Suddenly… Spring?

Not quite. In fact, some well-read experts have suggested that special precautions be taken in view of the iffy forecast for today.

But yesterday was quite Spring-like.

The Boy Wonder had a photography assignment to do, so we went out looking for proteas. Is this one? It’s definitely a Leucospermum spp. I think, anyway. Rupert will doubtless let me know.

Cycling (yeah, I know) around the posher areas of Cape Town, we found several or more. Lots still to come at “that bush” on the corner of Glastonbury and Rhodes Drive, as well.

This one was just up the road from there. Planted outside a big house with a big wall. Probably out of place. Maybe not even a protea at all. But the colours and the intricate design caught our eyes and our lenses.

I’ll get some photos up on Flickr soon enough, but in the meantime, here’s one to brighten up a grey day.


They might not have the international prowess of Kirstenbosch, nor its size or funding, but the Sheffield Botanical Gardens are still pretty impressive. We were there today, out with family for coffee and fresh air, and the summer flowers were out in force:

They’ve also done a range of flower flags, featuring England, Romania, China and Armenia (I don’t makes the rules here), and Spain, Cuba, Norway and the USA.

I used to come down here when I was a kid – they had parrots and piranhas in the glasshouses. Then I watched with distress as the money ran out and things started to fall apart. The programme of volunteers, donations and funding that they’ve got in place now is making all the difference. The gardens were busy today, the café bustling, the benches full, and the gardens themselves were a spectacular sight.


We decided that it was time to get the kids out and about again after a whole week (and a bit) of sickness. They’ve been hit hard and we’ve been forced to keep them at home and relatively calm and still. This hasn’t gone down well with the two of them, because inside, calm and still are not things that they enjoy. Thus, they went a bit demob happy around Kirstenbosch this afternoon. No harm was done, but they may have over-exerted themselves a little; a fact indicated by the manner in which my 8 year old boy had to be carried into bed this evening.


Kirstenbosch is great whenever, but it’s especially colourful at this time of year: something I know my parents will be jealous to be missing. So this post is for them, although you too can see some flower (and alpaca, obviously) photos in this album here.

Spring has sprung

No, I know. Technically Spring hasn’t sprung at all, but Mother Nature is far from exact in her habits and rituals, and thus, Spring-like things have already begun to happen.

In (rural) South Africa, Spring-like things basically come in three separate parts:

1. Weather
2. Flowers, and
3. Snakes

and it’s because I’ve seen signs of all three of these categories being represented this weekend that I’m calling Spring, sprung.

The weather is easy to call – days of sunshine, temperatures in the mid to high 20’s (or beyond), but without those balmy Summer nights: it still gets chilly in the evenings and you’ll probably need your braai as much for keeping warm as for cooking dinner.
The flowers are everywhere. Everywhere! Most evident are the Vygies, their almost artificial pink luminescence covering gardens, spilling onto the edge of the roads, decorating the verges.
And then, yes, the snakes. 3 sightings this weekend alone: 2 puff adders and one probable boomslang. One of the puffies and the boomslang were from the safety of a car, but the other puffy was just chilling out in the vegetation right next to the path down to the beach. Cue a quick evacuation to the car park and a decision to use the other, more open, path to the beach next time. And the time after that. All the times, in fact. Yes, they are beautiful to look at, but no, you don’t want to get too close.

All of which brings me to the photos. In my virus-addled, somewhat stressed state on Friday afternoon, I neglected to pack my camera for the trip to Agulhas. Thus, I’ve been using my Z2 to take photos this weekend (of weather, flowers and snakes). And, sitting back here in Cape Town with a nice Marlon, I think it’s done ok. Yes, it’s alright at taking those “easy memories” kind of shots, but the fact that it can then bang out something like this amazes me.

Not perfect, sure. But this is a phone. Primarily a device for communication, not for taking photographs of flowers covered in early morning dew.

Anyway, I’m impressed. You can go and see a few more photos here. And I’ve started an Flickr album of phone photos, because I think this phone is finally good enough to warrant that.