Tag Archives: Western Cape

Study in White

Freesia 1

Freesia 1

Have a peaceful day.

Freesia 2

Freesia 2

This is one lone silver flower amongst the gold.

Freesia 3

Freesia 3

The First Rose of Spring

 

The First Rose Bud - still Orson

The First Rose Bud – still Orson

This floribunda rose bush has produced blooms continually for a whole year. Time between the last rose of Winter and, after heavy pruning, this first rose of Spring – about three weeks.

It was only when I looked closely at the photo later, on my laptop, that I noticed the uninvited guests!

The Bug Family go Exploring

The Bug Family go Exploring

Daddy, Mummy and Baby Bug go exploring on a family outing!

 

Why I am Not a World-Renowned Wildlife Photographer

Olive Thrush

Olive Thrush

I thought I had finally managed to photograph the elusive Olive Thrush. I had seen it around my garden for a while now, but it always flew away before I could take its picture. Then I saw it on my stoep. I grabbed my camera and from 10 metres back inside the house, with maximum zoom, I tried my luck. I couldn’t get any closer because my dog, Little Monkey, was right by the door, and any movement on my part would have resulted in instant investigation by her. So this was the result. Bum Cheeks!

Olive Thrush 2

Olive Thrush 2

If you’d like to see really good bird photos you could try one of the blogs I follow –

The Ouachita Shutterbug

Birds by Dave

Summer in a Cape Winter. Part Three

Pretty Flower

African Daisy

Growing up in England, it never ceases to amaze me how mild a Cape Winter is. Yes I know, we have had storms and gales, but through it all, even when it has hailed, the temperatures have not dropped below freezing; or even approached it.

There is always something bright and cheery blooming away in the middle of winter; such as the poinsettia:-

Poinsettia

Poinsettia

the camellia:-

Camellia

Camellia

And not forgetting the little plant that could, then would, and still is! The debut of the azalea:-

Azalea

Azalea

These blooms lead right into true Spring. Today, September 1st, is actually the first day of Spring here in the Cape; and with the temperature at 28C, it looks like Summer is on the way. Already there are buds on the oak and apple trees, and the hydrangea. The hibiscus and camellia are still in flower, the frangipani has new shoots, and the bougainvillea is about to burst forth.

Pretty soon, the loquat tree will be covered in ripe fruit; the squirrels’ favourite. This makes for exciting times for my dogs; as, early in the mornings, little grey squirrels run along the top of the wall, jumping in and out of the trees, and finally make it to the loquat tree for their breakfast. They then traverse the same route back, with a loquat in their mouth. All the while, my dogs are hoping a squirrel will come their way; but the little wild things are far too clever.

 

Winter in the Western Cape. Part One

Syringa Tree Winter Silhouette

Syringa Tree – Winter Silhouette

It is not always easy to notice that it actually is winter in the Western Cape, apart from it being a little chilly. So many trees here are evergreen, and some plants are in full bloom right throughout the heart of winter.

Native Capetonians may disagree with me, insisting winters here are harsh; (there are storms.) But I grew up in the north of England, where it used to snow most winters. As a kid it was magical to wake up and find snow lying thick on the ground and weighing down the bare branches of trees and the holly bush. It was not so much fun standing at the bus stop waiting over an hour for a bus to school. They were supposed to run every twenty minutes, but because of the snow, the double-deckers could not get up Mackey Hill.

Finally, frozen to my very marrow, I would walk back home to warm up a little. No sooner had I put my aching fingers on the radiator, than a bus drove past the house. Then I had to run out and try to catch it. (Complicated road system; so I had a chance of dashing across the dual carriageway and intercepting it.) So yeah, I remember winter as actually being cold; not the 9C we get in Cape Town.

Still, my Syringa tree does have a winter look about it; once all the leaves have fallen, and it stands stark against the sky with its clusters of orange berries.

Syringa Tree

Syringa Tree

Other trees have a short hiatus, when no sooner have they lost their leaves than new buds begin to sprout; like this oak tree, planted as an acorn, by a squirrel, about twenty years ago.

Oak Tree in WInter

Oak Tree in WInter

This mini series will show that all four seasons are present here right through winter. Basically, it is always summer in the Western Cape!