Mgondi Trees in August

Mgondi TreesI really wanted to capture the Mgondi trees in leaf. In some years they put on a marvelous show, their leaves changing from red, to orange to green, over a few weeks. In Fort Rixon, they grow on the granite (gneiss to be accurate) as opposed to the greenstone belt (gold bearing) that runs through the area. In other languages, I think these trees are called Msasa.
Mgondi Trees

These trees change colour very quickly and I’m afraid, I got there a little too early.

Mgondi Trees

I’m told the gneiss (granite) here is pretty special. When it was a true granite, it had large, long crystals, but when it changed into gneiss, these sort of got squashed. I’m sure there is a correct (geological) way of writing that! It’s pretty good climbing granite – it doesn’t crumble under your hands.

Mgondi Trees



13 thoughts on “Mgondi Trees in August

      • Hi…loved looking through your photos and especially of Msasas…grew up with these trees in various ‘bush’ places where we lived. Rusape area and Eastern Highlands also have them and lower parts of Zambia. I’ve noticed that they seem to be predominantly Rust/Burgundy and Red colours lately when we had Dusty Pink, Dusty Plum, Burgundy, Fresh Lime Green, Mustard, Rust, Red…I paint and would love some photos of Msasas to paint…with old sandy roads, farm gates? Thanks for your blog…awakens memories for me. Frances (Page) (m Geddes) now Richardson. Living near Mossel Bay Western Cape

      • Thanks for visiting my blog, and your encouraging comments. I have missed the Msasa’s for the last three years – just happen to have been out of the country – and again this year, we will be visiting relatives in St Francis Bay when they are out! I have lots of pics of roads since most of my photos are taken out of the window of the car – driving down the road, we screech on brakes when a view appears. Ill look out for a view like you describe and message you!

  1. Lovely pics again and wonderful memories of the beautiful Msasa trees. Our back “garden” was full of them and in December, Flame Lilies! I was so lucky to grow up in such a wonderful country!

  2. Granite is ‘transformed’ into gneiss by intense pressure and heat usually generated in a subduction zone (plate boundaries) but can occur in other places. The process is called metamorphism and those mineral crystals were realigned perpendicular to the stress!
    Or something along those lines 😉

    • That’s it! But imagine writing THAT on my blog. Everyone will roll their eyes and go back to geology class!
      On a serious note – it is a pretty unique type of gneiss because of the original granite. Rock climbers and abseilers like to climb there because the granite is very strong – it doesn’t peel off in your hands – and of course, these amazing trees grow on it!
      Thanks for visiting my blog and posting…see you again I hope

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