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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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.

 

A walk around the lower Hillside Dams…

Timing my walk to capture the sunset “golden hour,” I chose to walk the dogs around the lower dam because it won’t be brim full for much longer. The photos below are in the order I took them.

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This photo, above is taken on the western bank (near the tearoom) looking to where I will soon be walking.

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Heading for that bench, two dogs on leads, a camera around my neck, my camera case over my arm, my phone, car keys and lens shade in my pocket, I snapped a few pics. Several had to be deleted because the dogs have no patience for photographers. There are too many smells to be investigated, two leads to ensure are tangled!

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Once seated, I let the dogs off their leashes and snapped a pic of  the heron I’d been stalking (yeah right, with two panting German Shepherds) hoping for a close up (he is just poking his head over at me in the previous photo!)

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We couldn’t resist climbing the kopjie directly above the seat…although Lizzy struggled a little (her legs are still too short!) I took some pics of the dam from up there, but they are all lousy – too many trees in the way.

That rock on the left is just balancing on another huge rock – ready to fall down the hillside at any moment! (Probably been there for millennia!)

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Of course we couldn’t resist walking along this wall (unfortunately it’s got a hole, so I couldn’t make it to the island.) And Lizzy jumped in!!! I think she mistook the green water plant for green grass! She went under about a foot and came up doggy paddling madly! I had to reach down and haul her out of the drink! (Good show my phone didn’t fall into the water – or worse, the car keys!)

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The “golden hour” light is lovely in the photo above, but I could NOT entice the dogs to pose there. It’s annoying – they run about sniffing and looking down holes yet when I WANT them to go a short distance away for a photo shoot, they look at me with that innocent “You mean you WANT us to go over there and be bad???”

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This is the only one I got of them, running on the path ahead of me.

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This pic (above) for me, is the pick of the photos I took yesterday. Looking almost directly into the sun.P1240606

 

Looking towards the upper dams, just about to cross back to the western side of the dams.

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Of course, the sun dropped too low and I’d lost the “golden light.”

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These photos taken towards the dam wall.

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I hope you enjoyed the walk with me. I didn’t take any more after this one, firstly because the light had faded and secondly because Zulu began behaving badly. His previous owners must have always put him back on the leash when they got close to the vehicle!

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