After an extremely cold and harsh winter, we seemed to skip spring and headed straight into above 30°C temperatures. My garden was absolutely devastated by the extreme frost we experienced and then suffered from heat exhaustion no matter how much I watered. Then, to top it, I sat without internet for ages, unable to get to my blogs except for some viewing via my phone or tablet.
But at last we've had our first rains of the season, my internet is back on, things are back to normal and my garden is smiling! So am I, with the rain came the relief of cooler temperatures and at last it's a joy to spend time in the garden again, chatting to the plants and my little garden friends. My lizards (African skinks, actually) just LOVED the heat and were to be seen all over - on the patio, on the walls, on the pot plants, sunning themselves on the rocks. They've gotten to be very tame, not moving even as I approach, but still keeping a weary eye on me, just in case.
This African Masked Weaver was not perturbed by my presence at all, he was too busy singing and calling females to come and look at his masterpiece of a nest - he had quite a few visitors, but none of the females lingered longer than a few seconds. I wonder why, I thought his nest was beautiful!
It seems the Hydrangeas were just waiting for the first few drops of rain because the very next day the first blooms started appearing. I might have a bumper crop this year...
Most of my garden has recuperated after the heavy frosts - after being cut down and with the first rains, the sword ferns came back with a vengeance, the Geraniums burst into bloom and I'm thrilled that the Kniphofia (Red Hot Pokers) started flowering already, that means the Amethyst Sun birds (Black Sun bird - Chalcomitra amethystina) will be here soon! They just love the nectar these flowers carry.
Last summer I managed to get a few pics of the female while the male refused to pose for a photographic session. The male is a stunning metallic black with a bright iridescent amethyst throat and the female, in stark contrast, is a dull grey and brown with spots under her throat and abdomen. Hopefully, this summer, I might manage to get some pictures of the male.