If you’re new to this blog series and don’t know what’s happening with South Africa’s 21-day (now 35-day) lockdown, my first post has all the details. Or read all my lockdown posts. It’s lockdown Day 28. I thought I’d share some garden photos from another continent for a change. As I’ve mentioned previously, during the lockdown I’ve been sorting through photos from my old external hard drives. I’m moving very slowly on this project: My archives date back to August 2010 (when I moved to Joburg) and I’ve only backed up through August 2011 so far. It’s a time-consuming process as I manually go through each folder — organized by day, month, and year — and delete out all the duplicates before uploading the files to Dropbox. There are lots of duplicates. I shot way too many frames of everything back then. Today I came upon my photos from August 2011, when I flew home to America to attend my grandmother’s funeral. I stayed with my dad during that visit, at my childhood home in Maryland, and shot tons of pictures of Dad’s garden. Dad’s garden always looks incredible. But wow, in August 2011 it was in rare form. I also blogged […]
If you’re new to this blog series and don’t know what’s happening with South Africa’s 21-day (now 35-day) lockdown, my first post has all the details. Or read all my lockdown posts. Today is Day 27 of the South African lockdown. I’m excited because I have something different to share: I made art. On Day 25 I shared Mark Straw’s photos of flowers frozen in ice. I was enthralled by the idea and decided to try it myself. So yesterday I gathered some red nasturtiums and supplemented them with red and yellow leaves and some tiny red berries. I put them all in a glass dish, covered them with water, and froze the dish overnight. I felt demoralized when I pulled the dish out of the freezer this morning. The ice was cloudy and cracked, and the flowers and leaves had distributed themselves unevenly. I wasn’t sure the project would work. But after half an hour of sitting outside drinking coffee and staring at the dish disconsolately, I realized the ice was starting to melt and the sun was rising in the sky. I better try now, I thought. So I fetched a butter knife and pried the ice out. Once freed, […]
If you’re new to this blog series and don’t know what’s happening with South Africa’s 21-day (now 35-day) lockdown, my first post has all the details. Or read all my lockdown posts. It’s Day 25 of lockdown. I bring you yet another garden flower. “Monday” is a very uncreative post name but it’s all I can come up with. I feel more down than usual, because it’s Monday but also because I’m finding it hard not to dwell on the fact that there is no end in sight to this situation. I won’t bore you with the intricacies of my anxiety and fear — I’m sure it’s much the same as yours. But it’s fucking difficult. I made brownies today, which was fun, but they didn’t turn out right because there was something wrong with the butter I bought. This makes me very annoyed. I usually never do this but I’m going to take the second butter block I bought (which also smells weird) back to the shop tomorrow and complain. Wasting (expensive) butter is just too sad right now. In other news, I came across this old picture of of myself while working on my never-ending photo archiving project. Jon shot […]
If you’re new to this blog series and don’t know what’s happening with South Africa’s 21-day (now 35-day) lockdown, my first post has all the details. Or read all my lockdown posts. It’s Day 23 of lockdown. The number of days isn’t even interesting anymore. I can hardly remember what days were like before lockdown. In other unsurprising news, I photographed pretty flowers in my garden. One of the birds of paradise has been in bloom for about a week and I’d been eyeing it on my daily circles around the house. I noticed the second flower blooming this morning. A bird of paradise pair! Time for a photoshoot. Here are some observations I made (to myself) today: Yesterday I went out shopping. Before that, I had not left my house since April 6th. Being a hermit has become frightfully easy. I’ve spent about R2000 on groceries this week. I am only one person. I am not a gourmet cook and I eat very little meat. How is this even possible?! I guess because purchasing groceries is the only available form of entertainment. I don’t clean. Every now and again I sweep the floor in one room, or change the bedsheets, or […]
If you’re new to this blog series and don’t know what’s happening with South Africa’s 21-day (now 35-day) lockdown, my first post has all the details. Or read all my lockdown posts. Welcome to Lockdown Day 17: Easter Sunday. I really put a lot of heart and soul into yesterday’s post, and today I seem to be suffering from an emotional hangover. So I’ll keep this one short. It’s Easter! Easter hasn’t really been a significant holiday in my life since I stopped believing in the Easter Bunny, and many years recently I’ve let it come and go like any other day. However, thanks to Friday’s Munching Mongoose delivery, I had a surplus of artisan bread, eggs, and milk in my house this morning. I also found a large, unopened bottle of Vermont maple syrup in the back of my pantry. So I decided to make French toast. This breakfast was delicious and put me in a good mood. Also, I gathered a bunch of non-perishable food items and a packet of Woolworth’s hot cross buns, and put them outside on the sidewalk with a “Happy Easter!” sign. I figured someone hungry would come by and take the food. I checked back […]
