an antelope and a lily—should be thus connected!

  1. [aahnd-paypee]
  2. After the flower that opens at night.
  3. [Ribbok-blom] with a trilled “R” and a short [awh] version of the “o” in “or”.