Walking towards the mountain last Sunday morning, to the dam on Houdconstant farm. Pomegranates, oranges, grapes. Where we disturbed a small flock of dark spurwinged geese. As we tried to get closer for a photo, they took off, in bunches, circled and settled, elsewhere. One of the few dams that still has water, after the summer, harvesting what drains down from the mountain. The nearby Voelvlei dam supplies the city of Cape Town with water.
|Houdconstant farm dam|
Back in town we find some Yard Art. They look peaceful and comfortable. And blind! But I guess they are dozing in the afternoon sun, an open book discarded on his lap. Quiet greige, not the usual garden gnome palette.
(Our cold weather comes across the Atlantic straight up from Antarctica - southernmost Cape Agulhas to Antarctica six thousand kilometres away). We are 33 degrees South. Level with Perth and north of all New Zealand, with its frost-fighting-wind-machines amongst the vines. Approximately level with Santiago/Chile and Buenos Aires/Argentina in South America. If you Northerners are sick of snow, be kind to us. In the Western Cape snow is a bit Camelot, a dusting on the mountain peaks – no frost in the garden, no icy roads, just cold enough to enjoy a fire in the evening.
PS 33rd parallel North goes thru Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Tripoli in Libya. Golan Heights in Israel, Syria, Iraq, Iran. Khyber Pass in Pakistan, Kashmir and Pradesh in India, Tibet. Japan. California, Arizona, New Mexico, Georgia ... in the USA. Circling round to Madeira off Portugal.
Today, a day late, we head in the opposite direction, towards the sea, and in the car. A little too far to walk with pleasure, but only minutes by car. Past the so-called coloured part of town, Monte Bertha, with a spectacular view of our snowy mountains. Our house is on the PANDA (previously advantaged now disadvantaged) side, where the snow is hidden by the foothills and the Olifantskop in my header.
The wheat was harvested, the stubble was burnt. Now the rain has softened the ground, the farmers are out in the fields with tractors. Turning over damp soil which looks promising. Instead of ploughing dry dust which blows away in horrifying clouds. There goes our topsoil. Altho our neighbour once told me, that the farmers have to plough and plant the seeds by a set date, or the insurance won’t pay. The farmer knows the ground is too hard and dry, but his hands are tied.
|In the fields|
This is the earliest we have had such cold weather since the Seventies. We have gratefully received twice as much rain this April as last year. Busy pruning, then spreading cuttings of happy plants in our garden. Repetition, repetition, repetition. Somewhere, after the pond, for the eye to rest, as we have no lawn.
words by Diana of Elephant's Eye
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