Tag Archives: winter

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!

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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!

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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

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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

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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!

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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?

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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

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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!

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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!

 

Winter Solstice 2019

Winter Solstice

Today, Friday 21st June 2019, is the winter solstice here in Cape Town; the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

We finally had some good rains (it rained twice in May and, counting today, twice in June; our rainy season!) and the temperature dropped. It has been 10 C in my lounge and has dropped to 6 C just before dawn. I don’t have a heater, (just as I don’t have an air conditioner) so we just wear extra clothes.

I realise that this will not seem cold to my Northern friends. Then again, when they complain of a heatwave at 25 C, I understand. It is the difference in temperature that affects you. If you are used to 15 C and suddenly it is 25 C, you will feel too hot. Likewise, if you are used to 25 C and suddenly it is 6 C, you will freeze!

Also, every morning, I open all the doors and windows. This may seem crazy, but once the sun has risen, and I can stop seeing my breath when standing on the stoep, it is warmer outside than in. Certainly during the day, the sun will warm up the air and hopefully some will penetrate into my cold house.

I have to keep quiet about how happy I am, because everyone else is moaning about how cold it is!¬†At least, with the drought, they don’t moan about the rain anymore!

But I love it!

 

Strelitzia Strelitzia

Strelitzia Flower 1

Strelitzia Strelitzia.

Haiku 118

Oh Strelitzia

i just love saying that word

Bird of paradise

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Strelitzia seen above pea-cocking in front of the mountains and below bordered by lavender.

Strelitzia Flower 2

This is Strelitzia Reginae, indigenous to South Africa and also known as the Bird of Paradise Flower, or Crane Lily.

Such a striking flower to see when out and about.