Good Morning

What is it about Johannesburg that delivers so many beautiful women? Many couples and mixed friends walk our trails but we are also frequented by girl hiking groups. When a delightful girl group departs we feel huge gratitude and remain conscious that we cannot expect to be blessed with yet another energetic, happy and generous spirited gaggle of gals. And then we are. Thank you Jozi for being a happy home to this seemingly never ending abundant stream.

One such recent group (pictured) identified birds from the get go. This, to the delight of our guides who say,

“With winter only a few weeks away, our Fynbos birds are getting ready for their breeding season. The cooler weather is “waking” them up and many birds are getting active.

With the Ericas and Proteas coming into flower and providing much needed bird food in the form of nectar and insects, it is the perfect time to raise young. Male Sunbirds, in all their splendid plumage, are vigorously showing off their prowess, chasing each other and setting up territories. So too with the endemic Cape Sugarbird males, their long tails flapping over many a Protea bush.

A recent group produced a substantial list in 4 days on the trail, identifying 40 different species.  On the special list was the sightings of Levaillant’s cisticola, the Familiar chat, Orange-breasted Sunbird (pictured), Stonechat, Cape grass bird, Black-shouldered kite, Rock kestrel and our special Verreaux (Black) eagle.”

Still on birds, this anonymous graffiti/art stopped me in my tracks on Albert Road in Woodstock, whilst en route to buy some funky lighting from Creative Cables (recommended) for this last weekend’s Jill Trappler Art Workshop. What a gift to passers by, in this somewhat harsh environment that used to be a beach.

The topic of art versus graffiti reminded me of a visit by Irish band U2, to San Francisco in 1987. They gifted a lunch time concert to the city, around the corner from where I worked back in the day. As the then recently released track “Where the streets have no name” reached it’s crescendo, lead singer Bono grabbed a can of spray paint and began running around and “painting” all over a gigantic fountain sculpture by Quebec artist Armand Vaillanscourt.  When criticized for this defacing action, Bono claimed that he too was an artist.

Art and artists inspire and challenge us through their works and actions. Imagine how worse off we would be without this. Viva the arts and artists.

“I want to run, I want to hide
I wanna tear down the walls that hold me inside
I wanna reach out and touch the flame
Where the streets have no name,

I wanna feel sunlight on my face
I see that dust cloud disappear without a trace
I wanna take shelter from the poison rain
Where the streets have no name”

With love,