A different rhythm

When I took to my sofa yesterday afternoon, having been cogitating on this week’s post, it was with quite a start that this is my one hundred and fifty first.  Perhaps, then, it’s appropriate to mark this milestone by telling you that I’ve taken an enormous leap towards realising one of the things on this list.

Before I get to that, though, May is a month of mostly glorious weather and colour in our part of the world.  Although we desperately need rain and everything is dry and dusty, I confess to enjoying the warm, clear days and the promise of the even more glorious colour of aloes in full bloom.

Flanking our garden steps we have two groups of aloes.  I am not entirely sure what aloe*;  it is not Aloe Marlothii or A. FeroxI know both well and have four feroxes in different spots in the garden.  The leaves are reminscent of A. Arborescens, but they have candelabra-shaped inflorescences, and the Arborsecens has single-stemmed flowers.  It is entirely possible that they’re a garden hybrid.

A year ago, though, their flowers were more advanced than this year:

aloe_flowers1_2015
Flower development on 30 May 2015

In full bloom, they are much loved by little creatures for their nectar.

AloeSunbird2015
A rather blurry but lucky picture of a double-collared sun bird enjoying the nectar of last year’s blooms

The buds start appearing early in April, emerging from between the leaf whorls like some sort of reptilian alien.  The collage below shows their emergence over two months, perhaps more – pictures taken roughly once a week.

AloeBuds2016

This week, they’re beginning to show some colour and the promise of full bloom in the next few weeks.

AloeBudsMay2016
Flower development 21 May 2016

Somehow, during the course of a particularly busy couple of weeks, I have somehow managed to stop and smell the proverbial roses. Just.

Which brings me to what I wanted to tell you about:  I often wax lyrical about the treasures in and of our village and valley, and it is this trove that has inspired Slow Wine Weekends:  a perfect pairing of boutique, garagiste and hard-to-find wine with great food.  An opportunity to be sipping good wine.

Check it out, and let me know what you think.   Perhaps you’d like to join me – sipping good wine?

*There are about 130 species of aloes, many of which are indigenous to Southern Africa and particularly this part of the world.  The medicinal properties of aloes are well known and feature in modern as well as ancient indigenous medicine.  Crystals, derived from the leaf sap of the bitter aloe (A. Ferox) was the Cape’s first export in the 16th century.  And why do I know that?  Because, in a past life, I had a share in a company making skin and hair care products from A. Ferox 

PS This is also an entry to this month’s Garden Photography Challenge hosted by the Earth Laughs in Flowers blog

© Fiona’s Favourites 2016


13 thoughts on “A different rhythm

    1. Perhaps you and Poor John should plan one? It would be fun and we could put something specific together for you…. Anyhow, just thinking aloud.

      Thank you for the congratulations. Much appreciated.

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    1. Thank you so much – on both counts! Perhaps we could look at some collaboration at some stage – with Slow Wine Weekends…. ? Please feel free to share 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Absolutely gorgeous Aloes you have there and I just love your garden Fiona! The sunbird is totally gorgeous and you took a great shot of it and yes, they are fast. I’ve been trying to take photos of the White-breasted ones we have here and got some pics of the female, but the male is shy. Maybe one day I will be as lucky as you are. 😀

    A Slow Wine weekend sounds like a great idea! Not sure if I will be able to keep up but I can try. hahahaha

    Thanks for the interesting info about the Aloes as well. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous captures. 😀 ♥

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    1. Thank you! It’s been looking a bit sad with the building (braaikamertjietjie) and no rain. Hopefully the rain this week will help.

      Slow Wine Weekends are slow en rustig – so that people can keep up! Would love to welcome you and your loved-one on a weekend!

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      1. Well, from this side it doesn’t look sad at all and when we get some rain again, I will be sure to send you some. 😀

        I can do the slow and rustig. Not so sure about the wine. A glass will be enough but it sure sounds like fun. 😀

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