The dogs and I love winter evening runs on the farm. If I’m working at my desk I set the alarm for 5pm, head up to the house, change into running gear and we set off. The sun is just dipping behind the Paardeberg as we leave and the light slowly bleeds out of the sky, filling the evening with colour and drama, a typical winter sunset.
The evening was unexpectedly mild as we headed up the mountain. We stopped by the stream which is flowing with proper determination now, after several weeks of regular rain.
I have been neglecting this blog, in part because there are fewer ‘surprised by joy’ moments as the land takes its time to recover from the ferocity of the summer fires. But I have been away for a week and to my delight today there was some wild rosemary, Eriocephalus africanus flowering by the road. We had thousands of these sweet smelling shrubs with their delicate white winter flowers, and I daresay we will again. For now I was happy to see any at all, the flowers gleaming in the late light of day.
Another jewel is Microloma tenufolia. The waxy texture of its flowers make it hard to photograph, I can never capture the amazing coral colour that flashes bright as we run past it. I was delighted to see it, a dear friend, determined to survive and thrive, just like us. It’s a climber and flourishing all over the place at the moment.
A determined friend is Leucadendron salignum. This brilliant green shrub thrives on the north side of the farm which was completely destroyed by fire three. New plants emerge from the roots of twisted skeletons and here and there a plant has survived, casting a remarkable effulgent green light onto the bleak mountain. A joy to behold as the light fades towards the end of the run.
Along the drive the charming blue Morea tripetala flourishes. The bulbs seem to be fine after the fire.
A mist rose from the valley tonight as the dams reflected the light. The sky turned a myriad of colours, deep blue and pink with a rising moon above the mountains to the east. To the west a huge cape eagle owl launched from this tree into the valley below, just before I took this picture. We returned home, the dogs and I, happy, exercised, carrying the enchantment of the mountain in our spirits and I took one last photo of the darkening valley and the deepening sky.