acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Sunday, August 15, 2010

sunday times

Spring is in the air! 
We have been burning the firewood at both ends this winter, fighting back the dry cold air that seeps into your bones if you are not watching.   The last week has been bitterly cold which is always tough on the animals.  We at least have our lovely fireplace to huddle round and watch the flickering flames and glowing coals into the dark night.

Then suddenly, we woke up to a warmer morning. No jacket required. As if the weather gods had just rolled over and relented to the coming spring.  On my way back from town I noticed that the knob thorn acacias alongside the road were coming into flower – bursting with catkin like blossoms like some proudly displayed magic trick.  The road rolls and bends then suddenly crests a rise where the lowveld tree canopy spreads out before the view like a persian carpet laid out below the mountains.  There was this slightly blue haze in the air – that gauzy promise of  change.  I felt my spirits lift with the thought.  It never ceases to amaze me– this cycle of seasons, that every living thing seems to recognise and respond to.

Yesterday the baboons were very badly behaved. Bad Boons!  While the monkeys were thundering up and down the tin roof, and peering in the windows – distracting us with their own brand of guile and games – the badboons were over at the pool pulling the thatch off the roof in great handfuls, spilling it all about the place, destroying the chairs and generally wreaking havoc.  Maybe there are some bugs hatching in the thatch at the moment? Or else it was just hooliganism.

We went for a small drive this morning, smelling the warm air. The baboons ran when they saw us coming. They always look guilty – and usually they are.  At the dam, the air was full of swifts and swallows, whirling round and around over our heads, swooping to scoop water on the way.  It looks like they have just arrived from somewhere.  High pitched cheeping noises accompanied their flight – the sound of wind on feathers, and the short sharp zip sound of  tiny beaks scooping water.

We may still get another cold snap before I shall pack my winter gear away – and the official spring equinox is still a month away – but here, for sure, this is the first day of spring.


Miss Footloose said...

What a nice piece to read here in the north, where we are now coming to the end of our summer. The leaves are beginning to fall, and my husband is thinking of chopping some more wood for the wood pile. We too have a lovely little wood burning stove that makes for a nice ambiance along with giving us warmth.

Reading your piece was a nice way to begin my Sunday morning, especially reading about the monkeys and the baboons, which we don't have here. Squirrels, deer, groundhogs, yes.

Enjoy watching your African spring beginning to bloom.

Diane said...

I love your posts as I feel I am there with you. I was speaking to a friend from Mafikeng this morning and she tells me they have had a couple of bad black frosts this year. Diane

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Spring is so full of promise and wonder! You describe it beautifully.

I think it was babooniginism. Don't you have any signs up saying 'private property'? :-)

Angela said...

Or how about K drawing a baboon on a sign and then crossing it out (for non-readers among them)? Lovely post as ever, Val, though it makes me tremble at the thought that soon our summer will be over and the cool and earlier nights will begin. I do NOT WANT another winter of -18° this year! So let`s wait with our change of seasons for a little while yet. We so enjoy our morning swims in the sea, and what will become of them when the foghorn hoots again?

mermaid gallery said...

You always take us there with your writing...I feel the blue haze morning and the change in the air. Your swimming pool seems to get a lot of action. What happens when you go for a swim! Do you have to check first for lions, baboons, and snakes?

Amanda Summer said...

beautiful description val, especially of the mischievous baboons with their guilty faces!!! through your words i can picture them, the swifts, the swallows, the blue haze with its gauzy promise of change.

sigh. lovely, just lovely.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy your spring has arrived, but enough of that talk, we're not yet done with summer here thank you.

Again your words transport me to that wonderful World you inhabit and all the wonderful creatures with whom you share life, even the badly behaved Baboons!

Val said...

miss footloose - isnt it amazing the whole cycle is reversed for you - yet we can follow it all here!

Diane - yes its been a harsh winter for some - mostly that dry cold; extremes everywhere it seems.

Bonnie - yes absolutely boonigism!!! they had too much fun there..too much spring in the air perhaps?

Susan - well it hasnt been swimming weather for a while, but when it is I will definitely be keeping my eyes and ears open!!

Angela - i love that sign idea. dont worry our winters are so short compared to yours. keep on loving your summer swims xx

Amanda - the baboons are baaaad and quite right to look guilty :-)

Rob - i might have been a tad hasty - this morning was chill again, but its on its way for sure

thanks all for your beautiful comments. blog on xxxV

Unknown said...

Spring here too - yaaaaay! The indian hawthorne is blooming, the daffs are about to flower and the badboons are lurking in our suburban neighbourhood too! Funny that thing they have for tearing off thatch. There's a old historic monument manor house just up the road, they had a fine time with that. Enjoy spring - am very sorry not to have made it up north this year.