Saturday, August 11, 2007

Spring Chorus

A showery day sprinkled with signs of spring, rainbow arching protectively over us as we walk around the farm exclaiming over the latest flower arrivals. The almond blossom burst out last week and now the tall pypies, South African wild gladioli, are coming out to join the chorus, mauve, purple and magenta flags among the restios. The first babjantjies were spotted just now by my sharp-eyed middle daughter, their deep blue trumpets hugging close to the ground, heavy with the scent of massage oils. Watsonias of all shades of flame are beginning to flower and my sister in law's coral tree has its scarlet blooms lighting it up for the first year ever. The proteas have been out for the last few weeks and are now prolific enough to cut and bring into the house in their fiery shades of orange and pastel pinks.

Our walk was punctuated every few yards by exclamations and summons to the others to come and look - the girls of the family on spring flower alert - my two sisters-in-law, my two daughters and me, voices carrying in the still air between showers, breathing in the damp air full of growing smells, then hurrying to take cover at the nearest house as the next shower hits us. Returning home with a pocket full of pine cones to use as fire lighters, a posy of the more profuse of the flowers and damp feet and knees from bending down to smell the flowers. It's spring time in South Africa!

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