The drought has lasted so long here that precipitation even in its lightest form provides a welcome relief.

Large Eucalyptus trees loom out of the mist ahead while a resurgence of wattles wave about on the left. The latter have been targeted by the Working for Water teams, but are difficult invasive trees to be finally rid of. As the layer of mist settled more comfortably on the ridge, light drops fell against the windscreen.

We get so little precipitation here that this was an exciting moment! Looking to our left, we could see the light mist softening the features of the valley below.

The disused railway is in the foreground, while the pale patch in the background is a kaolin mine. In between are a mixture of beef and game farms.


Several of my overseas readers have complained about the amount of rain they have experienced during the summer, while in the Eastern Cape of South Africa we are desperate for soaking rain to replenish our dams and to rejuvenate the natural vegetation. Within that context, imagine this tantalising scene: mist hugging the high ground and obscuring the trees.

I stopped along the Highlands road, running between Grahamstown and Alicedale, simply to breathe in this moist air, to feel the light touch of mist droplets on my skin – and to photograph this Eucalyptus tree towering above the road.

Further on, another tree loomed into focus as I drew nearer.

The mist was already breaking up and drifting away as I neared the end of the dirt road.

All this mist – and no rain!