Pink and Golden Morning 29th May 2013
A week ago we’d had only 10% of the average rainfall for May and I really worried that I’d be blogging about the dry winter and all the flowers we might be missing because of it. That may still be the case, but probably not because of the lack of rainfall in May, and if the predictions for the first two days in June are accurate, June should be accounted for almost before it starts.
I am learning to be grateful for the rain in Africa, though it doesn’t come easily to an Irish woman. Good rain here comes in 7 – 10 day waves and after a few days a break and a glorious pink and gold morning is truely welcome. This morning was such a one – blue sky with pink and gold tipped clouds, fresh air and dampness in the scent and on the ground. Happy dogs released from the contraints of the wet (largely spent on my bed) cavorting in the early light.
On our way up the mountain I saw this lovely pelargonium. It is quite distinctive though not one I can identify. We’ll call it the May Pelargonium as date of flowering is very relevant to ID. It is hard to convey the delicate charm of these flowering shrubs – they flower all winter, spring and summer and I have successfully transplanted a few to the garden. The flowers tend to be tiny and hard to photograph, in situ they charm completely, epitomising all that is delicate, fragrant and fragile.
The flowers on the mountain seem destined to confuse me and I have been worried about the Neirine I thought I’d seen. The petals of the Nerine turn back on themselves and I couldn’t see that in the flowers I posted the other day. As usual the flowers themselves came to my rescue. At the top of the farm, beside a path we take almost every time we go out, the same coral petals greeted me this morning, waving in the dawn light and the gentle breeze. Clearly, so very clearly, a member of the Gladiolus family, although this subspecies is not in my book. What an amazing colour. I’m glad it pops up in a couple of different places, it means there are probably a lot more of them on the farm, even if we don’t see them.
In my attempt to confirm the sighting I tried to climb down this afternoon to get a closer look at the flower on the bank – but failed, the bank got too steep and my nerve failed me. Heading up the farm in the afternoon light reminded me that at this time of year I miss a lot in the early mornings when these flowers are tightly furled, the colours invisible. During the day they unfurl and show themselves to the light. The Oxalis stud the entire farm in yellow, white, pink and blue, like stars everwhere. Their perfection is hard to photograph, the blues and pinks are easier than the white.
There are friends that enchant every day, and in the increasingly gloomy afternoon light as more rain swept in across the Western Cape, this shining golden yellow Leucodendron with a wild rosemary behind it makes me think again that our wild garden could not be bettered by the work of the best landscape artists. The shrubs find a harmony of their own. It is fun to find new things of course, but often the best pleasure is in this greeting of old friends in a new light.
The dogs gamely followed me down the slope as I tried to find our nerine/gladiolus and I was quite impressed at their tenancity. Climbing up was easier than climbing down and as we climbed we came across this Erica. It could be one of several tubular Ericas and I see that the need to acquire more detail reference books is becoming urgent. This captures it perfectly – it is not the most lovely example of these fascinating flowers, but I like it’s fleshy abundance and they are prolific and will be everywhere soon.