Monday, 1 September 2014

Spring is Coming!

My favourite time of year, my favourite time of year … doo doo doo, tra la la, Spring is coming guys.

WARNING: Fully expect now a cheesy post about Spring. Those of you about to enter Autumn, I apologise in advance because ... SPRING IS COMING!!!

The coming of Spring in South Africa is so frikkin tangible, I can feel it with all of my senses. And today is September the 1st, considered here the first day of Spring.

Winter is dry, dry, dry. Everywhere you look outside, you can see
yellow and brown. Even the trees with some green left on them have a yellowed tinge to them and the ground is dusty and cracking.

Green in the ashes.
It's been almost five months since it rained and in rural areas, like where we live in the North West, all the Bush (long grasses) have been burnt in controlled bush fires - otherwise someone's discarded cigarette could very easily cause an uncontrolled one - and just the smell and sight of bushfire smoke in the air, signals the end of the dry season.

And blackened as it all may look immediately after, it helps the soil also. The only places we have new green grass growing on the property right now are places where we've had bush fires.

And so we wait for the rain …

There's many other signs that it's coming too, Hubs and I point them out to the kids when we spot them.

We saw a flock of migrating birds return to our yard last week and start feeding and nesting. The garden is filled with bird calls at the moment. The one's you usually hear, but also the rarer one's that you miss in Winter.

The insects are coming back!!! AAAAHH! About the same time of year that the start of Spring is officially declared here in S.A., I start moaning about the insects. Can truly be the only thing I dislike about Spring and Summer in Africa, but their recent increase in numbers doesn't overshadow the fact that SPRING'S DEFINITELY COMING GUYS!!!

*Swats a mosquito*

The night time temperatures have gone up. Contrary to popular belief (by anyone who's not been here) Africa does have a Winter. Having said that, our daytime temperatures never really drop down that far that you'd mind or notice that much, but after dark man it sure gets chilly. Just the fact that we are all sleeping with one less blanket over us these last few weeks, oh yeah baby – SPRING IS COMING!!

Peas :)
Aaaand … Hubs has dug over a veggie patch. A sure sign that Spring is coming. He's even sowed some seeds, and they've started to shoot look!

I swear, you can almost smell the rain in the air. Talking of smells, I can't wait to smell the wet earth. The 'Petrichor'. That's a new word I learnt, and I just got to use it in a sentence (yay). Petrichor means, specifically, "the distinctive scent which accompanies the first rain after a long warm dry spell". Don't you just love that smell?

As a Brit, I could never imagine that I'd become a girl who's excited at the coming of rain. After all, I'm from a country where if there's a chance that the sun might pop out, we all put on short pants, sandals and sunscreen, so glad are we that it's not raining for once.

But having now lived in Africa for nearly seven years, I so welcome the rain when it comes.

It only rains in Spring and Summer, and often it's great, big thunderstorms or hailstorms that soak the country for an hour a day and then disappear again.

And it truly brings in the SPRING, the warmer weather that comes with it, new life and frikkin vibrant GREEN everywhere. Ten minutes after the first rain shower has stopped, everything seems fresher and greener already.

What's not to enjoy?

And yes, for those that are wondering, when the first rain of Spring comes, my family and I do go outside to welcome it.

After months without, we natural creatures feel a need for that rain as much as the earth does. So we smile and laugh. We hold our hands up to the sky and dance around in our bare feet. We catch a few drops in our mouths, get soaking wet and thoroughly enjoy ourselves.

My friends, I cannot wait.