By Baker Street
It is the beginning of autumn again. It has been a long, hot summer, as it
always is here in South Africa. Here the temperatures vary between both
extremes, as the seasons turn. When I was at school we were told that our
country has the best climate in the world. This, I learned with time, is not
true. In the summer you fry in the heat, in the winter you freeze.
And now we are entering a new cycle of winter, as the leaves begin to turn
yellow and brown on the trees. Soon the trees will be covered with dead leaves,
and then they will begin to fall, covering the ground as they lay strewn out
over the garden. In our garden we have many ‘Witstinkhout’ trees, indigenous to
this country. In the winter they loose all their leaf covering, and stand bare.
When you have a few in your garden, like we do, they look spooky in winter-time,
with their bare, pale branches pointing upward to the sky like arms or tentacles
trying to grasp something unseen in the air. They are also quite beautiful when
they stand bare like this in the back garden during winter.
We do not tend our lawn during winter, but let it die. It turns yellow in the
winter-time. (We do not water it in summer either, but let the rain do the work,
and make it grow. Ours is a natural lawn, consisting of Kikuyu grass.)
So, as the season changes, we enter autumn once more. I am quite looking
forward to a bit of cooler weather again. Autumn is a pleasant time of the year,
and the climate and temperatures here are just right. But, by the middle of
winter it will be so cold again; that we will be wishing the summer would arrive
Now I sit in the garden and watch the beautiful clouds banking up in the sky.
No manner of words can describe their beauty. The birds swoop and dive through
the air over the garden, as they fly effortlessly through the sky. Many of them
are swallows, who will be returning north for the winter soon. Before they
migrate, they get together in long rows, perched on the power-lines and
telephone wires. Early on an autumn morning one can see the rows of birds
perched on the wires in this fashion. Soon they will be flying north.
In autumn the weather is just right, and now I enjoy being outside. I am
almost looking forward to the winter again in a way. Although I know it will be
extremely cold again in a few months. And still the seasons keep on changing.