Tag Archives: winter

A Host of Golden –

Golden Apple Leaves 1

Haiku 251

Carpeting the lawn

Autumn hues of yellow-gold

Winter wonderland!

.

 

Following on from my Lonely Cloud post, I present:

A Host of Golden Apple Leaves,

An adaptation of the line A host of golden daffodils, from William Wordsworth’s poem;

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Golden Apple Leaves – Tree 2

With all the colourful blossoming going on, as seen in my last post, Winter Solstice, my winter garden could pass for summer, except for a few tell-tale signs that it is, in fact, mid-winter.

The ancient apple tree, with its winter carpet of golden leaves, is one of those signs.

 

post script: Yes, I know it is confusing! It is mid-Winter here in Cape Town; today anyhow. The temperatures have plummeted, gales are howling and icy rain falls intermittently. Yet the apple tree is shedding its leaves as though it were Autumn, while next to it, the large Camellia bush is covered in buds waiting to burst forth as in Spring, and most days a Summer sun beats down, while Sunbirds sip nectar from the honeysuckle! Cape Town is beautiful!

 

The Winter Solstice 2021

Winter Flowers 1 – Plumbago

Haiku 250

A bleak mid-winter

While seasons keep on turning

Another solstice

.

Winter Flowers 2 – Poinsettia

Today, Monday 21 June 2021, is the winter solstice down here in South Africa. It is the shortest day, the longest night, of the year. For most of my readers however, it is quite the reverse, as you reach mid-summer in the northern hemisphere.

Winter Flowers 3 – Lavender

For us, the sun will now start returning; though to be honest, I can’t say it’s ever been far away!

Winter Flowers 4 – Honeysuckle

However, winter proper has yet to come. July and August are the coldest, wettest months in Cape Town. Actually, I hope we do get some decent rain, as once again, our “rainy” season has been fairly dry so far.

Winter Flowers 5 – Viola

Dotted among the text in this post, are photos from my garden.

You would hardly know it is winter!

 

post script: A bleak mid-winter refers to one of my favourite Christmas carols; In the bleak mid-winter. 

.

For those interested: Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate; warm wet winters and dry hot summers. However, South Africa is very big and other parts of the country have completely different climates. Some places north of the Western Cape have snowfalls in winter and many places are much colder. Johannesburg, 1400km to the north of CT, has hot wet summers, but cold dry winters. When we lived there the temperatures dropped to minus 8C one winter, and the fountains froze in town!

 

A Winter’s Tale

Egyptian Geese on Rooftop

Haiku 216

Winter’s not quite done

Freezing rains and gale force winds

A sting in the tail!

.

What are you two Egyptian Geese gossiping about? The cold snap? Yes, it hit out of the blue and the temperatures plummeted. But you’re alright. Feathers are incredibly warm!

There’s been snow on Table Mountain and temperatures of 2 degrees Centigrade recorded. Brrr Even the local resident Dassies on the mountain were rather confused by it all. – See here in a Local news clip.

Our coldest and wettest winter month here in Cape Town used to be July. Now it seems to be August. Still, at least it means that all the cold rain is filling up my swimming pool – and the dams, which now stand at 88.7%.

This is enough to last us through all those dry summer months to come.

I don’t mind the cold and the rain; it won’t last. Already the sun is hot when I go outside, even though the air is freezing! Such a conundrum here in South Africa. A cold country with a hot sun!

.

post script: For those of you who are interested, the variegated plant with purple flowers that I posted on Friday is actually a Periwinkle, Vinca major ‘Variegata’. Scooj got it and many others had good guesses.

 

Yellow

Yellow Honeysuckle

Haiku 200

Low hanging sunshine

New flowers and golden leaves

Winter’s all Yellow

.

Yellow Syringa

The colour of winter in the Cape:

Yellow honeysuckle enticing the Sunbirds’ return; Syringa berries and golden leaves ready to fall; Apple Tree leaves, capturing a sunbeam;

Yellow Apple Leaf

All these make a glorious golden winter time.

 

post script: Here’s a lovely acoustic clip of Donovan singing his iconic hit “Colours”, beginning with the line Yellow is the colour of my true love’s hair.

