Home > Trail tales > 2006 > Utopia

Summer on its way out - in January ...
Overlooking the Tonquani stream

Sitting on the balcony, overlooking Tonquani stream gurgling and swirling below,  I realise that the main thrust of summer is essentially over.


The Magaliesberg are cloaked in shades of green from silvery grey to emerald to an almost balckish green.  The few splashes of colour come from the pink Berg Proteas which have been flowering since November; the orange flowers of the Pride of the Cape and, down at the river's edge, the red of the Schizostylus coccinea and watsonias.


The grasses which sprang up at the first rains will soon be yellowing and I have had great difficulty trying to identify some of them.   One is Star Grass which has purple spikelets and is apparently palatable to animals.  Bristle-Leaved Red Top is the one with pinky/purple inflorescences which fade to silver as it matures.  There is one that is over 2 metres tall and looks like wheat but according to my book is Thatching Grass and I saw men cutting it at the side of the road on the way to Buffelspoort, they tied it in bundles and stacked it for collection so the book may be right!  I find grasses and trees, unlike birds, hard to identify although they don't fly away while I am looking in the book!


Speaking of flying away I notice that the cuckoos calls are rare now.  In January one could still hear the occasional call of the Piet-my-vrou or Black Cuckoo but now we go for days without hearing a call - I guess they have all migrated back to wherever they come from for the coming European summer.


Hilary Seeley