Welcome to Week 12 of my #Gauteng52 challenge, for which I will visit and blog about a new place in Gauteng Province every week for 52 straight weeks. This week I visit Delta Park, which explodes with pink and white cosmos flowers every autumn. This #Gauteng52 post is cheating a little because I’ve been to Delta Park — a huge city park bordering the suburbs of Craighall Park, Blairgowrie, Victory Park, and Linden — before. But up until yesterday I had never been to Delta Park during cosmos season, which transforms this park into a totally different place. Fields full of cosmos in Delta Park. Cosmos are wildflowers that made their way to South Africa in contaminated horse feed during the Anglo Boer War; the flowers are native to the Americas. The cosmos took to the dry climate of the South African highveld and everywhere the horses fed, the cosmos grew. The flowers seem especially fond of ditches along rural South African roads and highways, and they grow like wildfire in Delta Park. Cosmos: Johannesburg’s Autumn Leaves March is the beginning of autumn in South Africa. We might not have the same abundance of fall leaves that I grew up with in America (there are some, but not […]
Welcome to Week 7 of my #Gauteng52 challenge, for which I will visit and blog about a new place in Gauteng Province every week for 52 straight weeks. This week I visit the Multiflora Market, a massive wholesale flower market east of downtown Joburg. I love taking photos in warehouses and factories and the Multiflora Market had been high on my list for a long time. But you have to go at the crack of dawn to catch the action, and it’s not easy to drag oneself out of bed at 5:30 a.m. to look at flowers. Luckily the #Gauteng52 project finally gave me the motivation I needed. The Multiflora Market was founded in 1944 and is the largest flower market in Africa. Every morning before dawn, farmers from across South Africa ship boxes and boxes of fragrant blooms into this warehouse, where they go up for auction and get shipped out again to florists, grocery store chains, and even the guys who hawk flowers at street intersections. Buyers come to the Multiflora Market from all over Joburg, South Africa, other African countries, and even Europe. Cartloads of flowers lined up for auction in the Multiflora warehouse. Stopping to Smell the Roses at the Multiflora Market […]
I’ve been attacked by an end-of-year malaise. My blogging motivation — and motivation in general — has flagged. So I thought I’d return to my quick-and-easy Instagram for Art’s Sake project today. Blooming. The agapanthus is one of my favorite indigenous summer flowers in South Africa. I love the word, too. So exotic. This lone agapanthus bloomed in my backyard last week. I took several photos of it but this is the only shot I’m happy with.
Tomorrow is Heritage Day, a South African public holiday. South Africa has lots of public holidays. I have trouble keeping track of them and what they mean. Heritage Day is pretty simple though — it’s a day to celebrate South Africa’s heritage. This can mean basically anything, because South Africa, like the United States, is a very diverse place with lots of different heritages. So basically, Heritage Day is an excuse to take the day off from work and do fun cultural things. Heritage Day falls on a Monday this year, which means we have a whole long weekend of cultural celebrations to choose from. Today, my friend Horst and I celebrated Heritage Day weekend by going on a tour of private gardens in Upper Houghton, sponsored by a local charity called Gardens of the Golden City.
Yesterday I had a picnic with the girls in the rose garden at the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens. Under a tree in the rose garden on a quiet Wednesday afternoon. It was the perfect picnic spot. I’ve been to the rose garden many times and I wrote a post about it once, a million years ago. I hadn’t planned to blog about yesterday’s outing. But it was such an enjoyable experience that I decided it was blog-worthy. Especially because, for the first time ever, I got some decent photos of the amazing roses there.
I shot some photos in the garden the other day. All were snapped within a 10-foot radius of each other, although I shot half while looking down and the other half while looking up. The ‘down’ shots were taken in the middle of the afternoon and the ‘up’ shots were taken at sunset. There’s no need to search high and low for beauty around here. It’s everywhere you look. LOW Tiny wildflower.