On a Sheep Farm in Caledon


I set out on a balmy Cape morning not so long ago to see an ancient oak tree on a farm in the Overberg and meet a fellow blogger and kindred spirit, who shares my love of books and words and meaningful lyrics, and who has taken a year off in the country to write about a life-changing experience  – a stroke she had a couple of years back at the tender age of 27.  Life around the tree is her daily inspiration, a celebration of new beginnings.
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360*tree is a blog about life and gratitude, about growing, sharing and giving, finding solace in music and learning how to receive.  About liquid honey sunsets across the fields and cycles and seasons, rhythm and rhyme and time, wide open spaces, wild abandon, courage, facing your fears.  It’s about cats – wild and tame – and sheep and dust and trading taxis in the Big Apple for tractors and organic melon patches and farmlands where Blue Cranes gather like a cloud on the horizon, then rise as one in a muddle of feathers and noise if disturbed.  It’s about living off the grid and off the land, about touching and smelling the earth and feeling as one and an icy splash pool to escape the heat.  Keeping it simple. But most of all, it’s about human frailties and strengths and finding yourself after a life changing event.
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Time flew as we spoke – strangers, but old friends – and shared our life experiences, feasted on the fruits of the earth and drank champagne to celebrate the good and the bad.  Then we walked in the thirsty, sun-scorched fields littered with wild bird feathers and occasional sheep bones.  We watched newborn lambs suckle hungrily and freshly shorn sheep huddle together to escape the midday sun and I herded them into the sunlight all in the name of good photographs.  I headed home sorry to leave, even though I have my own place on the tip of Africa where I seek solitude and ponder life and its’ mystery, and as the Overberg sunset changed from honey to treacle, the stars twinkled, as if to light the way home.
I left with coppery, thick Platteland dust on my car, gifts of lotions and potions from the resident scribe-cum-druidess and grape jam from the farmer’s wife so thick and chewy it brought back wonderful childhood memories of sticky toffee apples.  But I also left with a song in my heart having tasted the magic of the Overberg.
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12 thoughts on “On a Sheep Farm in Caledon

    • Thanks Lyle. Was hoping to find a few strands of sheep wool snared on the fence to photograph, but it was not to be. You would have enjoyed the Blue Cranes – they love the Overberg fields and gather there en-masse. They flew off every time I tried to get close enough to take a pic. Would probably Score 15 points at least on your Bird Barometer 🙂

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      • I’ve never seen a blue crane so I think I would most definitely have enjoyed that.

        I like the way you described my system as a bird barometer. If I ever mention it again, I may use that name.

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  1. Yes definitely, we drove through the Overberg on our way to Struisbaai in February and couldn’t believe how desolate the landscape looked compared to the lush wheat fields during winter. There didn’t seem to be anything for the animals to eat! We love, love, love the Blue Cranes too! We only rarely see them in the Free State.

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    • I wish I could take credit for that photo but it’s Blou’s from 360*tree. The light was so magical and the sheep practically posed for her – for a second or two. When I was there I had to herd them into the sunlight and all I got from them was dirty looks and dust. I thought her photo was incredibly appropriate.

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      • I love that… ‘dirty looks and dust’. It’s all in the gumboots… and late afternoon light. Next time you need to stay and watch the sun set! Lots of love to you, lovely Karen.

        And thank YOU Edward. Your photography is magnificently emotive and powerful so your words are profoundly appreciated. And I love the random acts of kindness campaign!

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