Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Picnic with benefits

We are back in Cape Town after a long weekend staying at the house of friends, on a beautiful vlei in Stanford. A few days and a few nights took us much farther than we could have imagined. Quiet water, flocks of flamingos, croaking blue cranes, high white dunes, a seal surfing in the turquoise sea.

In a week we will be leaving for New York. There is a lump in the throat. I miss home. And I will miss home.

Back in Cape Town we went to Kirstenbosch for a picnic. I had not packed a cork screw. Don't ever not pack a cork screw. Even if it is prosecco. All the usual tricks did not work with the bottle of bubbly whose flush-with-the neck cork refused to leave the bottle. We now know that the gift shop does not sell cork screws. Poor Vince went down the hill then up the hill to no avail. The bubbles in the glasses belong to Appletizer.

Above, Protea repens. Not many proteas in bloom right now (their season is winter and spring), but this is a beauty. Below, silver tree, Leucadendron argentea.

Gardenia lutea in bloom with fruit at the same time. If you live locally, hurry and get there while they last. A flower a day.  These small trees are planted in a large clump at the top of the Cycad Amphitheatre and smell delicious.

The ericas were inundated with orange breasted sunbirds. They are remarkably unafraid and watching them was wonderful.

Guinea fowl and Cape francolin visited our picnic and begged.

The figs were firmly plump and sweet-tart, the melon cold and sweet, the quiches flaky-fresh and their filling barely set. The wine stayed firmly in its sleeve, waiting for another day.


  1. Oops!
    But a lovely picnic, nonetheless.

  2. Very sweet sunbird!

    Very missed Swiss Army knife...

  3. NY awaits.

    some color on that last shot.

  4. Take heart Marie, think of the many happy memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
    & maybe you & Vince will bring back some sunshine with you too.

  5. I'm sorry you have to leave but will be happy to have you back here with us.

    I haven't the foggiest what is happening in New York with you gone.

    What a technicolor dream picnic, even without the real bubbles.

    xo Jane

  6. Beautiful doesn't really seem to describe your pictures. Being at home in two continents is always bittersweet. Thanks for sharing the time you spend in both.

  7. Protea is my new discovery this winter - thanks to Flower Jane. That one is drop dead gorgeous. Wish we could grow them here, too. Sorry you are closing in on the end of your trip, but will welcome you home with open arms... soon.

  8. This place is paradise! Picnic with figs (yum), gorgeous blooms and pretty birds. I would't want to come back to NY!

  9. Thanks for the great humming bird shot -- awesome that you were able to capture that angle!!!

  10. awesome pics! the last one is technicoloured.

  11. awesome pics! the last one is positively technicoloured


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