Recently Karen and I explored Rietpoort farm on our mountain bikes, enjoying the bushland paths and route along the foot of the Dome Bergland. The picture shows the quaint farm cottage where you deposit your visitor fee in a collection box. How’s that for safety and security! On this trail all the main species of trees are labelled: a great way to learn your botany, if you can squint at the type while peddling past. For more on offroad cycling, go here.
We are having the mildest winter on record since we moved into Otters’ Haunt 12 years ago. Other parts of the world seem to be suffering their worst floods ever: central Europe’s Danube hit record highs; the folks in Calgary, Canada, had water up to the first floor; England was awash over the past winter.
Here we wander along the Vaal on a riverside walk looking at a tranquil river. The days are seldom less than 20 degC and often up to 25C. Nights are cold in the Vaal valley, but this year the worst so far has been -2 degC. Nothing like the -13C we once measured.
The Weather Service assures us winter is not over. A big high pressure system has been sitting over central South Africa for weeks, pushing the polar cold fronts to the south of us. Mountain areas of the Western and Eastern Cape have had snow, with some over the Drakensberg. Meantime we continue to enjoy an Indian summer.
After a day of exercise and maybe a ramble it’s time to retire with a roaring wood fire and a glass in hand. There’s nothing to worry about.