Monthly Archives: July 2016


Run after run I sometimes bound, but much more often plod, up the mountain, excited to see the new flowers, to photograph them and share them with the world.  My constant companions have been the dogs:  Jemima Chew, the pavement special who specialises in hunting; Maebh, the charming, goofy, wildly athletic and very photogenic wolfhound who runs like the wind.  And Seamus who has won so many hearts with his gentle demeanour, huge size and quiet insistence that there simply isn’t enough love in the world for an Irish Wolfhound, but it is incumbent upon us to try.

Under a huge blue gum tree in the garden, close to the house with a view over the mountains, there is a levelled area, covered in stone collected off the land.  Seamus is at rest there now.  He left us on Sunday morning, suddenly and with typical dignity.  We knew his heart was weakening, but he had spent his morning as enthusiastic as always, delighted to have us both at home, barking at our guests and waving them goodbye.  Before quietly slipping away to the eternal peace he deserves.

All dog lovers have special dogs, the unforgettable ones.  Seamus was like a person.  Dogs are not supposed to have a sense of humour, but Seamus undoubtedly did.  He very nearly spoke English, we were never in any doubt about what he wanted;  his needs were simple.  Food, a farm to explore, an endless supply of love and a comfortable sofa where he could play at being a lapdog.


Seamus and Peter

And running together on the farm in search of the fynbos for this blog. The runs slowed to calmer strolls in the last year as his heart grew weaker.  Over the years Seamus and I covered every inch of the farm in the search for flowers.  He had a favourite spot where he would stand and look at the view every morning.  I went there this morning and photographed it in this winter dawn, our favourite time of year.  The morning was damp and cool for running and the winter flowers proliferate on the mountain.  Seamus we were so very lucky to have you with us for nine years, one month and one week.  Your spirit will run free on this place and you live forever in our hearts.


His favourite view in the winter dawn





A quiet walk

For once I don’t have much to say.  Luckily the rain has been falling and the flowers on this beautiful mountain speak for themselves.  This is the exquisite Morea tripetala that grows all over the farm.  It is tiny, like a little iris.

Mulratia heisteria flowers all year round, and is especially prolific when the winter rains arrive in force.  The waterfall is roaring and the whole place is damp.  I am beginning to quite like the rain…



The delicate Stachys aethiopica grows all through winter and spring along damp banks.  Being delicate it sways in the slightest breeze which makes it difficult to get a perfectly focused photograph.


Of course we should be famous for our Ericas.  We have dozens of different varieties and this, Erica plukenetii, has just begun its long flowering season.  It comes in white and a particularly delicate shade of pink.  It’s supposed to flower all year round but here on the farm it likes the cool damp of winter and the gentle warmth of spring.


I’m not sure I’ve seen this before.  I think it may be a Geissorhiza but I am not sure which one.  There are 80 fynbos species so that’s not entirely surprising.  I must post it on iSpot and see if the experts can tell me.

The proteas and leucadendrons have been fabulous on evening runs.  Lucadendron salignum, Protea nerifolia, and Protea nitida.

Finally, Seamus the wolfhound, legend of many many spectacular runs on this farm is not well tonight.  Wolfhounds are susceptible to heart conditions and at nine years old it is not surprising that his heart is not the best.  He hasn’t been running on the mountain for the past year; here is a photo from a recent stroll, I hope we shall have many more.