Tag Archives: Flowers

On a gardening note . . .

A gasp of wonder accompanies the unearthing of my first radish crop. Composted soil cakes my fingers and filters between my toes as I double dig my veggie garden until the sweat flows freely. Swiss chard, sweetcorn, peas, carrots, potatoes in piles of tyres, tomatoes, squash and the sweetest, fattest strawberries under the scorching African sun. All of these and more contribute to feeding our largely self-sufficient community.

This memory murmurs from a distant two years spent as an uchi-dechi (ull-time trainee karate instructor) on a Stilbaai farm. It enriches the playing fields of my mind, while fulfilling a lifetime’s gardening duty. I’m also left with an understanding of my mother’s (and her father’s) passion for the pastime. After all, there’s something kind of cosmic about getting down and dirty – as any kid, or enduro rider, can tell you 😀

So I gladly obliged when my Mom asked me recently to photograph her Spring garden:


A Glimpse of Mom’s Garden


POPPY with STATICE


HIBISCUS FLOWER

Yogi Raman, the fabled sage featured in Robin S. Sharma’s “The Monk who sold his Ferrari“, draws an analogy between the mind and a garden. He explains our natural tendency to think negatively, while emphasising the importance of plucking out all negative thoughts before they have a chance to take root. Just as one would lovingly tend a garden, starting with awareness of the weeds. One of his suggestions is “Opposition Thinking”, which entails immediately replacing an undesirable thought with an uplifting one.

Great advice, with a view to nurturing a mind full of beautiful metaphorical flowers 🙂


SWEET PEAS


CALENDULAS & CALIFORNIA POPPIES


NASTURTIUMS & POPPIES

In summary, Robin Sharma states that “The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts”. Something worth thinking about . . .

Oh, and a post about my Mom’s garden couldn’t be complete without mentioning Gypsy and Fudge, who live in one of the corners. They’re her guinea pigs – and grandchildrens’ delight! This is Gypsy tucking in, but thankfully not into the flower beds:


GYPSY the Guinea Pig

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Treasure

Treasure is best shared.


LITTLE PINK FLOWERS – Johannesburg, South Africa

TREASURE

Sugar pink
candy floss
Spring fresh
Flowers

Caught in Nature‘s
light show,
you’re Laughter
brought to Life

What a Gift
to the World
that you share your
Treasure!

Quotes to consider:

Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves.” – Carol Lynn Pearson

“One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own self; of all mines of treasure, one’s own is the last to be dug up.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” – Bible

“A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals a secret of hidden treasure.” – Buddha

“Truth is the property of no individual but is the treasure of all men.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

. . . and some more pics, because I just couldn’t contain myself to one 🙂

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Exploring Lesotho, the magical ‘Mountain Kingdom’

It’s early Spring in Lesotho, also sometimes called ‘Kingdom in the Sky’, thanks to the magnificent Maluti’s. High in the mountains, this independent enclave is completely surrounded by South Africa. Bright pink peach blossoms decorate the landscape, like paint spattered across dusty parchment.


RURAL DWELLING WITH BLOSSOMING PEACH TREES – Lesotho, Southern Africa


YELLOW CLING PEACH TREE – Lesotho, Southern Africa

A chill still stirs the thin air, settling on the crisp lawn that’s been rendered to straw. Ramabanta Lodge and its wonderful hostess, Rose, open their arms to our Enduro World tour. This is a training trip for the extreme Roof of Africa race, scheduled for November.


RAMABANTA LODGE – Lesotho, Southern Africa


A VIEW from RAMABANTA LODGE – Lesotho, Southern Africa

Tough as gladiators in their bulky gear, the bikers tackle enndless, rock-strewn gorges. Friday’s epic 5+ hour trail takes its toll. Some of the riders arrive well after nightfall, among sighs of relief all round. Dave’s toes are badly injured, earning my sympathy, mixed with delight at having his company for Saturday 🙂


DAVE’S DEJECTED KTM, AWAITING ITS NEXT RIDE

So we hop into the Touareg and head for the hills, particularly the famous Maletsunyane Falls at Semonkong (‘Place of Smoke’). The highest waterfall in Southern Africa, its single cascade drops 204 metres. Cradled in a spectacular canyon, it steals our breath away!


MALETSUNYANE FALLS – Semonkong, Lesotho, Southern Africa


TOUAREG overlooking the Maletsunyane Falls – Lesotho, Southern Africa

A local shepherd drifts over from his sheep, asking Dave (in good English) to take a photo.


