It is time to delve into some random patterns that might stir up memories or comment. The first is a cairngorm brooch my son used to wear on his plaid as part of  his piping uniform. These have thankfully been dispensed with as they are far too hot to wear during our summers.

Here is a detail on a canon in Fort Beaufort.

At this time of the year we scan the horizon for clouds that might just bring us rain.

After the rain comes the joy of seeing drops on the leaves around the garden.

Leaves on their own make attractive patterns too.

Lastly – part of a buffalo.



To celebrate the changing nature of the sky, we will begin with a beautiful sunrise:

Then move on to the early morning mist filling the hollows of the countryside:

As the sun rises higher, we can enjoy a beautifully clear blue sky set off by the scarlet flowers of Erythrina caffra:

In this dry land, the sight of clouds gathering is always a hopeful one:

So are beams of sunlight shining through the cloud cover after a storm:

Whenever a Berg Wind whips up dust, or there have been veld fires in the area, we get to enjoy particularly spectacular sunsets:


As you can imagine, having experienced months of clear skies whilst longing for rain, many of us find the formation of any clouds fascinating. None of the ones you will see below have brought us rain, yet they have provided and interesting contrast to the usual spotless blue.

A variety of different shapes and hues is very exciting to see.

This one is taken from our back garden.

These clouds amused me while I was waiting in High Street. The clock tower is part of our Town Hall.

These lovely clouds were photographed from our front garden.


We haven’t had rain for such a long time during which the sky has remained a beautiful clear blue that any change in it is worth looking at, all the more so because our ‘wetter’ season should be from September through to about April. Not that the rain knows about such ‘rules’ for it has a mind of its own. Still, this is the sort of sky that would bring us joy right now: low, dark and wet – as it was in Port Elizabeth in 2016:

The type of sky to strike terror in anyone’s heart – especially during the drought – forms the backdrop to large plumes of smoke from a veld fire. This one was not far from our town in 2019:

It is during the fire season – as dreadful as it is – that we can be treated to beautiful sunrises such as this one:

While we were walking along a path parallel to Cradock Road last year, we were treated to this hopeful looking sky – which yielded not a drop:

It has happened so often during this drought that we look up in wonder as puffy clouds begin to populate the sky, as they did a few days ago:

Unfortunately, they mostly dissipate quickly leaving us to wait for another day:


After months of beautifully clear blue skies, we finally had some cloud cover this week.

The temperature dropped and a cool breeze began to circulate around the valley. There was a delightful smell of dampness in the air.

These ones held a definite promise of rain. By now the wind was whipping the trees into a frenzy as I turned for home.

The first drops splattered onto the windscreen as more clouds came barrelling over the hills. From the shelter of home I looked down on my garden buckling under the wind as thunder rumbled and lightning flashed.

It was all over in minutes … the clouds drifted away and the sun shone brightly once more … we had received 4mm of rain.