Category Archives: Stories

New Beginnings

Apple Blossom 1

Haiku 280

Gnarly old branches

Every spring surprising me

With new beginnings

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My ancient apple tree was here when we bought the house, eons ago.

Its trunk is lumpy and diseased, yet it still somehow manages to regenerate each year.

Apple Blossom 2

Every time I walk past this tree I check it for new growth. First there were a few new green leaves.

Then finally, one day, I spot what I’ve been waiting for. The first apple blossom.

Now it is spring!

 

Mr Mole

Cape Golden Mole 1

Haiku 279

From small to smaller

They only want to survive

All life is precious

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We’d just had another of our Cape Storms, with strong winds and rain. My pool was full of leaves blown off the trees. I went round with the pool net, skimming as many of the leaves off the surface as I could.

I spotted a butterfly lying flat on the surface, wings outstretched. I thought to myself, “Well he’s gone,” but scooped him up anyway.

Cape Golden Mole 2

Then I noticed a large dark leaf, that seemed to be moving. I realised it was a mole!

The poor thing must have fallen in last night. It was exhausted, cold and barely alive, but still bravely trying to swim and survive.

I quickly scooped him up in the net also and laid it on the lawn. I made sure he was at the top so he could breathe, and went to fetch my camera.

Cape Golden Mole and Butterfly 3

When I came back, I was amazed to see that the butterfly had crawled out of the leaf mess and was wafting its wings, trying to dry off, while perching on the edge of the net.

The mole wasn’t moving at all. Poor little thing. I must have been just too late.

Still, I had an idea! Finding a small twig I pressed it gently under the mole’s forearm – and gave him CPR!

I didn’t want to actually touch him in case he sprang to life and bit me!

Cape Golden Mole and Butterfly 4

The mole was still motionless, but I don’t give up easily. I carried the net full of leaves, mole and butterfly over to a sheltered spot in my garden and emptied it out under the fir tree.

Then I tried to get the butterfly off the net. I placed the net next to the brick wall by the pool pump, and encouraged the butterfly to go onto it, but it was having none of that and turned away back to the netting. How did it even see?

So I held the net right up against a branch of the olive tree – and the butterfly stepped on to it. When I checked a short while later, he’d flown off.

Cape Golden Mole 5

Back to Mr Mole. I watched him quietly for a while, then noticed he was moving very slightly. He was still alive! Amazing!

I don’t know if you can see from the photos, but he had the most beautiful iridescent fur, with shiny colours of gold, green and violet. I think he was a Cape Golden Mole, occurring only in Sub-Saharan Africa.

I thought the best thing I could do for him, was to cover him with a few leaves, for camouflage and warmth, and just leave him be.

When I checked on him later, he’d also gone home.

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Waking up on Saturday morning, I never dreamed that a few hours later I would be giving CPR to a mole! It just goes to show; you never know what each day will bring.

 

Freesias

Freesias

Haiku 278

Carry on shining

Filter sunlight through petals

Still providing joy

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I cut these few freesias before they got too frazzled, as they were growing horizontally. They continued to give me pleasure as they sat in their vase on the little side unit, bathed in sunlight.

My freesias have all just about finished. Now I have the long wait for the leaves to shrivel up and the bulb to restore its energy, before I can tidy up the plant pots.

But I can’t complain, as I have had many weeks of colour and scent from these little plants – and more than a few blog posts!

 

Daffodil

Daffodil

Haiku 277

A bright flash of skirts

 Differing shades of yellow

Daffy-down-dilly!

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I’m not sure how I remembered the phrase “Daffy-down-dilly” – (it must have been hiding in the depths of my childhood memories for more decades than I care to think about) – but once recalled, it was perfect, at five syllables, for a line in my haiku!

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post script: Daffy-down-dilly was first mentioned in a novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1843.

The poem which I remember, is as follows:

Daffy-down-dilly

Has come to town

With a yellow petticoat

And a pretty green gown

 

Wild Flower

Wild Flower 1

Haiku 276

What you doing here?

So pretty yet unwanted

Little wild flower

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Wild Flower 2

I found this purple flower growing in the wild asparagus pot. At first I thought it was a flower from the asparagus, until I remembered that the asparagus makes white flowers, that later turn into tiny red berries.

Then I saw that the weed had grown up from the lawn at the bottom of the stoep and was actually very tall!

Wild Flower 3

Well, pretty as it is, it’s gone now, as I’ve just weeded there, on my hands and knees.

You may say, “Shame man!” (Well, if you’re South African, that’s the expression you’d use!) But this time of year in Cape Town, Everything grows madly. If I want my flowers to stand a chance of not being strangled to death, I have to weed constantly.

But no worries, this wild flower grows all around my garden.

 

A Red Rose For You

Red Rose 1

Haiku 275

Start the week brightly

Magnificent creation

A red rose for you

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Red Rose 2

This is the first rose to open in my garden this early summer.

However, it may be the only bloom that I get from this “rose bush”, because it is actually just one lone stalk!

Still, it is magnificent; large and beautifully scented.

One is enough.

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I dedicate this rose to all my loyal readers. Thank you for your support,  comments and likes. They are always most welcome, but especially over the last years of Lockdown and isolation, which have been harsh here in South Africa. 

 

Periwinkle

Periwinkle

Haiku 274

A touch of purple

In variegated leaves

The periwinkle

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Appropriated* from next door, these periwinkle keep on spreading, both in size and delight.

All the more enjoyable, because they didn’t cost me a penny!

 

*The plants grew from my neighbour’s side, under the creeping vines that were removed when the wall was put up. I can’t help it if some of them preferred my side!

 

Pinky

Pink Freesia

Haiku 272

Latest addition

Shyly showing her colours

All pretty in pink

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My freesia bulbs continue to open in a variety of colours. The latest is this pretty pink one.

So far it is the only pink, among many white, red, purple and yellow.

At about R3 a bulb, these were definitely a good buy!

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R3 is about 15p in UK, or 21c in USA.

 

Broken Down

Red Rose

Haiku 271

Broken down beauty

Dusky petals unfurling

Lovely to behold

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Sometimes when I am at the local shops buying boring supplies, I will also buy a bunch of roses. We enjoy them for a week or two, as the buds slowly open.

There are always 15 roses in the bunch. However, when I was trimming them and placing in a vase, I only counted 14 roses. Then I noticed one stalk with no rose!

I found the head of the rose on the floor.

So I popped it in my tiny cut-glass vase, filled to the brim with water, and placed it on the window ledge in the kitchen.

This bud too is slowly opening up.

And it makes the washing up much more pleasant!