Upper Ncema Dam…

…a ¬†Bulawayo water supply dam, is near Esigodini.

After one of the best rainy seasons EVER, all the dams in the usually arid Matabeleland, are full, Upper Ncema included. Mostly, this dam is used to hold water which is let downstream to top up the lower one, where the water is treated before being pumped to Bulawayo.

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Its much nicer to have lunch next to a full dam, than a brown puddle.

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Some trees have grown, pretty tall in the meanwhile.

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I sincerely apologise to the people who follow my blog who don’t come from Bulawayo, or another arid region. Just, us Matabele are SO happy when it rains, and full dams just make our day. Or rather, our year!

Oh…all that blue, blue water!

We’ve been told that even if we don’t get a drop of rain for another five years, we will still have enough water for Bulawayo. Whew, nice to know!

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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Matopos Views…

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The tree on the left is locally called an “ihabahaba tree.” Monkey Bread tree (English name) is high in protein and can be collected and milled for cattle feed. With the very good season we’ve had, these trees are laden.

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I love the tree colour that matches the rock above.

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This photo was taken near to Zhilo school near Lumeni Falls.

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Mostly the road in the Matopos keep to valleys, until they cant! Then they go through kopjies.

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People walk far with large loads on their heads.

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Diana’s Pools…

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Named after the wife of the first “Native Administrator” for the area, Diana’s Pools are a series of natural pools in the Matopos.

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As children we sat on plastic fertilizer bags and slid down the rocks. They get quite slippery with green slime, later in the season and one can end up going at some speed towards the end!

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There are camping sites along the bank – its lovely for a braai lunch here, and equally nice to spend the night. Its a great place for kids to explore on their own.

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This kopie (above) is a great one for the more experienced climbers.

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We walked down to the orbicular granite (its not that far from the pools and lazy me went most of the way in the car!!)

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Befuddled Bird…

This egret looks confused. (As kids, we called them ‘tick birds’ because they are always to be found near grazing cattle.)

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I took these two pics at Borrowdale Race Course in Harare recently. Its been raining and raining, here in Zimbabwe and the gallops are flooded.

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Usually white, they all looked pretty grubby and no amount of cleaning (or hiding under his wing,) is going to help until it dries up some.