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There is so much happening in our botanical garden in Kirstenbosch today.
The tourist groups have arrived and, crumbs..
They are everywhere!
It is possible to spot them without binoculars, they are dressed in tourist kit, top to tip!
Like bees, they are buzzing through the gardens, generally led by
a queen bee (or king), disguised as a tour guide.
Like a colourful snake they make their way in single file
along the old and narrow cobbled pathways.
There are many gasps of glee, lots puffing and chugging uphill and down,
with all manner of image and sound capturing equipment strung around their necks like contemporary necklaces.
Lenses as long as my ladder are pushed towards bushes and flowers or up into the boughs of the Erythrina or common coral tree. Fingers are pointing to birds and butterflies.
It is wonderful to see such delight written on so many faces
when a Cape sugarbird settles on a protea, or the child-like delight
when the ubiquitous guinea fowl struts past with her chicks.
Catching a fleeting glimpse of a lesser double-collared sunbird or Colonel Bird’s bath creates a ‘reach for the necklace’ reaction that runs through the groups like a Mexican wave. Cycads get the same response.
With all of this happening it becomes apparent that for the sake of tranquility,
I must head to the lesser known peaceful spots.(for bird sake!)
So this is where I go…
Under the table.
Next to the water.
Inside the secretive Arboretum.
Up onto the contour path.
It’s not that I don’t like people, I love them.
Just not today.

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