Monday, September 21, 2009

Invitation to drive in...

The open gates seem to beckon one in to explore the fields of gold, to lie down and gaze up at the heavenly blue skies through cadmium yellow blurs.

Lunch next to Clanwilliam Dam wall where hundreds of thousands of litres of water poured through the five open sluice gates - I've never see so many gates open at one time.  Notice the snow on the mountains in the background.

 The trees we had our picnic under were alive with the the scurrying to and fro of dozens of yellow weaver male birds busily constructing the most intricate nests.  To think that these neat small structures are made with leaflets, straw, grass and other bits and pieces with the birds' beaks while their small bodies move left and right in a frenzy of movement weaving in the materials like the shuttles on a weaving machine.  A sentry always keeps a close watch for intruders and once the nest is completed the females (alas far more drab than the males) fly into the nests to approve them.  If the nests are not up to their exacting standards, the females will tear them apart and the male birds will start over again.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Lekker Novelties ...

The ladybug shows the way ... to our first obligatory stop at the citrus farmstall just before Clanwilliam.  Here we buy the best variety of naartjies in the world.  They are the so-called Novelties (lekker = delicious, lovely, nice) and we buy several sacks, which we consume throughout our trip, eventually arriving home with a mere handful of these seductive fruits.

The farmstall must be one of the most colourful on the West Coast.  I could spend a day photographing it from all angles, close ups and long zooms.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's been a long time ...

I can't  believe that nearly a year has passed since I last wrote anything for my blog.  In fact, it was at the start of our 2008 flower trip and now we've recently returned from our 2009 expedition.  Every year we set off for a different area of the Western Cape to marvel at the incredible displays of wildflowers but this year we decided to do things a little differently and concentrate on the Nieuwoudtville and Calvinia areas for four days.

About 20 kms out of Cape Town we came across the first of many dazzling fields of canary yellow canola, contrasted against the vivid green of winter wheatfields.

At a pit stop for coffee at a roadhouse we were entertained by flocks of geese.  It's really difficult to photograph geese - they must be some of the most suspicious creatures in the avian world and never ever maintain a pose!

  A short way further was something we seldom see down in the Western Cape, living at the coast as we do - the mountain peaks were covered in snow.



On the way to Citrusdal, where, as the name suggests, orange, tangerine, mandarin and lemon trees aregrown, the weather brightened up and we began to see glorious views like this.


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