Thursday, February 2, 2012

Chrissiesmeer photos, part one

Even if you live in these parts, I think, it's quite likely that you've never heard of Chrissiesmeer. Here's how to find it. Grab a map, and look just left of Swaziland. If you're on Google maps you'll start zooming in and there will suddenly appear, or coalesce, a scattering of lakes like a little blue rash - or perhaps, more poetically, like the Pleiades. West of Mbabane, north-east of Ermelo, south-east of Carolina.

It's very... countryside. Most of the time if you head off into the wild blue yonder, you're going to the bush, but this could never in a hundred years be called bush. It's grassland, wetland, pine plantations, farms. Countryside.

Rode on those horses around that lake at what felt to me like a flat-out gallop, although it was probably only a brisk canter. There were seven horses and although only four had riders, the others kept up with us anyway so it felt exhilaratingly like riding with a herd of wild horses, thundering through the long grass and reeds at the water's edge.

In the foresty area we saw a few shy duiker and a pair of new-to-me buck which I think were possibly reedbuck. It's such a treat to see an animal you've never seen before! All of them were too quick for my camera, sadly. But Chrissiesmeer is mainly about flowers and frogs. Oh, the flowers!

Why, yes, that is a couple of the fattest, healthiest Agapanthus inapertus you have ever seen, with a Eulophia leontoglossa orchid (yellow) and Brunsvigia natalensis in the background just for good measure.

And yes, that is a frackin' great field of the same agapanthus. What is this I don't even.

More botanical madness to come, but I'll leave you with this picture of the sweet pups belonging to the guest farm where we stayed (I highly recommend it). The border collie is my favourite, as he has heterochromia and can keep up with a herd of wild horses, but the pointer reminds me of Nosy in this book so I adore him (her?) too.

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