Friday, May 14, 2010

What is a Cape Winter like?

These pics are a view of a break in the hectic rains!  The sunshine is deceptive as the sky is usually sitting on top of your head so grey and pregnant with rain there seems to be a perpetual dusk.  The howling wind drives the wind so ferociously I have often been left wondering how the roofs remain on top of the houses season after season.

The picture directly above is of our swimming pool.  It's a swampy green colour with a eucalyptus scent due to the storm winds blowing  loads of Blue Gum tree leaves and stems and branches into the pool.  There is also water that seeps down from somewhere up the hill through the bricks and into the pool, (There's a huge puddle across the length of the bricks and all the green you see in the picture is soggy.  The brick bit to the right side is our braai area (Bar-b-que area!).  The smoke in the middle of the picture at the back?  Wait... remember we live in a third world country?  Well...that is smoke from a shack.  There is an informal settlement outside our fence/gate.  There are possibly 30 shacks in that area.  Hm...I should take pics of that too for you?  It's really beautiful actually.

Here is a picture looking down into the garden dam.  The wind as I said before is WICKED here.  So the previous residents put a raised garden into this unused dam.  It's about 16m (about 48 feet?) diameter. The picture actually isn't fabulous as the sun is over exposing the picture!

This is from the other side of the garden.  I was standing on the wall (it's only about 6-7 feet high) but I'm scared of heights so I clicked quick!  That is all standing water from the rains in the cross walk.  The pole against the brick pillar is for my sons to climb up and then they perch at the top.  Clearly they are not worried about heights.  All the green in the upper right is my "green manure" crop.  Mustard, alfalfa, and buckwheat - I feed our chickens the mustard greens!  The blue door is propped there for the moment as the winds have blown it off it's hinges. irrigation except a hose and sprinkler.  I know.

I just love this Zebra striped Land Rover!  It's our neighbors - they say it belongs to a friend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Updates of work in Progress

Well we finally had some sun (for one day) after a week of rain.  We have another week of rain expected but that would be a proper "Cape" winter forcast.  Cold rainy glum.

Below is an "update" on my pencil drawing of the young Kenyan boy.  He might make it to canvas by the end of this month or early next??

This is the "landscape" in a new twist of life...I prefer this to the green on green and brown.  I believe it still needs a bit more refining but overall it's better.

This little guy you have seen before.  This is my preliminary canvas sketch.  With any freaky luck I will get to lay-in a bit of colour before my next art class!  I say this because my hubby will fly away Saturday morning to India then off to Germany only to return home 7 days later.  Time to paint will be fabulously miraculous with four children - however I like to expect miracles!

So now...Martha Miller asked me what it's like here in Winter.  I will try to get some pics up this weekend.  It's hard to take photo's when it's raining!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Life on this little Planet

This is a small part of a huge limestone (?) rock at the edge of what is called the Palmiet River  (pronounced Paul-meet).  You can swim from a bridge higher up the river down nearly to the mouth of the river (where it opens onto the ocean ("strictly speaking...the Atlantic").  The swim if taken seriously is about 20-30minutes.  This river is the place we visit when the wind is too bad at the beach.

This little scene belies it's height.  if you look at the left side of the picture...there is a dark blue band...that's the ocean.  That funny bit is houses and roads!  We were at the top of Jeans Hill  (It's a 20minute zig-zag hike up the mountain!)

Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve - Cape Nature, Western Cape, South Africa
Common rock formations of these mountains that I believe are part of the vast and celebrated Kogelberg Bioshpere.  

Some pretty little things on the path up to Jean's Hill.

This was our playground for over a year before our move to the farm.  This is overlooking the lagoon at Pringle Bay.  A beautiful place if you don't mind the baboons and have no desire to garden!

This is our back garden now.  That's my fabulous husband getting ready to launch our 5 year old son through the air into the far end of the pool.  (It's about 15meters).  Yes...those are horses in the paddock.  They are not ours but they graze our three hectares that would go down all the way to the tree above my hubby's head.

Susan Beauchemin and Martha Miller, two artist I admire, are sisters.  On their blogs they like to share their different Planets.  Susan asked me recently what mine looked like.  So here is a little beginning.

Now please you must do yourself a favor and go explore Susan and Martha's links!
Painting Daily  and Martha Miller: May 2010 (please excuse my links...I'm really not so techie inclined!) 

Yes I have been drawing and painting a little.  Mostly carting children to sports and caring for winter colds and sniffles.  I am to start my new art class tomorrow.  At present I haven't taken day light hours to photograph my work.  I did try some last night but they came out yellow!