WINTER OF CONTENT          - 26/5/2011      <--Prev : Next-->

My dear neighbour has stopped his boom boom noise today (thanks to ZESA) and the only sound I can hear is the sound of our resident woodpecker busily tap tapping away on the African Tulip tree.

Is it a Bennett's woodpecker ? Is it a Goldentailed woodpecker ? A Cardinal woodpecker perhaps ? I can never spot him long enough to identify him because we have played hide and seek for many years now. As fast as I move around the tree, so does he, never interrupting his furious tap tapping, one beady eye on my movements and one on his task at hand !!

Today his tap tapping is faster than ever I wonder why, maybe with winter just around the corner, there is more urgency in his pursuance of whatever it is he is doing. Is he boring into the wood for termites? Is he making a hole in the tree for the winter cold ?

Whatever he is doing, its a pleasant sound, far nicer than my neighbors boom boom !! (Thank you ZESA!)

Sounds get more important as one gets older, maybe its because we can hear some sounds and not others, more clearly. For example, I can hear the sound of the tap tapping clearly, yet Mr Woody is some distance away at the far end of the garden, and yet, I fail completely to hear the dulcet tones of HeeHoo most of the time (specially when he needs another cup of coffee?) I am convinced that he mumbles deliberately so I feel deaf and ancient !!

But there was a brilliant rainbow in the garden today right outside my window. It was shining through the spray from the garden hose (Before the power went off !) It was beckoning me to come outside and garden, its little azure fingers enticing me excitedly as it bent perfectly over my delicious purple and green coleus, my towering Lady Elizabeth roses, my brilliant tangerine clivia and the deep purple and pink of the begonias.

Its such a wonderful time of the year one wishes one could in fact just eat it ! The poppy seedlings are massed in great swathes, struggling to find their own particular place in the sun. The dwarf lemon marigolds are already flowering along the driveway. The Namaqualand daisies are everywhere, hollyhocks too and I am hoping some kind soul will give me some cineraria seedlings !

Winter in Zimbabwe means more power cuts but on the positive side, until our boom boom neighbour starts up his generator, the peace that power cuts bring can be most enjoyable. There is so much "white noise" in the modern home that when all the fridges, freezers, TVs and radios are totally turned off, the lack of sound is absolutely delightful.

The garden birds abound, the crested and red collared barbets and frantically doing what they do prior to winter. The Red Billed Wood Hoopoes screech raucously as they descend upon a particularly delicious insect patch in a tree. And all the while, the most wonderfully poignant and evocative of all bush noises carries on in the heat or cold, rain or sun, the Red Eyed Dove trills on regardless.

We went to see that wonderful Disney movie "African Cats" with my brother in law David, and as much as the photography of the great cats was incredible, magnificent, awe- inspiring, the one thing that caught his attention, (having been away from Africa for over thirty years now), was that hauntingly beautiful sound of the tiny little Red Eyed Dove that seems to seep into the heart of every single African Scatterling worldwide.