Heat and Dust

As I write this the wind is howling outside, whirling around the mountain, roaring down the natural funnel that our little valley creates; rattling the roof and whistling through the chimneys.  The days are hot, late 30s every day, and the land is dry and cracked.  Typical end of February weather.  A few drops of rain expected at the weekend, but realistically no proper rain until late March.

Hot summer evening with the haze of a summer fire visible in the valley below

Hot summer evening with the haze of a summer fire visible in the valley below, the mountain to the northwest is the Paaderberg

The dogs enjoy a late evening paddle in Fox Pan with the evening sky reflected

The dogs enjoy a late evening paddle in Fox Pan with the evening sky reflected

In Northern Hemisphere terms this is late August, a time when few gardens look their best.  And we don’t know if we’ll see much in the way of flowers for still another month.  Yet we love the summer.  The heat gets into your bones and is a pleasure when you grew up where it’s damp and cold.  We went to a local wedding on Saturday and it was a splendid evening.  Though the wind blew on the mountain in the valley it was still and warm and the reception was held on the lawn, with guests lounging and chatting on sofas and chairs scattered in the shade of the tall oak trees.  A wonderful South African moment.

Last week we had an exceptional cloudy day.  We woke during the night to hear rain hammering down on the roof and by morning we had a grey damp sky and mist.  Of course the dogs and I got up joyously for a cool run.  At last the proliferation of new flowers has stopped and the whole mountain has taken a moment to recover and to start again.  The last two times we’ve been out we haven’t seen anything completely new.  What we do see is new growth for the late summer season when the Protea Repens comes out and the Leucodendron puts on it’s lovely winter foliage the better to glow in gloomy winter days.

New Leucadendron leaves

New Leucadendron salignum leaves

 

 

Leucadendon salignum, covered in new growth, glows in the cloudy light

Leucadendon salignum, covered in new growth, glows in the cloudy light

The lovely Protea Repens preparing for a spurt of growth and late summer flowers

The lovely Protea Repens preparing for a spurt of growth and late summer flowers

 

Protea with new growth.  We shall only be able to identify it once it flowers

Protea with new growth. We shall only be able to identify it once it flowers

A day later it was back to summer.  We had a host of guests to stay and a competition at the weekend.  Tomorrow morning we will get up early, go off for a run and doubtless will report back on more heat and more dust…

 

 

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