10 000 Butterflies - Lydenburg

Out on the farm again, and under the bright moon and stars out in the veldt. After an early night I am up bright and early for some coffee and some rusks. The birds are chirping about in the trees, and flying from tree to tree, and branch to branch. Two cups of coffee and several cigarettes later, and the sun is beginning to climb. Must be about nine o’ clock now. The breeze is cool but the sun is hot. Time to go for my morning walk. I hit the footpath through the old orchard now overgrown with
trees…

It is a pleasant morning as a reach my spot. A large paper-bark tree with some nice shade to sit in. It is rainy now and the veldt is thick and overgrown amongst the rocks and the trees. I sit and smoke a fag and listen to old familiar sounds; a ‘piet-my-vrou’ giving answer to another. I copy the tune of the bird by whistling it like I did when I was a child. It is good to be back home again. It has been a long time…

I was down by the old Voortrekkers graves yesterday, down by the river. The dates on the tombstones go back to the 1880’s when they first settled here. Labuscagne and Mare’s. Now long gone, but everything is still the same with tall trees growing next to the river and among the graves. The wind and the rustling stream gives it a sombre and sacred mood…

But now I am out underneath the sun, sitting under the shade of this large tree, and looking at another wonder of nature. All over the open field and across the valley thousands upon thousands of white butterflies are trekking across the land. A never-ending stream of white confetti. Like little snowflakes floating by; they never stop, but just keep on coming, in numbers without end. The whole field is covered in this marvellous sight, and I can sit a stare at it for hours…

Then I walk down to the stream, and see a few varieties of rare butterflies; more colourful and
spectacular. The dragonflies are also active in the stream as it rushes by. They dodge and dive and zoom about, possibly mating as they move in two’s. I have another smoke and sit for a while on a boulder next to the stream. To the north is the head of the large old mountain. It is a pleasant day and I just sit and pass the time…

Then I pass the multitude of butterflies again on my way back home, ever fluttering by. In ten or fifteen minutes I’ll reach the house again. It was a brilliant morning full of wonder and experience. I must do it again sometime.

(Photo by Rina de Klerk.)