Kaleidoscope Seasons


That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest. Thoreau


It’s really hard to fathom the weather in this part of the world right now.  Everyone knows Cape Town is renowned for four seasons in one day, but more so than ever this weekend as the elements played their own game of tag.  Early morning drizzle and rolling mist engulfing Chapman’s Peak and the Noordhoek valley below suddenly gave way to brilliant splashes of sunshine that stayed only as long as it took the next batch of cloud to drift across the sun.  And so it went on.

During one of these sunny patches I ventured out to the local craft market in Fish Hoek, the sleepy seaside village that attracts tourists and retired people alike.  There were the usual home bakes and – dare I say it – kitsch craft, but what a treat to find a local gardener selling plants at rock-bottom prices.  For as little as R5 a plant in some instances, I arrived home armed with a colourful array of mainly indigenous blooms to seemingly match the kaleidoscopic weather.  These smiling gazanias (left) are a perfect example.

Another native to the region is the sword-shaped leafed Chasmanthe floribunda, (right) which grows abundantly along mountain paths and rocky outcrops in winter, its spiky inflorescence of up to 40 blooms ranging in hue from salmon to vermillion to yellow.  What a delight to sit back and admire sipping hot chocolate!

Last but not least (left) this Cape Honeysuckle Tecoma capensis popular with sunbirds which, because it grows quite dense is sometimes used as a nesting site by some bird species.

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