Sunday, March 25, 2012

Small Treasures

Another adventure this week along the coastal stroll was the discovery of a turtle stranded on the rocks after the high tide had receded.  I am sure the poor thing was quite happy to stay there until the next high tide but the adventurers thought otherwise and moved it to the edge of the sea from whence it swam off rapidly into the ocean. I subsequently read this article and now, if the scenario is ever repeated, Roy is under orders not to put it back in the water but to bring it home and to contact the Oceanarium in Cape Town.

Hopefully it reached another warm spot in a safer place. We do have  various birds of prey like the Crows, Ravens and Bateleur Eagles which cruise the shoreline every morning. (I can still recall the awful sound and sight of a tortoise being dropped by a crow from a dizzy height onto the tarmac below.)

While the cell phone was at hand for taking photos, some plants were lucky enough to be snapped too.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Under the Radar

I do suffer from green envy when others extol the awesome rewards of their gardening exploits. Living within the natural territory of our brazen Chacma baboons, it has proved impossible to grow anything edible. This includes certain types of flowers and most bulbs too. 

From time to time, in a fit of optimism, I live dangerously and plant out one or two sacrificial plants in our garden. 

There is an Afrikaans idiomatic expression which mentions the baboon (bobbejaan) and seems to be very appropriate here: "Moenie die bobbejaan agter die bult gaan haal nie" (literally "Do not go and fetch the baboon from the other side of the hill") which loosely translates to: Don't think or speak of negative, pessimistic possibilities which have not been indicated by the situation or else they might actually transpire. In other words, don't tempt fate to fulfill your predictions of all manner of  imagined negative outcomes. Rather, be positive! In response to my fairly pessimistic nature, my dear friend in the Karoo has often used this expression to damp down my dark forebodings.

I guess by planting some edible plants, I am actually tempting fate, which, in this instance, is a baboon. (Perhaps a clue to the origin of the idiom!)

So, you can imagine my absolute glee when we discovered that a single Paprika Pepper plant had gone unnoticed, even to the point that the plant was dangling its decent-sized fruity secrets.

Today the baboons were very active in and around our garden and so, without further ado, we harvested our mini-crop. Most of them had not yet turned red but this has not detracted from our sense of sneaky triumph!

Stuffed BBQ Peppers

With bacon filling

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Days of Loss

My very first post on this blog was about the pets in our lives. Unbelievably, in the months since then, we have lost all our cats. Jessup to old age, Stasha, far too young, to unexpected cancer and yesterday, Ollie, our beloved Persian, to a massive brain hemorrhage. The resultant behaviour from this was frightening and the panicky drive to the vet in rush-hour traffic just added to the horror.

Its never easy to lose a pet. Some losses feel harsher  than others, especially if the life has not been long enough and cut short. 

I came across this poem on the internet years ago after an especially painful loss. I don't know who the author is. Perhaps some people will find it soppy, but I like it. I think its called Rainbow Bridge.

By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.
They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.
For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.