Glorious Gladiolus

In winter, usually round about July, I check out a certain patch of land in the hopes of seeing the beautiful Brown Afrikaner, Gladiolus maculata.  Now in the early summer it is a spot above the waterfall, where we cleared a lot of alien trees a few years ago and where the fynbos is now thick and healthy.  There flourishes the lovely Large Brown Afrikaner Glaiolus liliaceus.  The amazing thing about this flower is that it’s quite dull and boring when we run past in the morning, and easy to miss.  But towards sunset the flower opens dramatically, develops a mauve tinge and exudes the most divine, delicate spicy scent.  Yesterday morning we saw one on the run.  Yesterday evening Peter and I went up there together to see its evening display.  We are having a gorgeous early summer with balmy days and cool windy nights.  The light in the evenings is spectacular and the last rays of the setting sun caught the petals of this elegant flower just as I took these photos.  This isn’t the prettiest specimen, one of the flowers is a bit tatty, but it is still an absolute beauty and a treasure to be discovered anew every year.

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