SPRING: ERYTHRINA CAFFRA

There are no beautiful bulbs peeping through the ground and, so far, no pastel pinks of peach blossoms or the delicate white of flowers on the plum tree. The prolonged drought has meant that once again the arrival of spring has not been heralded by an array of pretty flowers appearing among the last of the winter grass. These will all have to wait until we finally receive a soaking spring rain. Not all is lost though, for at the end of winter and well into spring we are blessed with the scarlet blooms of the Erythrina caffra.

This is a relatively young tree growing just around the corner from where we live. If one walks to the top of Hill 60 and looks down on the town stretching out below, there are spots of red all over as these trees bloom profusely before putting out their new leaves. We have ancient, giant trees, in our garden that are far too large to fit into a photograph. The best I can do is use the opportunity to show you a closer view of these blossoms that brighten the post-winter landscape.

These flowers are low down on the tree and can easily be seen from our back gate.

I also have a delightful view of the tree in our neighbour’s garden and can observe the birds visiting it every day: Black-eyed blackcaps, Olive thrushes, Black-headed orioles, Common starlings, Red-winged starlings, Cape Weavers, Village weavers, Greater double-collared sunbirds, Amethyst sunbirds, Laughing doves, Red-eyed doves, Speckled pigeons, Fork-tailed drongos … and so many more.

SPRING IS BLOOMING IN ADDO

The arrival of spring in the Addo Elephant National Park is dramatic. Look at this vast expanse of yellow:

The veld is illuminated all over by the beautiful bushes of Karoo Gold (Rhigozum obovatum):

Among the swathe of yellow are little patches of purple and mauve, made up of Wild Verbena (Pentanisia prunelloides) and Blue Karoo Daisies (Felicia filifolia):

There are also rivulets of the Common Gazania (Gazania krebsiana):

It is a lovely time of the year to celebrate the arrival of spring in the wild!

EARLY SIGNS OF SPRING

EARLY SIGNS OF SPRING

While we remain in the grip of cold, grey weather, Nature is already gearing up for the season of Spring in the garden. New acacia leaves are emerging from their winter sheaths on hitherto dead-looking branches.

acacialeaves

Peach blossoms are looking beautiful now – even the ancient plum tree is showing a few brave white flowers – and the crossberry is covered with blossoms.

peachblossom

crossberry

The wild ginger bush and the pelargoniums are blooming.

ginger bush

pelargonium

So are the white daisy bushes and jasmine – the latter fills the garden with a sweet scent, particularly in the late afternoons and early morning.

whitedaisies

jasmine

Best of all, the cheerful weavers are back en masse. Some are already bearing strips of leaves or grass to practise their knotting skills prior to serious nest-weaving. The Cape Weavers are looking particularly beautiful wearing their deep breeding blush.

capeweaver