Sunday, September 12, 2010

Seasons

Flowering Tree, outside kitchen.
 In the Southern Hemisphere the seasons are reverse of the North and not quite as brutal… well winter anyway, especially if you compare it to the Midwest in the US. The winter has been very mild… at least compared to last year when I visited Pretoria in July! I never thought I would ever get warm again after experiencing winter for 4 days in summer weight clothes. Learned my lesson … even if you are going to a tropical location for a vacation, take at least one warmer shirt… and lots of layers. The layers I brought and wore, but once I got chilled I just never really warmed back up.

A Weaver
An Icelandic Poppy,
from a friends garden.
We arrived in the middle of winter and it really only lasts 3 months, (June thru August) and is very dry. The only precipitation has been the morning dew, and it doesn’t last long, especially if a breeze picks up. But the temperatures have been wonderful, (for winter). Very similar to the southern most states, (Texas, Alabama, Georgia… and Califorina), along a coast line… day times in the 60’s to 70’s, nights in the 40’s… sometimes dip a bit lower, but not FREEZING. There have been one or two hard frosts since we’ve been here and as far as I can tell, the Poinsettia Trees have been the only casualties, but they sprung right back. Speaking of Poinsettias, in the garden centers you even see the plants for sale now with the red bracts. (If you want to see a picture larger, just click on it)

These birds are really odd... a lot like a parrot.
I saw many signs of SPRING as the temps subtly warm up. I could see the subtle change of color on distant trees that indicate leaf buds just waiting to spring forth and the flowering trees are beginning to show some flowers. But with spring comes the rainy season, (which also brings fleas and ticks). A friend said that the end of August will bring the daily shower at about 4 p every day, but the daily showers have not come yet. Spring is a relatively short season here, only 2 months September and October. I am looking forward to seeing all the things spring brings forth that is new and different.
A really long tailed bird.

Of course with the rain will come the grasses that will dry and turn brown in the heat of summer, which we can also look forward to. Summer is the longest season, 5 months, November thru March. I am thinking it will be HOT inland, not quite the breezy humidity of the coast in Durban. But spending Christmas in shorts and sandals sure beats coats and ear muffs!

A Hornbill
In my yard I have found some signs of spring… a flowering tree is growing on the other side of the wall, in the neighbor’s yard and it has drawn lots of interesting birds. The tree is outside the kitchen window, so I am always watching the tree, especially if I hear a different bird call. You must forgive me for posting pictures without the names of the items. I don’t have my bird book here and not enough Internet access to search for the names of the plants or birds.

And if seeing birds, migrating and or making nests, or trees and shrubs bursting into leaf and bloom weren’t a big enough harbinger of spring… then a big old toad, coming out of the lawn IS!!!
Small yellow bird,
(smaller than a sparrow).

Oh, and last but not least- because they take up most of my time now… a picture of Axel and Linzy. I have had at least one comment and several email messages wondering how Linzy is doing. As you can see she has Axel wrapped around her paws!!!!

Linzy and Axel playing.














As Always... more later!
  

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love Spring. It is bee-u-tee-ful!

Oh and so are your dogs

Karen S said...

I love seeing your pictures again! Those birds are so different from ours -- is the weaver really that golden? The flowers are beautiful and I love the dogs. Say hi to Axel for me.

Becky said...

Love the bird pictures! I love bird watching, and yours are so different there! Way cute picture of the dogs!