LESOTHO SHEPHERD – Maletsunyane Falls, Semonkong, Lesotho

This place and its people exude peace, as if the rhythm of the seasons remains untarnished. Fields are systematically ploughed by men and their cattle, revealing rich, dark earth beneath winter’s arid dress.


MAN WITH OXEN PLOUGHING FIELD – Lesotho, Southern Africa

Meanwhile, women carry water and do the washing.


WOMEN CARRYING WATER – Lesotho, Southern Africa


RIVER SNAKING THROUGH VALLEY – Lesotho, Southern Africa


WOMEN AND CHILDREN DOING THEIR WASHING – Lesotho, Southern Africa

Horses and donkeys are the main mode of transport. Of people and supplies, as we discover when we stop for lunch at Semonkong Lodge. The only patrons present, we’re waited on hand and foot, leaving satisfied and smiling.


RIDERS ON HORSES – Lesotho, Southern Africa


DONKEY CARRYING SUPPLIES – Semonkong Lodge, Lesotho

Dinner back at Ramabanta is a noisy affair, alive with tales of triumph and torment. Another group of guys is still out in the dark, navigating their way with the help of a few headlights. It’s a dangerous game, enduro riding. Especially in Lesotho, home of one of the world’s most extreme events, The Mother of Hardenduro.  But inside, we’re warm, indulging in a delicious home-style dinner, rounded off with cling peaches, drenched in syrup and custard. They’re the legacy of January’s harvest, which filled four hundred bottles! Judging by today’s blossoms, it seems the next one will vie for first place:


PEACH BLOSSOMS – Ramabanta Lodge, Lesotho, Southern Africa


PEACH BLOSSOMS – Ramabanta Lodge, Lesotho, Southern Africa

We’ll be back, once summer washes the gardens lush green, and Lesotho beckons the Best of the Best back to take on The Roof!

For more photo’s from our trip, here’s a link to my Facebook album: Enduro World Lesotho Tour – Sep 2010.

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Captivating Katberg

Every now and then a surprise discovery crops up. Like Katberg did for us. More specifically, the Katberg Hotel and Eco Golf Estate nestled in the Katberg mountains in the Eastern Cape. This is another of the delightful destinations we’ve come across on Dave’s motorbiking trail. It was the venue for the last national enduro event, which he participated in.

Unfortunately, due to mechanical problems, Dave didn’t finish, but we certainly made the most of the trip. The scenery was absolutely stunning, similar to the nearby Hogsback area, which is rumoured to have inspired JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings (in particular the fictional forest “Mirkwood”), since he holidayed there during his childhood.

Here are a few photo’s to give you an idea of the surroundings:

KATBERG ECO GOLF ESTATE – Eastern Cape, South Africa


KATBERG ECO GOLF ESTATE – Eastern Cape, South Africa

An ostrich on the golf course 🙂

Just to confirm there was a race going on, here’s a shot of the pits in the morning, as well as Dave and the guys lining up for the start:

From Katberg, we traveled through the old Transkei, now part of the Eastern Cape, en route to an extreme enduro event on the Kwazulu Natal South Coast. More about that later, but here’s a shot of the sunset just South of Mthatha (Umtata), which is too spectacular not to share:


EASTERN CAPE SUNSET, Old Transkei, South Africa

For more photo’s from the trip, you’re welcome to take a look at my Facebook album: Kei National Enduro – July 2010.
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Senses

Senses are supposed to be stimulated.


JASMINE BLOSSOMS

They’re there for our delight 🙂

Quotes to consider:

“Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.” – Oscar Wilde

“The best smell in the world is that man that you love.” – Jennifer Aniston

“Habit is the 6th sense that overrules the other 5” – Arab Proverb
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Labour

Labour is the language of life.

The way we work speaks volumes.

Quotes to consider:

“…in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life…” – Kahlil Gibran

“Work is either fun or drudgery. It depends on your attitude. I like fun.” – Colleen C. Barrett

“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
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“Smell the Roses”

Pausing to smell the roses is always a great idea, taken a step further by Robin S. Sharma in his delightful and insightful book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, where he suggests meditating on a rose.

He refers to this as “one technique for mastering the mind that towers above all the rest…called the Heart of the Rose.” In essence it involves focussing intently on a rose, observing all the aspects of its beauty and consistently returning the mind’s attention to the flower if (or when) it wanders. The objective is to develop a strong and disciplined mind, achievable with daily practise.

Here are some images to help set the mood 🙂


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