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


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


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


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.

A little cottage by the lake


The photograph was taken in the KwaZulu midlands last year, the story is just that – a story.

The creak of her chair woke her up. She started, caught in the threads of a wonderful dream. A dream where Jimmy was still here, where she would step out on the porch and see him tying up at the jetty and come striding through the wildflowers, home to her.

The sadness gripped her heart, now all she had was his chair. It matched hers exactly, he had thought she was a silly goose when she insisted on a pair but now it made her smile. She could see the sag in the strapping and the shiny patina on the arms, the only visible signs of the passage of time and a lifetime of being together.

Not always happy times she thought as she struggled to her feet, the war and the depression had taken their toll but they’d stuck together through all of it. Jimmy would have liked today, the water was quiet and the mist rolling slowly down the hills like someone was shaking out a blanket. What did he used to call it, like a painting by van Gogh or something like that. He was a dreamer, was her Jimmy. She shivered, suddenly overtaken by a cold gloom and wrapped her shawl around her thin shoulders. The sky was darkening and over the way she could see the cows turning for home.

Time to go inside, she thought, tomorrow she would be back tomorrow.

Five Photographs – Image 1

This was taken on a walk to the river on Saturday afternoon, what caught my eye about this scene was the gorgeous light filtering through the trees. We normally visit this part of South Africa in the winter for the stark contrast that the season brings but being here in the summer just adds a whole different dimension to the surroundings.


Death Becomes Her

My best friend and a work colleague both lost their mums over the past three months. As a result, what is normally a topic banished to the recesses of my mind has been much more prominent of late.

I’m very fortunate to still have both my parents and thus harbor no illusions of having any answers related to loss and grieving. In both these cases mental and physical illness was rife and their passing was a blessing – I would imagine for them and most definitely for their loved ones!

Yet again, nature becomes my point of reference. While walking the river on our last weekend break, a fallen tree caught my eye. With DH’s warning of “watch for sun bathing snakes” ringing in my ears, my camera and I went to investigate (DH couldn’t be separated from his ciabatta and “monitored” progress from a grassy bank).

A most fantastical display of plant life had sprung forth from their dying host. A veritable forest of fungi and traces of numerous bugs dashing about but I resisted temptation to break away some of the bark for a closer look. You can justimagine the headline in the local Insect News ….. “Monstrous alien invader destroys numerous homes in unprovoked raid”

In black and white

~ Thousands of tired,  nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the  mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; that mountain parks and  reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers,  but as fountains of life. ~ John  Muir
So, fitting somewhere in that gene pool, we fled to the mountains for a long weekend at Castleburn Lake. We walked, we hiked, we ate, we drank, we talked – in the fresh air and the sunshine. Yes, we worked – not quite at the level of zen disengagement (yet). I took photographs, a lot of photographs – the joys of digital.
Trying out the whole “theme” idea this week – this first picture was taken while crossing an open field next to the river (luxuriously full after the good summer rains). In colour it was a fairly run of the mill collapsed tree, in black and white somewhat apocalyptic
A little further along the “singing” waters was the remains on a tree that had literally been taken out by, what must have been, a humungous lightning strike!
Somehow this black and white is almost better in colour – if that makes sense.
PS. Apologies for the bunched up post but WordPress doesn’t seem to want to give me any spacing between paragraphs and pictures!