This week's choice is Signs of spring/Signs of Autumn. I had it all sorted, just need captions when this morning, as I lay in bed thinking I should get up, it suddenly came to me.....a photograph I had taken of the gorgeous trees that had come into flower one year while we were working at Thabamoopoo Hospital in Mpumulunga, South Africa. So I gave up all ideas of daffodils, snowdrops etc and searched for my photograph.
Spring in Central and Southern Africa where we had always lived has a different sort of feeling to it compared to the UK. Here it has been cold and dreary and we can't wait for signs of snowdrops and daffodils to cheer us up and give hope of soon to be arriving Spring. In Africa we have just had a very dry and (for Africa) cold few months. The grass is brown and dead looking, the trees bare and everywhere is very dry. It does not have rain all year round but for only a few months, usually October or November to April. Then after the first rains all the wild flowers just appear and the trees burst into bloom.
In this photographs the bougainvillea is climbing up a Jacaranda tree which is just starting to come into blossom. The lighter purple tree in the background is different shade of Jacaranda and the yellow tree nearer the office is a Tipuana Tipu just coming into flower. I unfortunately can't remember the name of the yellow one.
The bougainvillea in the picture below was an enormous old one and helped make a background and cover for the outdoor stage we built for the concerts put on for the patients. I have used this picture before so some may remember it. The ladies in it are staff, either nurses or cleaners, dancing wearing their traditional dress. Many tribes were represented here, Xhosa, Pedi, Shangaan, Sotho, Tswana, Zulu and Venda. My favourite is the Shangaan, second lady from the right.
Looking at these pictures set me on a search for other spring flowering trees though these pictures are curtesy of Google. So forgive me for cheating.
The first is of Jacaranda in bloom in Pretoria, administrative capital of South Africa. **** The city is famous for nearly all its streets being lined with the beautiful Jacaranda. It is an amazing sight in October but it has many problems, not least being the mess it makes when the flowers drop. It causes Jacaranda Eye, itchy eyes for sufferers (B being one of them) for as long as the flowers are out.