 

Winter Solstice 2020

Poinsettia 1

Haiku 198

Winter Solstice morn

The shortest day of the year

Sun now returning

.

 

To be honest, I can hardly say that the sun ever really left! Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate, with very mild winters.

Poinsettia 2

Here I’ve photographed my Poinsettia in a little morning mist. The plant is a good 6 metres (20 feet) tall, so basically a tree. I have to shoot from underneath and with my arm high above my head to try to capture the red leaves, technically called bracts.

Right now my garden is full of plants and shrubs in bloom.

The Sunbirds have returned to the Honeysuckle; the Camellia is filling up with large pink blooms; and of course, the Poinsettia is a lovely splash of red in a mostly green world.

Poinsettia 3

Still, it takes some getting used to, after growing up in the North of England, where you had real winters!

Also, most of my Readers live in the Northern hemisphere, where you will have just experienced the Summer Solstice and your longest day. Hopefully you have many more summer days to look forward to!

 

Keeping Warm

Knitted Blankets

Haiku 141

A knitting pastime

Clickety clack of needles

Et Voila! Blankets!

.

 

I’ve always liked to knit; usually while I’m doing something else. As a kid, I’d knit and read a book, while listening to music and rocking in my Mum’s rocking chair!

Nowadays I tend to knit in the evenings if I’m watching a movie. I just knit squares, so I don’t have to kook at my work. If the movie is exciting I’ll look down and see I’ve knitted way beyond my square and now have a rectangle!

I sew up the squares into small blankets, that can be draped over your knees or shoulders; or used as a baby blanket or an extra layer on your bed. They are surprisingly light and very warm.

Last winter I had knitted many squares, but had not sewn them up. So at the beginning of this winter I got out all the squares to make them up into blankets. I was amazed at the sheer number: I must have watched some good movies!

The photo shows the finished blankets that I took to the charity shop. They can either sell them for funds for the animal rescue organisation that Little Monkey came from, or give them away to those in need.

I’ve stocked up on more wool from the local shop. The colours are very bright, so it looks like the next lot of blankets will be neon!

 

Idyllic Winter Scene

Winter Tree Skyline 1

Haiku 137

An idyllic scene

Wispy white clouds and blue sky

The bleak mid-winter?

.

Winter Tree Skyline 2

This was early one morning, just as the sun was rising!

Winter Tree Skyline 3

I’m sure you all know by now that winter in the Western Cape is my favourite time of year. Cooler temperatures, rain, sun, beautiful nature; what’s not to like?

 

Sunday Musings #186

That fail moment when you pull your blankets up and punch yourself in the face.

Unknown

 

Haha Happens to me quite a lot!

I suspect that most of my readers don’t need blankets at the moment, as you experience summer heatwaves up in the North!

But down here in South Africa it is still winter; granted not like your winters; but still cold enough at night to warrant a blanket or two!

 

The Leaves That are Green

Yellow Apple Tree Leaves 1

Haiku 132

The leaves that are green

Finally turn to yellow

Flutter to the ground

.

Yellow Apple Tree Leaves 2

My apple tree is running a little behind the rest of the garden. I look out and see the tree is still covered in green leaves, but at least some are now falling. The oak tree and syringa have been bare for a while now.

Yellow Apple Tree Leaves 3

All the rest of the garden is green or in full bloom, like my poinsettia, camellia and honeysuckle.

Winter is weird in the Western Cape!

 

You can listen to Simon and Garfunkel singing “The leaves that are green.”

 

Confused!

Grape Vine Leaf 1

Haiku 123

Tiny grape vine leaf

What do you think you’re doing?

It’s winter you know!

.

Grape Vine Leaf 2

I’ve seen this grape vine get confused before. I don’t know if it is rain or sun that triggers it to produce new leaves, but they won’t survive. Yes, it is still mid-winter here in Cape Town; and the sky really is that blue!

While checking out my apple tree the other day, and wondering when the leaves would start to fall, I noticed new growth there on the end of some branches!

I don’t know what is going on, but surely it would be better to wait till Spring, in September!