An early start

There’s no doubt that waking up at 5.30 every morning has its advantages. In winter, these are hard to find, but as we race towards the Spring equinox the sounds and sights from my deck before the dawn has cracked are a delight on mornings such as today. A forecast of warmth in the air and little wind has brought the early birds out – the olive thrush sings in the gum tree, spotted thick-knees call raucously from the rocks in the bay and that elusive fiery-necked nightjar can be heard from the undergrowth in an ancient milkwood thicket.

The sky is gradually turning from indigo to orange, the wisps of high cloud taking on the striking pinks of sunrise, and the first V of sacred ibis swishes overhead as they leave their roost in Hout Bay for a day’s pecking on the beaches of the southern Peninsula. Ecosystems in action are easily observed on our shores, where massive piles of kelp thrown up by winter storms are demolished by millions of sea lice, in turned devoured by the birds in the ever-turning circle of life.

The crack of a breaking wave across the bay is an indication of an onshore drift and, together with the cloud making the morning sky magnificent, is a harbinger of yet another cold front approaching for the weekend, although the intensity of these is diminishing with the shifting of the high pressure systems over the land which affect our rainy season. While stormy seas and wild winds bring exhilaration and exuberance to an outdoor experience, I think today will be a marvellous opportunity to take a mug of coffee down to the wall at the Kom, overlooking our beautiful bay, and simply sit in the sunshine for a while. See you there?

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