While everybody in the Northern Hemisphere is noticing the early signs of Spring, here in the Southern Hemisphere, I am trying hard to recognize any signs of Autumn being here. Although the calendar says it is now officially Autumn, Nature never got the memo. Though maybe after the long drought we had, Nature is making up for lost time?
The wild duck startles like a sudden thought,
And heron slow as if it might be caught.
The flopping crows on weary wings go by
And grey beard jackdaws noising as they fly.
The crowds of starnels whizz and hurry by,
And darken like a clod the evening sky.
The larks like thunder rise and suthy round,
Then drop and nestle in the stubble ground.
The wild swan hurries hight and noises loud
With white neck peering to the evening clowd.
The weary rooks to distant woods are gone.
With lengths of tail the magpie winnows on
To neighbouring tree, and leaves the distant crow
While small birds nestle in the edge below.
By John Clare
Nice poem . . . that’s how I like to think of Autumn, birds fleeing the impending cold, Nature slowing down. But that’s not the reality here in the Southern Cape. Autumn here is . . . balmy. There might be a slight nip in the air in the early mornings, but it’s still quite hot during the day. The South-Easter – a summer wind here along the coast – dies down. Most days are beautiful and sunny and calm. The sun is less glaring than it was in mid-Summer, but it’s still bright enough to burn your skin.
And Nature here definitely isn’t slowing down. We have some plants here which have only just started flowering, other plants that continue to sprout new shoots and leaves as if there’s no winter coming. Everything is very green still. Birds cheep and chirp and sing as if it’s early Spring. Willie says that the swallows have gathered and have flown back North. Really? I wonder whether something else has left without me noticing?
Update: Debra (bagnidilucca) has helped me identify the mystery tree as a Tibouchina granulosa. If you happen to have other ideas about this, please leave a comment. Click on photos to enlarge them.