The willow trees are in their full glory and the veld is turning green in patches. But the agonising wait for rain has begun. There is quite a bit of moisture around because of the snow we had in winter and there have been one or two light showers since the start of September, but farmers all over the district are waiting patiently for the big one. The storm that wipes everything clean and signals the start of the planting season. The earliest rains are normally towards the end of September, but last year they only came at the end of November. Boy, was that agonising and dusty! All the maize planting that normally happens over a month had to be done in 10 days. It was very stressful for everyone. There is rain in the forecast for next weekend, but one never knows if it will materialise. In fact, I should not even be writing about it in case I jinx it. Living in hope, here are some photos of what the farm is looking like at the end of a cold winter and before the first big rains.
We hiked half way up the mountain across the valley from our house this morning. Only half-way up, because we were not feeling so energetic. So we took rest stops instead to enjoy the views, which have already changed so much since winter and will continue to transform as the veld comes alive. There were plenty of birds about and we saw lots of swifts and swallows. All the little-brown-jobs will soon change into their summer plumage – Red Bishops, Golden Bishops and Pin-tailed Whydah’s. So much to look forward to! In the meantime, I am leaving again tomorrow for another week in the city. It gets harder and harder to leave every time.