Enjoy these patterns seen in my garden over the past month:
All were taken with my cell phone.
I am pleased to report that my garden today is wet. Yes, really: it is wet, wet, wet and although the rain has made way for the sun, leaves are dripping – some are even weighing down the branches with the weight of rain. This is a sight for sore eyes – 28mm of rain!
Rain means mud and mud means that the Lesser-striped Swallows can proceed with their urgent task of constructing their mud nest under the eaves.
A Hadeda Ibis chick balances on the edge of the precarious nest in the back garden.
While a beautiful nest woven by an excited Southern Masked Weaver bobs up and down with no tenants – it was obviously not deemed to be good enough when the female inspected it!
My teeny weeny patch of flowers has got a new lease of life – just when I thought it was soon going to revert to being a bare patch of ground.
A very old hibiscus has come into bloom.
So has the indigenous Plumbago.
A matter of weeks ago I thought I would have to remove the Christ thorns lining the front path.
All over the garden the Crossberries are coming into bloom.
As is the very beautiful Cape Chestnut tree.
Yesterday and today have been by far the coldest of the winter so far – uncomfortably cold. The best part about this icy weather is that it has been accompanied by some very light rain: 4mm one evening, 4mm the next, and today we measured a ‘whopping’ 12mm! The garden is rejoicing. Look at this flower on the ginger bush:
This is not a quality picture at all, but the very sharp-eyed among you might just recognise the shape of a Knysna Turaco in the leafless tree. I counted five of them in the garden yesterday! The strong Berg Wind that brought the cold front in its wake shook the trees and sent leaves cascading all over the garden. Instead of the usual crunch underfoot, I could delight in seeing wet leaves on the path.
These are snaps taken with my cell phone – not brilliant, but enough to share with you the joy of hearing the soft pattering of raindrops during the night; of breathing in the delicously damp aromas of wet soil, wet dry grass, and the unparalleled freshness of rain-washed air. They are good enough to convey the feeling that there is hope and that – despite the cold – even that little rain has revived me just as it has perked up the flowers in my tiny patch of garden and brought a new ‘growth-energy’ to the almost dead lemon tree in the back garden.
In the words of Langston Hughes:
Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The veld has been tinder dry for weeks as the relentless drought continues. A grass fire, fanned by hot wind, raced through the mountains around our town at the weekend, engulfing us in a blanket of smoke and ash. Today the Mountain Drive area looks bleak and black. Yet, Earth Day is one that encourages us to look at our environment more closely; to get to know it better; to consider what we can do to protect and nurture it better; as well as being thankful for what we have.
How extremely thankful I am for the 4mm of soft rain that we were blessed with during the night!
This has encouraged the canary creeper buds to open – these are the first of what should become a waterfall of bright blooms.
The Crassula ovata is also covered with buds waiting to open.
Meanwhile, the Cape honeysuckle flowers are already providing swathes of bright colour and a useful source of nectar.
The Virginia creeper is showing off its autumn colours.
In keeping with these autumnal colours, it is fortuitous that an Olive Thrush was the first bird to greet me this morning.
Happy Earth Day!
Earlier this month we were treated to swirling clouds and a darkening sky followed by a short bout of rain.
Puddles formed very quickly and the Urban Herd that happened to be grazing on the old golf course took advantage of the handy supply of water.