As the days shorten and become colder, in between bouts of driving rain and fierce wind, we sometimes have a perfect, almost summer like day. This morning as I drove along Clarence Drive the orange spikes of aloes lining the road stood out like flames against the blue sky.
As always my G12 was in my handbag so I pulled off the road and cautiously crossed to try and get some pix.
The plants were taller than me so I had to balance precariously on tiptoe, while holding the camera in the air and trying to keep my arms steady enough to capture these beauties. One of the really useful features of the G12 is the articulating LCD screen which can be moved and tilted so you can see what you're photographing even if you can't observe your subject directly.
The countryside is so green and lush at the moment that your eyes are immediately drawn to the aloes which in their own way are as eyecatching as the spring flowers.
The tubular flowers produce abundant nectar beloved of iridescent sunbirds and Cape White-eyes. In addition the fresh leaf sap can be used for the alleviation of burns, bruises and abrasions. The boiled and concentrated sap of Aloe ferox has been used and exported as a purgative medicine for more than two hundred years, according to Pitta Joffe's book "Creative Gardening with Indigenous Plants". In addition the sap is used in a wide range of soothing and moisturising hair and skin care products.
So, in addition to brightening the spirits during the cold time of the year, the aloe is useful as well as beautiful.