Humans are not the only ones to use spikes of one kind or another for protection:
We leave this morning for an adventure into the Western Cape. As we head out of town we will be saying goodbye to:
I wish you all well over the Easter weekend.
South African motorists have an array of signs warning them of dangers along the roads. Apart from warning motorists of pedestrian crossings – even on dirt roads far from the nearest town – there are helpful signs warning of cattle crossings as well as of stray cattle – the latter is not surprising when one considers how many kilometers of fencing has been stolen over the years.
In certain areas you might be warned about sheep. In country areas signs warning one about the presence of kudu – a real danger to meet on the road at night – and even warthogs are fairly common.
In certain areas there are even signs warning motorists to watch out for hippos! Today’s sign is a benign one: it warns motorists to watch out for horses.
Like so many signs in this country it is showing its age. Nonetheless, there are a surprising number of horses in the area where I live – yet this is the only warning sign. The majority of horses can be seen grazing in well-fenced paddocks. I have occasionally seen some being used cowboy fashion to move cattle from one area to another and only once come across ‘unfenced’ horses along this particular stretch of road. Nonetheless, we have been warned!
Green, green, its green they say on the far side of the hill sing the New Christy Minstrels. I’m going away to where the grass is greener still, they continue. After the December rain there is green grass everywhere and so it was quite amusing to watch this cow walking purposefully along this pavement:
Prior to reaching this brick-paved section the cow had walked over thick green grass covering the pavement for most of the length of the street. Clearly she had noticed that the grass was ‘greener’ on the far side for she didn’t halt until she had reached this address:
We came upon this herd of cattle quite unexpectedly, after having been the only vehicle on the country road for several kilometres. They had just emerged from the farm gate ahead of us. The rider on the left turned back and lifted his whip in a gesture of futility: the road is fenced on either side leaving no room to manoeuvre. We would have to be patient.
We watched them move through a thickly wooded area, giving them plenty of space. Now and then a couple of animals in the rear would dart this way or that, disappearing into the bush on either side of the road.
The horseman on the right spent much of his time riding up onto the steep bank to bring the errant animals back to the road.
The one on the left sometimes wielded his long whip with a well-practiced thwack on the ground – never once directed at the animals – that cracked so loudly we could hear it from our car.
We paused at the top of the hill to let them get well ahead, guessing correctly that they were being moved from one farm to another. We knew there was a gate on the right once they had got through the trees.
The four kilometre trip took 45 minutes. As the animals were ushered into their new paddock and the sliding gate was being closed, the two riders waved as we passed. These pictures have all been taken on my cell phone through a dusty windscreen.