Apparently the exact timing of the Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere was at 21:20 on 22nd September. Not willing to experience the changeover in the hours of darkness, we drove inland yesterday to experience some of the signs of spring in the Eastern Cape. What better way to start than with the bright new leaves and scarlet spikes of the indigenous Erythrina lysistemon as seen from the garage where we had our tyres checked.
At Baddaford Farm Stall, not far from Fort Beaufort, where we stopped to check on directions, the bougainvilleas were coming into bloom.
As we passed through the Mpofu (Eland) Nature Reserve in the Amatole district, we couldn’t help admiring the spring leaves of the various Vachellia (Acacia) trees that brighten the otherwise drab-looking grassland.
Near the exit gate of this reserve several peach trees are blooming – a wonderful sight to see in spring.
Despite the dry and dusty conditions, there were bright patches of yellow – as well as individual flowers peeking through the grass – Common Gazania (Gazania krebsiana) growing along the road verges.
I couldn’t resist the delightful aroma from the clusters of violet blooms covering the many wisteria plants in the garden of Waylands Country House in the Katberg.
There are also beautiful stands of lavender.
The white arum lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) look beautiful in still moist patches everywhere we travelled.
Lastly, here is another bright red flower – which looks like the Indigofera heterophylla in my flower guide – growing in the otherwise barren carpark outside the St John the Evangelist Church in the Winterberg. This church dates back to 1858 and is still used occasionally.