Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cosmos .. watercolours .. and ostriches

Janet (Signs of autumn post) mentioned the fields and fields of beautiful pink and white cosmos along the N3 highway between Johannesburg and Durban a few days ago so decided to add my little piece !

I have two watercolours of cosmos painted by my Mum's friend in Zimbabwe, Ruth Truwartha in 1987

So this morning I went in the car along Beyers Naude in search of a good photo! We used to live along Beyers Naude - in the 'old days' (late 70's) when it was classed as being 'in the country' - very pretty and quiet and safe!!! We rented one of three cottages on a large property owned by a very nice couple who grew and exported orchids ... and lived there for a number of years before deciding to move closer to civilization and away from the rats!! We were eventually overrun by the pests and no matter we tried ... defeated ... surrended and moved!

All the verges of the main country roads were always filled with pinks and whites of the cosmos flowers. Always very very pretty at this time of year. I often picked bunches for the vase but be warned if you want to pick them, the water needs changing every day otherwise it smells like weeds!

Unfortunately, that peace and quiet of the 'countryside' has changed along that section of the road. 'Our' cottage has since been demolished, squatters have moved into the area and there are now thousands of people living in shacks.

But the cosmos is still there and the pretty pinks and whites of the delicate flowers take your breath away when travelling along that bit of the road. Murphy's Law though ... the best section of flowers is where the squatter shacks are and it's not safe to stop for a photo shoot!!!

So ... I drove around .. and around .. and around .. on all the roads with camera at the ready waiting to come across a patch of cosmos .... not any!!! I couldn't believe it! .... and when I found some ... there were one or two unsavouring looking characters lirking! Not stopping there!

... and then I came across three of these fellows/ladies running alongside a fence .....

... checked up and down the road to see if there were no 'unsavoury characters' and stopped the car. My feathered friends stopped and we eyed each other for a bit .....

... and then they posed for a photo shoot .....

... lashes to die for ....

... went on my way again - and needing a cup of coffee after all this ..... and then I spotted them .. on a road which I felt was safe enough to stop for a few minutes .....

... just a small crop of them ... but at least I got my photo .....

And would you believe it .... went to fetch Bradley at lunch time ....... and there they were .... another little crop of them at the corner of the road where his school is!!!!!!!!!!

In a little whisper voice - 'I drive passed them every day' !!!


  1. love your feathered friends! I'm glad you found your flowers, I had a simular experience on Sunday my quest for wildflowers for Sunday dinner

  2. A sad story of loss on the one side,
    a beautiful hope-carrying one on the other.

    "The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes." (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

    "Warum in die Ferne schweifen,
    sieh das Gute liegt so nah,
    lerne nur das Glück ergreifen,
    denn das Glück is immer da."

  3. Those lashes ARE to die for, gorgeous pictures!
    It's never the same after all those years, is it?

  4. You had a very adventurous day. We have cosmos in abundance along the fields of our roads and in the plots of land around us. We live in Benoni Agricultural holdings and so it is very pretty here still. I would take some photos for you but I am a very very bad photographer... it is sad that so many good things have been ruined and neglected. I loved reading about your busy day and am always in awe of good photographers.

  5. I loved your ostrich grandmother always grew cosmos from seeds...they are beautiful flowers...they don't grow wild in our area of the U.S.A...I should plant some this year!

  6. LOL, you have me laughing!!Love that you went driving to find them... that's something I do!!
    I could have told you they were outside the school.
    I actually saw a whole lot this morning in Linden, and I nearly stopped in the traffic to get a few photos

  7. Your last ostrich pic is super. Its like he's telling you not to. Angry look.

    It is a pity how development and human encrouchment is slicing away at the countryside that is left in our cities. We we had a green plantation close to our house, now stands two shopping centres. Its not the same. No cosmos down here though. My mom always had some in her garden in the hosue we we grew up.