Category Archives: Stories

Through the Looking Glass

Through the Looking Glass 1

This is an untouched photo. So what is it, if I haven’t been playing around post production?

Well, it’s a very rare phenomenon. Something we don’t see that often here in Cape Town. Something we thought we might never see again!

RAIN!

Specifically, it’s a close up of my window with rain running down the outside of the pane and the poinsettia in the garden in the background.

Through the Looking Glass 2

Here is a view of the syringa tree.

Of course, you would have guessed sooner if, instead of a nod to Lewis Carroll and Alice, I had gone with my alternative title: Looking Through the Glass!

Yes, we got good rains on Wednesday; one centimetre. Heavy enough to soak the garden and even raise the level of my pool a little.

Hooray!

Through the Looking Glass 3

Above is Window Pane Art!

Little Monkey didn’t know quite what to make of it. She kept wanting to go outside, as she normally does all day long, but stopped two steps out on the stoep, hanging her head and blinking her little eyes as the heavy rain drops spattered down on her. She turned round and came straight back in again!

More rain is forecast for next week. I wait with anticipation to see if any of this will finally raise the level of the dams. The total amount today stands at 20.6%. 

I have never watched the weather so much my whole life as I do now. Several times a day I check the Norwegian weather site’s ten day forecast, in the hope that rain for Cape Town has miraculously appeared there.

Through the Looking Glass 4

Many of you in the North may think the above photo is such a dreary outlook; I’m sure you are all heartily sick of your cold, wet or snowy winter. For me, it was a sight for sore eyes. I couldn’t stop looking outside, or standing at the open door and enjoying the freshness.

I’m also happy to report that it rained without my having to resort to doing a Rain Dance in a grass skirt, as suggested by one of my fellow bloggers. (Thank you Mitza!) Though I think another blogger may have Rain Danced on my behalf. (Probably not in a grass skirt!) (Thank you Scooj.)

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GOBBET

Here’s an extra little bit of information for you. We had fires raging in Cape Town a few days ago. The first I knew was the acrid smoke I could smell right here in my house. (Quick check to see there was nothing burning in the house!) It made my eyes sting and water, and stuck in the back of my throat making me cough. Being asthmatic, I may overreact to any air pollution, but still, it was bad. Looking outside, you could see that distinct yellow tinge to what looked like clouds, but was actually smoke.

One of the fires started at Skeleton Gorge above Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. At first it was thought that it was arson. Sadly a lot of fires are started this way.

However, further investigation revealed that this particular fire had natural causes; a massive rock fall. Apparently some large boulders had come loose and crashed down the mountainside, causing sparks as they hit other rocks. This was enough to ignite the bone-dry grasses and veld. Fire!

The firefighters are amazing and quickly extinguished that fire, only to have it flare up again and again over the next few days as it spread to other areas.

So the good rains on Wednesday were very welcome. Hopefully they have put out the fires for good now.

We live miles away from those fires and it was bad enough here; I can only imagine how horrible it was for the people living right there and the poor firefighters themselves.

I am surprised we have not had more fires, with our hot temperatures and the vegetation so dry from the drought. Hopefully we will get even more rain now as we head into winter and our rainy season.

But if any of you wish to perform a Rain Dance on our behalf, please feel free!

 

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Not Yet Departed

Swallows

Haiku 53

Not yet departed

Borne aloft on southern winds

Spirited away

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Once again I saw many European Swallows flying over my garden. They were milling round overhead, massing together rather than catching insects on the wing.

I dashed inside for my trusty Canon, but when I got back outside they were no longer flocking.

I caught one last glimpse of them over the rooftops, as they headed off – South?

Yep. They were definitely headed South, so I don’t think they’re ready to go back up North just yet!

Also, it was strange to see them flying in a skein formation like this. They’re not geese after all!

 

Sparkies for Africa!

Squirrels 1

I often see a squirrel on my lawn, or climbing on the fence or a tree.

But this time I spotted three squirrels all at once, which is very rare. A scurry of Sparkies!

Squirrel 2

Though they all seemed to be youngsters, one of them was particularly young; so cute with his skinny little body.

Squirrel 3

They were very busy digging for food in my garden and generally scurrying around.

Squirrel 4

They look awkward walking on all fours on the ground, being much more at home climbing straight up a tree.

And after all that hard work time for a little drink; in the bird bath!

Squirrel 5

They have also drunk out of the dog water bowls on the stoep, but I haven’t managed to catch a photo yet.

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Of course, with all this extra activity going in in the garden I have to remember to double check for little grey bodies before I let Little Monkey out. Sometimes I forget.

Squirrel 6

LM spots them instantly and is off like a shot. One time it looked a little too close for comfort and I bellowed at her to stop! She skidded to a halt and her back legs collapsed. I like to think she was already stopping because I told her to and not because her legs gave way, but I guess I’ll never know. (Her back legs have been doing this for over a year now. No cause can be found; she is very healthy, just getting old.)

Still, I never thought that LM would become nearly as well behaved as my previous dog Lady, as you can see from this post of three and a half years ago; The Further Adventures of Sparky the Squirrel: Part Two.

 

post script: Many of these photos were taken through a window, so please excuse the blurry, milky appearance, or with my Galaxy phone, not great on distance shots.

 

Sunday Musings #131

That awkward moment when you’re wearing *Nike’s and you can’t do it.

– Anon

 

haha I like this!

I sometimes see people all dressed up in the latest sports gear setting off jogging or on their bike. My daughter used to see girls at the gym; dressed up and wearing makeup. They had gone to socialise not work out!

The genuine athletes wear comfy clothes and shoes; often old and falling apart. They are there to exercise, not be in a fashion parade.

For myself, I make sure I have a decent pair of walking shoes and that’s about it. Yes, I own an exercise bike (gammy knees), which I use regularly at home, when it’s not too hot! For the rest, I walk Little Monkey and do various strengthening exercises.

And while I’ve never owned a pair of Nike’s in my life, I do appreciate the sentiment.

*Nike’s slogan is “Just Do It!”

 

Sticky

Stick Insect

 

Haiku 52

Hiding in plain sight

Clinging on with one leg gone

The Stick Around Guy

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I found this tiny stick insect on the side wall. He’s about two inches long. It’s been yonks since I last saw one. We used to have gigantic ones a good six inches long. Funnily enough that one also had only five legs.

His disguise of being a stick didn’t quite work on the white-washed wall! But it was good to see the little guy and know that they are still surviving, somewhere.

 

To See the World in a Drop of Rain

Raindrop 1

 

To see the World in a drop of rain

Mysteries of the Universe

Swirl within your milky depths

Difficult to comprehend

The gift of life you bring

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More precious than liquid gold

Your welcome kiss in short supply

Bathes each petal and blade of grass

Throwing a lifeline to survival

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Water is Life

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Raindrop 2

Transformed by a little rain in my garden last week, some of my plants hang on to life by the slimmest of threads.

 

Autumn’s First Gold

Vine Leaf Autumn Gold

 

Haiku 51

Catching golden sun

Tucked in lavender for fun

Has Autumn begun?

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I found a few golden vine leaves caught in my dried up lavender. The morning sun was just starting to illuminate them with its warming rays.

Autumn in the Cape is a beautiful, albeit short, season.

Temperatures start to drop now. I may have to dust off a jersey!