Lily and I drove out of Cape Town, taking the N7 north towards Malmesbury, unofficial capital of the wheat-producing Swartland region, and then we branched off onto the R45 to Hopefield (but not before driving through a suburban part of the big town where the streets were named for cow and sheep breeds).
On a whim, I had decided to visit the Hopefield Fynbos Show - an annual wildflower show that a friend had mentioned on Facebook. Hopefield is a small town surrounded by farmlands, and some remnants of fynbos (one of the biomes of the Cape Floristic Region - which is one of six floristic regions on the planet), and I had never been.
As it turned out, the carpark was the richest area for botanizing. Lachenalia pallida - images above and below - had crowded the verge of the N7 on our drive up (oddly, verges are one of the last bastions of indigenous plants; here they escape both the plough and possible glyphosate apllication in the cultivated fields just on the other side of fences).
Still working on this ID, below - I am rusty, and I need a new field guide.
If the Koringberg boys had not arrived we might have missed the hall with the wildflower displays. Somehow we had both just ignored the dark door beside the the lunch hall.
I could have stayed a lot longer at the far end of the hall.
Dozens of individual flowers were labeled.
There was a lot to learn, and someone had gone to a lot of trouble.
Lily and I wolfed some pancakes - a country staple - from the friendly pancake ladies.
The pancakes were silky and sang with cinnamon, They reminded me of rainy nights in Bloemfontein.
And then we bought R20 tickets for a tractor ride to see "die blommetjies." Everyone along this coast refers to flowers in the diminutive. Not the flowers, but thelittleflowers. The sun had come out, and so we were told that thelittleflowers were now open, and we could go, so we did. When in Rome.
Our tour guide, holding the white plastic cash box above, top right, pointed out the NG church to us. Inside, the Koringberg boys were listening to an organ recital.
The tractor dragged us through some fallow ground on the edge of town, and not, as I had imagined, through a farmer's wildflower lands. The daises were out and we saw some Lachenalias, too. A few piles of trash lay amongst the petals. I saw a black cat washing its back leg. It stuck its tongue out at me as we drove by. In houses' doorways and from the schoolyard's recess where boys tackled each other in rugby play, adults and children waved at us as we drove by. We waved back.
Lily and I ate a boerekos lunch - lamb shin pie, waterblommetjie bredie and two starches: boiled white rice and sweet orange pumpkin - as is correct. And later we all drove to Koringberg, where an olive orchard and nettle patch lay in wait.
The fields were green all the way.