The calm before the storm …

Within half an hour of these photographs, there was a rip-roaring thunderstorm dancing overhead – whip cracking lightning and obstreperous rolling thunder followed by a short, sharp deluge.

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“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” John Muir

Twas in the merry month of May

To clarify, this the merry month of May was in the southern hemisphere and not north of the equator where, according to Joan Baez “the green buds all were swelling”.

In our part of the world May brings with it the first whisper of a cold breath, the grasslands become a golden carpet and the sky fades (just a little) to a pale blue.
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Some of the trees lose their swagger, fire is a great leveller, but retain a mysterious air with a life time of stories to tell.

“Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees.” Faith Baldwin, American Family

You can hear the silence

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 And the sun was bold and brassy and the geese slumbered in the reeds, orange beaks in white puffy feathers

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 Then the breeze came up, ruffling the water and chasing the sunlight through the pine trees

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The moon was early too, appearing shyly in the pale turquoise sky

And you could hear the silence, a vast expanse of solitude – utter bliss.

Three Word Friday – Darling, Look Up

So while I was bent over photographing the little things my DH was a fair distance up ahead on the path. In amongst the whisper of the breeze and the strident argument between a pair of very huffy ducks there was a tortured call of ” darling, look up”. So I did and beheld nothing other than what appeared to a mundane boulder being closely examined by my other half. I put it down to the sun being in my eyes (I suspect he may think I should wear my glasses more often) that nothing looked out of the ordinary. It was only when the call to arms was accompanied by a firm “come hither” hand gesture that I looked more closely and saw…

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a rotund, fully alert yet thoroughly relaxed dassie perched on a very large boulder just off the path. He couldn’t have been more than 3 feet away from us and looked to be standing guard while his family of three popped in and out of what appeared to be their home base further up the hill. It’s closest living relative is the elephant apparently – I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t have missed an elephant perched on a rock 😀

One Word Wednesday – Contrast

The high mountains are full of contrast and character.

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Sunday was cold, grey and austere with a dusting of snow.

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Tuesday dawned hot, bright and full of riotous colour.

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“The greatest gift of life on the mountain is time. Time to think or not think, read or not read, scribble or not scribble – to sleep and cook and walk in the woods, to sit and stare at the shapes of the hills.” Philip Connors

Five photographs – The Conclusion

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So the theory that a series shoud run consecutively got shot to smithereens – anyway at last image 5.

This was taken while hiking to Sleeping Beauty Cave in the Drakensberg. The guide books call it “an easy excursion, take your children” – hmmmm, I’m thinking the writer had too much fresh air when that was penned.

It’s mind blowingly spectacular but hard work, especially in the summer when the water is high and you do a lot of shoes on/shoes off! Do you see the face in the rock? Maybe it’s just me – I thought “The Watcher” would be an apt name!

PS It was a really bright, cloudless day – looking at the photograph now I guess I could have “cleaned up” up a bit and reduced some of the shadow and contrast but sometimes, in my opinion, nature is best left as it is 🙂