When the Black Headed Oriole starts dispensing its melodious song, a song that sounds like a mellifluous golden raindrop falling, it means that summer is on its way....
The tips of the Amaryllis bulbs are pushing their way gently though the soil, and the Cymbidiums are showing slight signs of budding, preparing for the Bulawayo Orchid Show on the 29th of August.
The aloes are blooming late this year, glorious reds and oranges festooning the roadsides and the Bronze Mannequins are back in their dozens, usurping the Cut Throat Finches on the bird feeder.
The tips of the tall White Stinkwood branches are bursting with promise and excitement and the Jacarandas are dropping their tiny leaves furiously as though they have been left behind in the Spring Stakes!!
I never planed any spring flowers this year, (too busy camping!!) apart from a bed of Primula and two small clusters of Cinerarias that are blooming beautifully but there are still some tiny snowdrops peering out from under their fringes, which make me suspicious that we might be in for another final cold snap!
Temperatures should reach 30 degrees C today although it is still cool inside the house; the roses were pruned last weekend, by my dear friend Wonder and the garden looks slightly bare without the usual proliferation of glorious roses. Tender cyclamen colour shoots are bursting forth on the painted rose stems already, and I will have my usual magnificent rose display within the month I am sure.
The Alstroemeria, commonly called the Peruvian Lily or Lily of the Incas are fighting for space, disdainfully, with the common perennial Coleus and the bees and butterflies are out in their droves around the lavender bushes.
The ornamental Rhubarb Plant is gigantic this year, deliciously forest green and healthy it is a lush addition to every garden, except that it conceals the ubiquitous snails very cleverly.
The exquisite, turquoise, Brown hooded kingfisher is a popular resident in our garden, he has been with us for years and is a welcome visitor all year round. His raucous 'goodnight' call gets earlier as the days lengthen and he is as friendly as are the gregarious Heuglins Robins.
Our garden has become a haven for birds as our cat population is down by a quarter thanks to nature's ways, and our existing puddy tat is far too old to catch birds although she still brings in the occasional rat!!
Folk tell me their guava trees are on their second flush of flowers!!
We have not had a very cold winter so the pundits are predicting bad rains! I must admit the mosquitoes have not stopped plaguing us all winter which is not a good sign ......
THEN I HEARD A FROG CROAKING!! Now August is far too early.. the frogs generally start in late September, early October - something strange is happening - it is definitely going to be a different summer!