Escape to the Mountain
Taking a break from city suburban life is affordable, finding a well positioned spot where you are able to enjoy the great outdoors.
Why I prefer to go to private little places like Brackenburn Trout Resort is for the peace and quiet. Home to home clean accommodation with everything you need on-hand.
Total relaxation not being tied to specific meal times, do what you want, when you want.
Centrally situated to National Parks, both Highmoor and Kamberg, around the corner from stylish Cleopatra. Taking a break means letting your hair down enjoying the view, still being close enough to travel short distances to experience different venues.
Some planning is always needed when preference leans toward self-catering accommodation, between family members a quick decision is made as to meal menu and preparation, leaving you free to enjoy your time once you arrive.
Being South African's just put us outdoors, point us in the direction of where we can build a fire and cook food it's called a braai (BBQ) which we all enjoy.
All 4 seasons can happen on the same day, pack properly and you will have a wonderful weekend away, rain or shine.
Kamberg Valley view out the bedroom window at quarter to six in the morning, movement starts earlier with birds starting to sing.
Mist dancing over the water with early morning serenade rejoicing in a new day dawning. i think this is the Cape robin-chat making the early wakey wakey rise and shine call.
Nestled in the foothills of the majestic Mount Lebanon, every direction you look gives a different view, we did see some big birds floating on thermals just out of range for photography.
Bird Life in the Valley
Daily birds visiting included the Cape robin-chat quite at home from dawn to dusk.
Giving the look over his shoulder as to check if he was being watched, perhaps a slight pose for the camera showing off his lovely plumage, before swaggering away.
Chatty Bulbul making his presence known, thoroughly enjoyed watching how the two species swoop in taking turns on their patch of lawn or close trees showing each other up continuously.
Fleeting glimpse of a bird I have yet to identify, flocking in and extremely shy they flew off at the slightest movement.
A photo my brother took using his cellphone, has not given me any idea as to what this relatively long tailed bird is.
Trees, Water, Frog
Taking a walk around the smaller dam we came across this Snoring Puddle Frog (Phrynobatrachus natalensis), also known as Natal puddle frog, love the GT stripe, (also hope I have identified him correctly to find out more).
One could not help but notice the dams are low, the Natal puddle frog definitely has legs on him, one kick and he was gone, deep into the pond, possibly a shy little fellow.
Flowers around Brackenburn Dam
Walking around the largest of the three trout dams, new flowers were beginning to show, glaringly evident was lack of rain immediately reflected no show of flowers I was really hoping to see.
Along the bank of the dam was the Crinum macowanii an African bulbous plant, the plant does have medicinal uses which can be found on Wiki.
Next spotted I think belongs to the Berkheya species, there are many flowers found in the region, identifying (or trying to) is always fun and questionable as to whether right or wrong.
Fresh new start between blackened ground, annual burning now starts new cycle of life.
Everlasting flowers (Helichrysum cooperi ) are always seen in higher regions, with wind blowing a gale it was not an easy task capturing along with overcast weather.
A small flower native to South Africa another early Spring plant popping up is the Fairy African hyacinth
First photograph to show how low they grow to the ground, second photo of blooms opening.
Cold Wind Cool Sunset & Braai Time!
I did mention it was cold and windy on the day, a few snaps of the late afternoon sun across the water and one of the sun setting behind the mountains.
Time to settle in, make a fire to braai on (BBQ) outdoors and set up the indoor fire for those who decide to take (waste) time indoors.
Word of warning never leave me outdoors with a fire, way too much fun and enjoyment can be had around the fire chatting, and well yes some wine to warm the cockles of your heart.
Warm hearth inside for those who feel the cold....
Before I take my leave I must show you the moon from when we visited. Had there been no moon needless to say it would have felt like you could touch the stars.
No light pollution.... Taken at 17h51 the night before the big freeze y breeze blew into town with cloud cover.
All photography is my own, resized for ease of uploading, used a Canon PowerShot SX730 HS (Except one bird photo mentioned).
Thank you for joining me enjoying nature in our part of the world, have a wonderful week, keep walking, keep smiling, life is short enjoy each moment!
Thought for Today: When you ask, you become a fool for a little while and when you don't ask you become a fool for the rest of your life. ~ African proverb