Daisy display

After excellent rains in the last few months up the West Coast, a trip to see the mass displays of flowers was obligatory and much looked forward to. Seeing the photos on social media of the places we intended to visit made me wonder if it would all be over by the time we got there, but there was no need to have Fear Of Missing Out – a few faded flowers in between billions of blooms were unnoticeable. The threat of an approaching storm system made me keep a weather eye for the days prior to departure, and it turned out that our few days away coincided beautifully with the gap in cold fronts.

Somehow there was no long queue of cars to get into the park (unlike last year when there was an hour and a half wait) and we were on our way through to Postberg as the flowers opened around 9.30. Their opening and closing is temperature dependent, largely regulated by the sun, and although an icy wind from the sea made itself felt, warm sunshine bathed the fields of white and yellow daisies as they proudly spread their petals to welcome the pollinators. Small birds flitted and chirped to add to the lively approach of Spring, and eland, zebra and bontebok sunned themselves on the grassy slopes of the granite hills stretching out along the length of the Langebaan lagoon. Egrets stalked their prey among the flowers, their breasts yellowed with pollen, and rock kestrels soared in search of scampering mice taking advantage of the sheltering daisies to go about foraging.

If you want to do some serious birding and a few hiking trails, it is best to stay over in the park, in a variety of accommodation, but we were going further up the coast and packed in as much as possible before heading out of the Langebaan exit on our way to the picturesque fishing town of Velddrif. The daisies bowed their heads in the late afternoon sun as we left, cameras and memories laden with the colours and experiences of the day.

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