Roy on the Lotheni: all smiles on a blank cold day.
Coffee on the Mooi during 8 days of fishing bliss in October :
Back up on the Lotheni with Graeme, and later with him and Jac on the Mooi in scalding heat which was followed by a wild storm, which we sat out beside an earth bank that sheltered us from the worst of the wind:
An inchworm that fell onto my trouser leg while eating lunch on the Sterkspruit:
Anton prospecting on the Bokspruit
Artwork?………the new piece adorning the entrance to Vrederus:
I bet you didn’t know that swimming is prohibited on the top of Naude’s neck pass!
The team. Zimmer frame intended for late night stabilisation.
PD at Scissors Run on the Mooi:
The view from my imaginary fishing bungalow…a secret spot.
It faces north, looks onto a road built by my grandfather, has red hot pokers and arum lillies in the vlei out front, the sound of running water in front, to the east, and behind; and you can see my favourite mountain peeping over the hill from the kitchen window at the back. There is a nesting pair of fish eagles nearby, and an indigenous forest off to the side. (yes of COURSE there are Trout in the stream!) Heaven.
A little known stream that Keith and I explored in May:
The beautiful Bushmans, with my good friend Anton in the distance.
What a glorious season of mountains, friends, hiking, exploring ; and sandwiches and coffee in the veld.
I remember once peering into a deep pool on a river somewhere, and not being able to see much, because of a layer of “scum” for want of a better word, and PD turning to me and saying (with the most subtle tones of disdain), “you like that stuff don’t you!”.
Yes I do.
The truth be told, such scum is often an accumulation of wattle pollen or flowers, and pollutants of unknown origin, and is blown into a pool by an awful berg wind, all of which I dislike with a passion. I have previously written of my inconsistent prejudices, well this must be another one then.
But think about it: who wouldn’t get a tingle of anticipation when rounding a bend in the river to find a pool with a deep shaded spot, covered by a rock overhang, or tree.
There is a place we visit, where the grass is short, and the Trout are strong. We often just walk there with a camera. Sometimes we take the dogs. Mostly we just take ourselves.
It is a windswept place; stark and open.
Even the streams and dams are hard to find. When you look across the apparently flat landscape, it belies the folds and valleys that secret its lovely waters. Some of our friends spend a lot of time driving to find those folds and their Trout. We park and walk more.
It is cruel for its lack of shade in summer, and cruel for its cold in winter. There is little shelter when it storms. In summer you need to carry plenty of water. We have run dry before. In winter you will start out icy cold, but end up carrying too much clothing.
When we return, our skin is rough and dry, sometimes sunburned. Our socks are full of spiky grass seed, and our boots are often drenched in dew.
We are tired; and we are happy.
“You will hear the silence of the folded hillside brushed by the wind in its grasses..”
The other day I grasped an opportunity to go out on the river alone. From time to time I have this urge for the utter solitude and peace of being alone on the water for a full day. In fact I have that urge most weekends, and seldom get to fulfill the dream. So when this particular late September day dawned, I woke with my soul upon the lip of the precipice, ready to soar. I was happy. I left my bed with a sense of freedom and liberation. I had awoken early. The kids were baby-sat.
All was well until I reached the bedroom window and drew back the curtain a few inches to inspect the conditions. It had been raining. In fact my memory was suddenly jogged that in the half sleep of the bewitching hour, I had heard a thunderstorm and the drumming of the gutters. It was now cold and miserable. I stepped back and pondered the situation briefly, and then looked again.
A memorable day on the Bokspruit at Carabas. One of the most beautiful pieces of water I know.