Here at Sanddrif Guest Farm, the last few weeks have been a busy and productive time in anticipation for the upcoming season. Travel restrictions are however still in place, but this doesn’t mean we can’t invite you along on a virtual journey as we share some of our daily moments of “life-at-Sanddrif” with each of you.
Imagine a winter’s day…You wake up at 07:15. It’s still dark and the temperature is a very chilly 4°C. Slowly but surely it starts to get light and not even an hour later, the golden sun rises and gently mirrors itself in the dam opposite the River Suites. After a noteworthy amount of rainfall, the dam is now filled to the brim and the birdlife is on impressive display. Two Blue cranes settle gracefully on the dam’s island, sharing this seemingly popular spot with cormorants, darters, herons, egrets, geese, spoonbills, plovers, ducks and Red-knobbed coots.
A flock of 32 Helmeted guineafowl cross through the meadow. It’s interesting to see that one seems to have a pigment disorder; it’s completely light grey and does not have the typical blue neck, grey feather-dress or white spots. The Cape weavers are eagerly building new nests that are suspended from the trees and reeds alongside the dam, while a pair of African yellow-billed ducks enjoy frolicking in the flowing water while keeping a watchful eye before they fly off as they spot you drawing just that little bit closer. Mousebirds play hide and seek in the potato bushes and the sunbirds drink the sweet nectar of the aloes, strelitzia, honeysuckle, euryops and lantana bushes all boasting flowers in the most magnificent colours.
If you wander a little further through the garden and follow the song of the birds as you walk along, you will discover robins, thrushes, wagtails and kingfishers just to name a few. You will also come across some delightful shrubs such as the hibiscus, bougainvillea’s, lavender and dietes all still in beautiful blossom. Gazanias, jasminum and marguerite daisies open their flowers in full as the light of the sun envelops them. Even the rosemary, pelargoniums (geranium), periwinkle (vinca) and some roses still have a few flowers to show.
At midday the temperature averages around 20°C, the perfect time to sit comfortably on the veranda and enjoy some lunch or a cup of tea while admiring the snow-capped mountains and basking in the warmth of a perfect winter’s afternoon. By 16:30 the sun loses it strength as it elegantly starts to descend over the neighbouring vineyards before the evening temperature drops to about 8°C. This late afternoon show of golden beauty is paired with a concert of calls from surrounding birds – the ideal time to enjoy a glass of wine while soaking up the last rays of sun before watching it set at around 18:00…and with a bit of luck you might just hear the hoots of the Cape eagle owl sitting in the tree above the jungle gym.
We hope you’ve enjoyed being transported through our garden and could experience the same delight that we had by taking you on this journey. Hopefully soon you’ll be able to be here in person revelling in the sights and sounds for yourself.
Until then, stay safe.