Coral Tree, Halfway Home in Cape Town
It seems a world away I was in the Yucatan now that I am well immersed into a new botanical art creation in a new country and with fresh surroundings, both place and people, Cape Town-South Africa! It was over a decade ago I spent 3.5 yrs here every 6 months (Oct. 2011 to June 2014) and fell in love with this city and the Cape Peninsula. I am now spending 2 months with one week stints in all my favorite places here. There are many neighborhoods to enjoy, lots of art, incredible flora and fauna, outdoor activities and educational systems abound. The cultural mix and the sea air along with the rugged backdrop of Table Mountain give this place a special "air", where the Indian and the Atlantic meet.
This first few weeks I have just gotten my bearings, made my plans and contacted some old ties. After spending my first 4 nights in Sea Point then out in Tokai Valley near Constantia for another 5, I am now back in an old haunt called Bloughburg where all the wind surfing and kite sailing fanatics come. I have spent a glorious day at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and was reminded of the Coral Tree, Erythrina lysistemon. I first saw it back in 2011 and was taken aback with the large bright orange flowers against the deep blue Cape Townian sky. I've managed to secure good lodgings over my time here all with a large enough table for me to produce a piece before heading back to Bali. I am halfway home after my 13 month sojourn!
This tree's flowers begin to bloom as soon as it gets cold and lasts for the winter duration. I am here just as winter will be on the way come March and will get to watch the various Coral Trees in my various areas come forth. It can tolerate wind, different types of soil and drought conditions. It is a tough, fast growing species that has stood the test of time. I attribute these similar assets to the peoples of this area, strong, sturdy and managed to outlast all the adversities and still staying solid year after year.
I am so very pleased to be back in the Motherland, Africa, and even though Cape Town isn't necessarily the Heart of Africa, it is in my heart due to some past history here in my 1st 2 years of life and also over my 3.5 previous years. I welcome in this heartfelt rain!
"It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had
- Toto, AFRICA song