Tag Archives: winter

Storm Front

Red Skies 1

Haiku 58

A beautiful sight

Clouds amass in red sunset

Presage to a Storm

.

Did you know that Cape Town is referred to as The Cape of Good Hope?

Did you know it is also referred to as The Cape of Storms?

Red Skies 2

We get some tremendous gales down here at the tip of the African continent. We are the first outcrop of land to take the brunt of those Antarctic storm fronts that come rushing in from the south west.

We are used to it.

When we talk about it being a bit windy, you can be sure the trees are bending furiously in the gales and your breath is whipped from your body when you walk abroad.

Red Skies 3

This year we are particularly grateful for each and every one of these storm fronts that actually does hit our coastline.

Last year, time after time, they passed by south of us, taking their tantalising rain clouds with them.

Last year was the third year in a row that we received a lower than average rainfall and the drought hit us hard.

So far, this year promises to be better. Already we have had more rain than the same time last year. The total dam levels in Cape Town are at 26%. This time last year they were at 19%.

And Capetonians are continuing to save water like crazy. We are still limited to a maximum of 50 litres per person per day.

This is what has saved us; so far.

We can only hope that our rainy months of June and July fulfill our expectations and the dams replenish enough to last us through to this time next year.

Bring on the storms!

 

post script: You can read about how different our winters were back in 2014, in two of my early posts: Give a Dog a Bone and Cape of Storms.

 

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Preparing for Winter

Little Monkey and Hair!

Little Monkey is shedding again; getting her new winter coat.

Judging by the amount of hair coming off her at the moment, I guess it’s going to be a cold winter.

Are you thinking snow blizzards and Beasts from the West (our weather comes from the south west) like the UK has had recently?

Unlikely. Here in Cape Town it rarely goes below nine degrees – centigrade!

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post script: Yes I know many of you will have shaggier dogs that moult way more, but this is still a noteworthy amount of hair from one brushing of a short-haired dog with no undercoat in a hot country!

Also, I love that she has her little front teeth! She is my only rescue dog to have good teeth like this. All the others had worn their teeth down to the bone by chewing; perhaps on wire cages, chains or stones. Those dogs would also have had poor diets most of their life and therefore worse teeth to start with. 

Little Monkey is lucky. Even if she did come from a rescue centre, she has never been on the streets fending for herself.

 

Pink Moon

Sunset/Moonrise

We get the pinkest of skies here in Cape Town in winter. A subtle hue spreads evenly across the sky as the sun thinks about setting.

You have to be quick to catch this tint though, as the sun sets so rapidly that suddenly all colour is gone.

To add a little glamour to the scene, a sliver of a moon shines out in the pinkness.

You noticed it without the title, right?

 

And if you want to know what a Blue Moon is, check out my post Blue Moon!

 

Winter Skies

Winter’s Day

Sunrise on a cold winter’s day.

This is my neighbour’s tree, which I love because it is the only one near me that is deciduous and waves its bare branches in the pink winter skies.

Most of my trees are evergreen, like my Eugenia. My large Syringa will eventually shed all its leaves, but at the moment it’s still looking very green. It better get a move on though, as the sun is starting to come back already!

Syringa

And it’s only chilly until the sun rises higher in the sky, then, barring any storm fronts heralding gales, the day rapidly warms up.

Winter is mild here in Cape Town.

 

Frankly, My Dear, I Do Give A Dam!

Dam Levels

Dam Levels

Winter is our rainy season, most falling in June and July. It is supposed to be raining right now. We really need rain.

If you look at the graph, Weekly dam levels in Cape Town, you can see how low our dam levels are, compared to last year, 2015, when they were severely low, causing water restrictions throughout the whole of last summer, Dec 2015/Jan 2016. (Which wasn’t helped by the severe heat wave and daily temperatures of 38C.)

You have to look at the total storage capacity, as some dams may be fairly full, but are also very small. The largest dam is Theewaterskloof, which is only at 43.5% capacity.

The total storage of all the dams this year is only 48.1%. For the same week in 2015 the total storage was 61.5% and in 2014 it was 101%.

I don’t know how we will cope this coming summer if we don’t get more rain right now.

So where’s all our rain gone?

I think the UK might have the answer to that one!

 

One Misty Moisty Morning

Misty Morning

Misty Morning

Sunrise one winter’s morn.

Early morning mist like this is not common here in Cape Town, but does occur occasionally, showing we really are in the middle of winter.

Misty Morning 2

Misty Morning 2

Here the circular disc of the sun can be seen trying to shine through the mist, silhouetted by the bare grape vines.

The misty wintry scene reminded me of a nursery rhyme my mother used to say to my kids when they were young.

The version I remember goes like this –

One misty, moisty morning

When cloudy was the weather,

There I met an old man

Clothed all in leather.

He began to compliment

And I began to grin

How do you do and how do you do?

And how do you do again?

 

And she’d shake their hands while saying the ‘How do you do’s’. They loved it.

 

The rhyme I remember seems to be a mixture of two versions that I found at Songs & Rhymes.

There’s a whole lot of info you can find once you start looking, even for something as simple as an old nursery rhyme. You can read here the full length poem Misty, Moisty Morning or even learn about the history of leather clothing,

 

And all because, for an hour or so one morning, we had fog.