After one of the wettest winters in memory we’ve been expecting a hot, windy dry summer. So far it hasn’t materialised. There was a lot of wind before Christmas, which is typical of the Cape, but over the Christmas period itself we had perfect weather, still days with little or no wind and temperatures that didn’t rise above 32 or 33. After New Year we expect all that to change – the Christmas guests leave and the oven goes on. Typically in the second week of January the thermometer soars to 40, sometimes more in the valley below and the dogs and I gratefully retreat to my air conditioned office.
Not this year. As I write this on 6th January 2014 it is pouring with rain outside and the temperature is a cool 24 degrees. The rain is set to continue for the next few days and for once I’m actually grateful to be catching an early flight to Johannesburg on Wednesday and hoping to miss the worst of this most unseasonal summer stormy weather. I expect we’ll get the heat soon enough. My mother is staying with us and we went to Cape Town this morning to purchase some new outdoor furniture for her sunbathing – not much chance of that in the next few days so she’s off to Simonstown for a few days of less rural life.
Our fynbos runs continue to surprise me. Running down the drive late last week a flash of coral caught my eye and I stopped to admire a little group of Watsonia that is flowering on the bank. This bank along the drive really is fynbos heaven, it seems to capture water and most of the interesting things that grow elsewhere on the farm thrive here. This one looks most like Watsonia coccinea although it might easily be another of the many fynbos subspecies.
Although we’ve seen this Microdon dubius before I can’t resist posting another picture. It’s in full flower at the moment and these yellow-purple spikes are all over the farm, lighting the roads and profilic in the buchu lands.
The next couple of weeks are going to be taken over by a work project that will take most of my time and much of my energy so blogs might be in short supply. This year our Christmas/summer break was curtailed by a project in Stockholm in December and this one in Johannesburg that starts a week before I’d planned to get back to work. We are driven by the client and grateful to have them, but sometimes a holiday break would be nice!
Even a short holiday on the farm is a joy – the dogs love having us aournd, lots of friends come to stay for a night or three and we are blessed to live on this mountain.
As work takes over again the Fynbos Blog resolves to carry on in 2014, with the aim of capturing even more of the amazing diversity of flowering shrubs and bulbs that flourish on this little farm.