The hidden powers of H2O

_DSC2044I grew up in The Netherlands between the two main rivers; protected by dikes and averaging 1 meter below average water level was my house amongst many others. Growing up with water learns you the (hidden) powers of H2O. Moving to a farm in South Africa in 2000, situated on the slope of a hill, we started immediate with water works to keep our house free of water just in case of a flood rain. Virtually all neighbouring farmers were laughing loud saying ” Ag julle malle Hollanders en julle water werke ….” (“you crazy Dutch and your water works…”). One year later we had the first flood rain; we were laughing. In 2003 another flood rain. Just before this flood rain one of the neighbours let his staff moving rocks uphill to avoid visitors of staff going with their cars uphill (well it’s South Africa and the time still stands still in the farming community of Robertson, where we lived…). During the flood rain the rocks came down and landed in the garden and the entrance path of the neighbour. We laughed together with his staff. And still history keeps on repeating itself and ‘water affairs’ in my village and other parts of South Africa is a hot item at the moment after over 200 mm of rain this weekend.

_DSC2047To keep it within the village and direct surrounds: Last year a part of the road next to the bridge over the Klein Rivier (Little River; now THE Missisippi of South Africa as you can see) washed away. With the repair of it and additional ‘water works’ numerous shortcuts were made (shortcuts are seemingly a part of the culture) and again same part of the road washed away. Hopefully they learn (but I doubt).

_DSC2043The part of the village most affected by the water is where the ‘Bold and Beautiful’ (let’s say the ‘village elite’) is living. Living at the waterfront is for the so called ‘privileged’ and I’m fine with that. But being ‘privileged’ comes with certain obligations; one of these in our village is cleaning the house after a mud water ‘invasion’. Bet that, as last year, quite a few ‘For Sale’ signs will be erected.

On purpose I did not photograph all those unlucky people up to their knees in the water. Facebook pages are already full with it

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The River revisited

For me, born behind one of the Dutch dikes, a river in South Africa is more like a little stream in comparison with The Rhine, Volga or Mississippi; just to mention a few. Along our village flows the Klein Rivier (= Little River, or, maybe better in the context: Short River). It’s a fairly long river but its source is quite close to where it flows into the lagoon; it just took a long stretched bended course to find its way.

Recently I published the original picture (at bottom) but decided today to merge it with the inside of a rusty wheelbarrow. And this is the result; not perfect but worth the try:

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The Falls

Off the beaten track and unknown to even many locals is this beautiful waterfall somewhere in a secluded ‘kloof’ in the Klein Rivier Mountains near our village.

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Streaming

This was a lucky moment at Pig’s Snout; a bright sky without sea mist that fades the colors. Pig’s Snout is a section of the Klein Rivier Mountains near Stanford, South Africa.

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The Klein Rivier Delta

Shot a few kilometers from our house: the Klein Rivier (‘Little River’) Delta; the area where this river goes over into a lagoon.

There are a few hundred different bird species nestling along ‘our’ river during the year. Reason to celebrate the, internationally highly recommended (by birding experts) annual bird fair in this village; this year in October I believe.

In the background the Klein Rivier Mountains.

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In the meantime out there ….

….. clouds are piling up in our own ‘Smokey Mountains’ (Klein Rivier Mountains’). Still Autumn but Winter on its way. We are, however, privileged to live in a moderate climate with a year-round floral display in our succulent garden. The rain adds extra beauty to the flowers (see thumbnails below main picture).

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At the cheese farm

Yvonne and I are not fond of mass-produced supermarket cheese with a rubber taste. Luckily there is a farm just outside the village where we can buy cheese with a real character. We buy in bulk, a few kilo every visit, and that makes it price-wise competitive with the known supermarket brands. But there is more to our local Klein Rivier Cheese Farm. Visitors are welcome to take the family with them and it is fun, especially for the ones from the city who think that cheese comes from the supermarket….

There is a beautiful picnic area, a play ground and some paddocks with domestic ‘wild’ such as goose, sheep, duck, turkey, Shetland ponies, goats and bokkies. On the gravel road to the farm you can also watch their free range milk producers. It’s educational in a way and above all fun. The cheese is a bonus!.

 

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