Sunday, October 25, 2015

Akasha Mountain Retreat - The beauty of nature

When Chris and his wife Elana arrived we followed them through the outskirts of Heidelberg and then up the dirt road for approximately 12 kilometres, climbing all the time. It's a good road and you don't need a 4x4 . We came to the top of the hill and the countryside opened up before us. The hills slope down steeply towards the Duiwenhoks Dam and then climb again beyond it towards the far Langeberg mountains. You can see no houses, no people, only nature.
The garden is full of birds who come to feed on the ripe mulberries and later there will be figs and other delicacies for them. The Mouse birds play on the lawn, rolling around in fights for the females
The early morning mist
And the early light on the dam is like a mirror
Lynne woke very early on our first morning, peeped through the curtain and found two of these klipspringers grazing on the grass in front of our window. She quickly roused John who fetched his camera. They did not seem to be bothered by us watching, but did move on quickly
After those ripe mulberries?
Chris arrived at about 11 and took us on a small veld walk to see the local plants and birds
The wild flowers are in bloom in October
There is this interesting 'kraal', possibly a shelter or ceremonial site on the farm; there are two interconnecting circles and the stones are covered in lichen which must mean that they have been here many years.
Lynne took close-up photographs of the many tiny flowers in the veld
You can sit amongst the proteas 
and watch the sugar birds feeding
A Pagoda Mimetes attracts lots of birds
We sat down on the ground and watched for a while amongst the Pagodas and the pincushion proteas
Singing sugarbird
Far away on the top of the hill you can see cattle grazing under the trees
It is the end of the season for these Waboom trees, which the birds love
The river below the dam
Lynne spotted this baby kingfisher on a branch overhanging the river. It didn't seem frightened at all, just interested in us. It looked like it has just fledged. We identified it as the Malachite Kingfisher
It rained heavily that night and this is the misty sunset, warning of the wet day to come
It is a beautiful sunset
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015

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