I had to document this – the canna bed below the old stone barn, in summer a potently green and colourful spot (see it here), as it looks after the winter frosts and august winds have got to it… a symbol now of winter. Last Sunday, on one of the coldest nights we’ve ever had (I measured –4 up at the house, possibly –8 down by the stream) the water pump iced up and cracked its cast iron housing. Damage: a new pump at R3300 or about US$400 . Hopefully I can get a replacement part and keep it as a back-up pump.
But the past week also brought 4.5mm of misty rain over two days, and suddenly spring did not seem an impossibility as the first leaves and blossoms popped. That is what I wish to show you, but at the end of a beautifully warm and restful Sunday afternoon with friends on the veranda, the light made me rush in to take one last truly wintery pic.
The delicate blossoms of this Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’ always take us by surprise, but their arrival was doubly exciting, following as it did on the first rain in over 3 months.
First of the trees to sprout fresh green leaves are the bird cherries, Prunus padus, and they too seemed to erupt from the unexpected rain! And thus, only days after the worst cold of the winter, I can report that spring is on its way… To finish off – that great bridge between winter and spring, the witch hazel, which flowers in its time, come frost or sun.