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.