Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The stillness in the wind

There is stillness deep inside the hurling, howling wind. A dozen golden, fragile grass stems entangle and make a star above a patch of bright pink vygies. Clifton beach is flattened to a golden disc. The southeaster takes the silver trees and makes them sing.

And in the wind are the things that stand firm. The mosque on Signal Hill. Table Mountain.

Wind-tangled grass stems.

Wildly dancing watsonias.

Clifton: wind-swept, deserted, golden.
Chinchirinchees stand sweet in the wind.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Painting with moonlight

Tonight the half-moon’s quicksilver light slips and slides over the mountain through billowing tangles of cloud flying in from the ocean.

Cold fronts are beautiful.

It's raining moonlight as I move my camera from the moon to the city lights.
Painting with moonlight as I circle the moon with my camera.
Magic Mountain. Upper cable car station shrouded by clouds.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Alchemy of walking

Here are the fruits of a one-hour amble along the feet of the twelve apostles (the Table Mountain ones). Feet that felt heavy, legs that did not feel like walking. But as I put one foot before the other on the pipe track, my heart stretched open to the mountains and the blue sky. Miss Grumpy was transformed into Ms Lightfoot, tra-la-la. And just look at these beauties.

Sunset caterpillar.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Filled with mountains

Silver filigree of a burnt protea.
With Mike and Patty above the Palmiet River.

Here are the small beauties and secrets of the Kogelberg. After four days there I feel filled with mountains, rain, sun and river water.

Sticky stem of a sundew.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Oracle on the Woodcutters' Path

A rainy day on the Woodcutters' Path in Newlands Forest. Mysterious writing on a tree trunk.
A profound universal secret.
Or just the route of a wood beetle's lunch.

And here, on the edge of the forest, an old forgotten peach tree laughs.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Rain Jewels

This morning the mountain was covered in a glittering net of jewels made by yesterday’s raindrops.

There were diamond earrings dripping from rocks and sparkling bracelets wrapped around thorns and blades of grass. The pink petals of the keurboom were encrusted with glittering amethyst, diamonds were threaded onto restios and embroidered on the petals of a billion flowers. 

A leaf had caught a single emerald gem and there it sat glinting in the sun. Once you noticed the jewels, they were everywhere in their glittering splendor. Yesterday’s rain lingered and lingered, then turned into multitudes of jewels. And the mountain shone.


Diamond solitaires drip from rock.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Jubilating mountain

Yesterday I went for a walk on the mountain in the rain. Nothing happened and everything happened. It rained, the sun crashed through the clouds, the birds woke up and the streams on top of the mountain ululated. Waterfalls burst out of rocks and the sun diamond-cut the water that just a moment before had been needled by raindrops.

I don't think I've ever seen so many orange-breasted sunbirds in one spot. As the sun hit the rain-drenched Saddle below Devils Peak they went crazy for a quick spell of sunny nectar feeding. Their emerald green heads glittered in the sunlight as they pecked into velvety pink proteas, then whistled up on the breeze and danced away to the next protea bush.

A sugarbird sat on top of a sugar bush like the star of Bethlehem, his long tail feathers adding a streaking comet. Then more rain clouds billowed over the Saddle and the act was over.
I got within an arm's length to this orange-breasted sunbird
holding my small Canon Ixus in my hand.

There are times when I lie in my bed and listen to the rain and think it is really impossible to get up and go for a walk in the rain. But then the magical happens in a moment of sunshine and it's that memory that will pull me out from under my duvet on the next rainy Sunday morning.
I don't know what this is, but love the
colours. Can't wait to go and see
what has unfurled in a week or two.

Jubilation on the Saddle.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dancing on the low road

Woodstock Cave

On a misty, silver Sunday morning on the mountain, we had two choices. Climb to the top of Devils Peak (that was the plan) or amble around the corner, stopping under waterfalls and stroking the scented leaves of pelargoniums. Somehow Plan 1 melted away under the weight of leaden legs and cold-riddled heads and we chose the low road. And what a good choice it was.
The wet bark of the cork oak forest gleamed black on the low slopes of Devils Peak. On hot summer days the forest is a cool pool of shade, but on this wintry morning the trees looked more like ghosts reaching out with sinewy black arms.

Above us a rock kestrel hung still in the sky. Then it fluttered like a butterfly before diving down to the ground.

The air was sweet and the sound of water tumbling over sandstone rocks made the mountain sing. We had tea on a bench with its back to the bay so you could face the mountain. My kind of view.

Yes, taking the high road is a good life choice, but sometimes it's good to just dance on the low road.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Singing water, dancing wind

On a green winter's afternoon, fresh rain water sparkles, rushes and cascades through Cecelia Forest. It spills over flat, mossy stones and softly rotten tree trunks, flagged down by swaying green ferns. Ericas, old bluegums and silver leaf trees are gently stirred by the breeze that floats on cool mountain water. It's the secret, green season.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The universe in a raindrop

After the rain, the raindrops. In spiderwebs, hanging from petals, lined up on stalks of grass. Catching the sun in a perfect tiny universe. 

Walking at Silvermine after the rain, beauty arrives without warning, unhidden, but secretly. Here are some secrets, shared with you.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A breath of golden light

Oxalis Purpurea

I collided with a grasshopper while a starling with whirring dark-red wingtips raced ahead of me on the mountain path. From their yellow throats, tiny purple flowers joined the hallelujah chorus of a sunny weekday afternoon on the mountain. Purpurea, purple, periwinkle, pink. Purpurea oxalis, the flowers that tell you winter is here.

From the foot of Devil's Peak I breathed in the last golden light, sweet as nectar.

The tri-tri-tri whistle of a sunbird sliced the air in a beat of three and then night fell just as Venus and a ship in the bay lit up.

And in that very last light, a white rock breathed the last sigh of a sunny day, sharing its heat with dusty-pink ericas.

P.s. This blog is for Heidi, who inspired this one.