A farm awash with rain and flowers

The torrents of rain have played havoc with our internet with is normally very good at the farm. On Thursday last week it poured all day and the dams in the Cape are now officially full.  But the storm hit the “tower” on the farm which wasn’t repaired until Monday and we have only just acquired enough bandwidth for blogging and uploading, which is all very frustrating for The Fynbos Blog.

It’s raining heavily again today but in between we’ve had some glorious weather and today’s blog includes photos from several runs and a “flower safari” that we did for friends over the weekend. Luckily they were knowledgeable friends and identified some plants that I was not sure about.

The first glimpse of sunlight in at least 10 days came on Friday morning and floodlit the moutain through the clouds on our morning run. What a joy to anticipate some warmth and light over the weekend.

Dawn sunshine floods through the clouds

Dawn sunshine floods through the clouds

One new flower that I’m very happy to see is the Leucospermum that climbs down the bank on the driveway – aesthetically positioned on a bend in the road it is one of the few of this variety that we have on the farm and faithfully flowers every year.  This is Leucospermum lineare, touchingly known as the Vulnerable and on the Red List of South African fynbos plants.  It should be safe with us.   (with thanks to Rupert Koopman for the ID).

Leucospermum - the pincushion flower

Leucospermum lineare – the Vulnerable

This Protea is one that I’ve photographed before but I don’t think we’ve identified it correctly.  I suspect that it could be Protea speciosa but we need to see if those petals have the right kind of hairy beards when it flowers fully.  It is loving the rain and throwing lots of new buds.

Protea speciosa-esque?

Protea speciosa-esque?

Rain is also wonderful for flowering bulbs once they get a bit of sunshine and on our Sunday walk we saw this Spiloxene Capensis, the Cape Star on the point of flowering. We will definitely post a picture of this beauty in full flower if we get enough of a break in this week’s rain to get up the mountain.

Spiloxene capensis about to flower

Spiloxene capensis about to flower

Most of the flowering bulbs are a bit tattered but this Babinia Fragrens was clearly happy to see the sun and possibly emerged just after the rains as its petals are in perfect condition.

Babinia fragrens

Babinia fragrens

On the road down from the waterfall to the farm stands this curiosity, a protea with a strange but apparently very happy parasite growing on it. I have no idea what it is and am posting a photo of it for curiosity value.

image

I have not yet quite identified this fabulous fynbos shrub.  Notice the way the flowers seem to grow out of the fruit. When we first came here I was fascinated by the shapes and strange habits of some of the fynbos.

Unidentified shrub

Unidentified shrub

There is so much going on that it is quite hard to choose what to post after an empty week. I cannot resist another photo of the Erica with it’s lovely pink bells – Ericas of all types are rampant at the moment, loving the damp cool winter air.

Erica nudiflora?

Erica nudiflora?

We had an exceptionally dry and mild June this year, followed by a wet and mild July and a very wet and quite mild August. This combination has made for an early spring flowering season and we can see life exploding all over the place, at least we can when we get out there in between the rains!

The final flower from our weekend is the Lobostemum Fruticosa. I won’t be able to resist taking photos of this shrub for the rest of the springtime, it is spectacular and flowers all over the moutain. These delicate trumpets shine both in sunshine and on gloomy days and bring joy to the soul of the weary runner and frustrated blogger.

Lobostemon fruticosus

Lobostemon fruticosus

On Monday evening after a beautiful crystal clear day I drove home in the early evening just as the sun was setting and the moon rising behind the mountains. This photo was taken from the bottom of the long dirt road that leads through the vineyards to our farm. By yesterday the clouds were back and with night came that sound of rain hammering on the roof again. Enough! Time for some sunshine!

The last of the sunlight and a rising moon over the Hawequas Mountains

The last of the sunlight and a rising moon over the Hawequas Mountains

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