Here I am, sitting in a hotel room in London, going through the photos and evoking the memory of my morning run the day we left. I can smell the wild rosemary and the cool misty air and imagine the rush of happy hounds as they head off to inspect all their favourite places.
The night before I left I had a meeting in Cape Town and driving up the drive at about 11.30 at night a huge presence emerged out ofthe night. It was such a surprise that it took a second for recognition to kick in . A porcupine, a large, ungainly porcupine with his quills fanned in outrage as he bumbled off the road and into the night. What a lovely sighting. We’ve always known they are on the farm because we see their quills, but our first ever sighting was only a month ago on the same road, so he must have changed his routine and perhaps we’ll see more off him. I didn’t have the presence of mind to photograph him; maybe next time I’ll be quicker.
I went early for my run the day I left and it was too dark to see much or to take good photos. There are mornings when the valley is covered with fog, lapping at the foothills like waves on the beach. The world below us disappears and we float on the white sea clothed in clear morning light.
Not such a good day for flowers but I did capture one photo of Seamus looking particularly like himself, standing in his favourite spot. It’s a little dark, but you get an idea of him.
Some plants seem to capture the light and glow in the gloom. One of the is the Leucodendron, a close relation of the protea. I’ll write more about these when I get home, the farm is covered in them and they are the most elegant of plants.
As I think I’ve mentioned, proteas have a long flowering season; they started in March and are still going strong. They are covered in bees, aggressive Africans bees who are blissfully happy buried deep in the proteas heads. As we run though the thick fynbos the air is filled with happy buzzing. We are part of a programme that traps the wild bees and delivers them to the farmers in the vineyards. Here on the mountain they breed easily and are huge in number. We don’t get paid for it but have an endless supply of delicate fynbos honey.
Below the farm on the lower slopes of the mountains are the winelands and as we drove to the airport I stopped quickly to take a shot of the luminous grasses in the vineyards in the evening light. Not strictly on the farm, but on the mountain and the dirt road, so it is only fair to include it.
This morning’s run is about to take place in Hyde Park. No photos of that for this blog!
London, Friday 17 May 2013