Umkhaya Tree

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Over the last few months, I’ve taken Idunnohowmany photos of these trees, just below the top Hillside Dam and I’ve never really captured their size. So this time, I decided not to even bother, and just aim to show the tree how it appears when standing on the dam wall.

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Matshemhlope River Rail Bridge…

In 1897, the railway line arrived at Bulawayo via Botswana. This little bridge (below) crosses the Matshemhlope River in Suburbs. Its no longer part of the railway system, but each time I cross it, I image the huge steam beasts that used to lumber over it regularly.

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The railway line continued right past our house in Suburbs. Just think, when our house was built more than one hundred years ago, I could have just walked out of the front gate with my suitcase and traveled all the way to Cape Town!

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There used to be a level crossing round about where the furtherest car is just rounding the corner. (As you may have guessed, I wanted a pic of that amazing tree, and just found an excuse to talk about the level crossing!)

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At times, after a heavy storm, the water roars under this bridge covering over the grassy banks. In the dry season, the water stinks and driving over the road bridge with strangers in the car, I feel obliged to mention it’s the Matshemhlope!

The Matshehlope River is hardly a river – more a spruit one can hop over in many places. Starting at the Criterion Water Works, it winds its way through Bulawayo and eventually joins the Umguza River.

Its used as a water feature and “rough” where it flows through the Bulawayo Golf Course.

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Looks like a jungle? Good luck finding your balls in there!

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These two pics below are where you can hop over it…

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Follow this tiny stream a few kilometres and yes – you get to the Hillside Dams!

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The rains…

As Matabeleland awaits the rains, it gets hot. Very hot. Even the wind is hot! Tar melts, the skies are relentlessly blue, and yet the trees have enough energy to bring out new leaves and flowers.

This pic below was taken on the last day of August:

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The red colour are the calyces  – turning yellow within a month:

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Both these pics are taken at much the same time of the day, and from the same rocky outcrop.

 

Random Streets in Hillside…

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This photograph is taken on Moffat Avenue, Hillside, Bulawayo. I’m guessing it was named after Robert Moffat, a missionary who came to Africa in the mid 1850’s. His daughter married David Livingstone – another famous missionary who worked tirelessly for the abolition of slavery. So he is fairly popular here!

Eish – check out THAT mandebvu!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Moffat_(missionary)

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This one is taken on Napier Ave. He was hot shot during the Matabele rebellion and buddy of Cecil John Rhodes.

http://www.rhodesiansoldier.com/col.-w.-napier-cmg.html

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I admit I took the above pic because of the tree hanging over Hillside Rd – which is one of the main feeder roads into the suburbs from town.