Tag Archives: green

Down the garden path

Down the garden path
One of the coolest things about this garden was how it appealed to my appreciation of neatness and order (neither of which necessarily being qualities that I'm particularly known for ;) ). I just loved the neat wooden walkway.

Green ponds and lilypads

Green ponds and lilypads
I wrote, in my previous post, about the Meulwater Wild Flower Reserve (map) just above the town of Paarl.

This is the little pond that leads into the small wild-flower garden. The actual flower reserve stretches out far beyond the formal garden, but we decided that since it looked as though it could rain any minute that we'd stick around in the garden - not too far away from the shelter of our car. :)

Isn't the reflection on the water beautiful, and isn't this the perfect vista just waiting to be painted in watercolours?

A field of pylons

Electricity pylons
Even though most would complain that the electricity pylons obscure and even ruin the beauty of this field - yet still I find something beautiful about their form. I guess one would call it an industrial beauty.

Before taking up photography I probably wouldn't have considered the possibility that electricity pylons, a symbol of the destruction of nature, could in some way be beautiful.

Green power (how much electricity do you use?)

Green power
Our household of four consists of two adults (Kerry-Anne and I) and two children (cats, Elizabeth and William). I think we're pretty conservative in terms of energy consumption and use about 700kWh's of electricity at a cost of about 700 ZAR per month.

I don't think we use that much energy, but wouldn't it be great if regular households could be completely self-sufficient in terms of energy? Perhaps some day hey?

How much electricity do you use each month, and how much do you pay for it. I'd be especially keen to know what you use and how much you pay for it - especially if you're from another country.

The Cape countryside

The Cape countryside
Apologies for delaying your daily photo from the Cape of Good Hope. Cape Town Daily Photo is my sideline hobby, so when my real job demands attention - I get behind on posting photos. For some reason my employer just doesn't understand that I have a photo to post! :)

To be honest though - they don't really make me work long hours - it's perfectly by choice. I believe my previous manager once referred to me as Captain Underpants. He meant it in a nice way. I think. ;)

Wind, pump, water

Wind, pump, water
It's weird to think that someone figured out that they could drive a pipe down into the earth and then use the wind-power to extract water. What kind of mind thinks to do this?!

While looking around the Web for information on wind-pumps, I found a photo gallery depicting the restoration of an old wind-pump. If you've ever wondered how they fit together, take a look at Andy's photos.

Incidentally, you'll notice from the gallery that the photos are from an old wind-pump in Riebeek West - which is more or less where this photo was taken.

Strelitzia, the bird-flower

Strelitzia, the bird-flower
Given its appearance, it's no wonder that the Strelitzia is some times referred to as the Bird-of-Paradise, or Crane Flower.

The Strelitzia Reginae is indigenous to South Africa - and in fact, although this isn't ours, we do have one in our garden. The foliage of this plant is evergreen and the large leaves are shaped a little like those of a banana tree - only smaller.

An interesting piece of trivia, that may help you out in a game-show some day, is that (according to Wikipedia) the Strelitzia is named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the wife of King George III - although, I believe the flower is somewhat prettier than the painting of the queen shows her to have been. :-o

Farmlands and wine-country

Farmlands
Wheat and dairy farms are fine, but there's something special about wine farms. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that wheat and dairy are essential foods whereas wine is a luxury - an indulgence. Walking among the vineyards of a wine farm brings a sense of style, sophistication and an appreciation for the finer extravagances in life that in many ways makes us human.

Of course, the alternative is that it's too late at night and I've started rambling nonsensical nonsense! You be the judge. :)

Nymphaea what?

Water Lily

The flower above is commonly known as a water lily, but to the botanists among you it's more likely known as a member of the Nymphaeaceae family, possibly either the Nymphaea Alba (White Water Lily) or the Nymphaea Capensis (Cape Blue Water Lily). What makes it difficult for me to decide is that the only references I've found so far to water lilies in the Western Cape talk about the Capensis, and yet this flower looks yellowish - a lot like the Alba. But the Alba is apparently found in the northern hemisphere, in places like England and North America.

That aside, I discovered an online store that sells what appears to be dried Nymphaea Alba. One can apparently use the dried flower to make a tea that, according to them, has the following effect: "White Lotus is both narcotic and euphoric. Like Blue Lotus, the plant is said to increase sexual arousal and enjoyment."

Now, while the name Nymphaea appears to support this, I'm keen for someone to (at their own risk ;) ) get some and give it a go. If you have tried the tea, then please do leave a comment below and let us know if you experienced any effects!