Striated Skies so far…

Striated skies

2015 is rushing along like years seem to do these days and so far I have published 12 striated skies out of the 52 for the year. I am thoroughly enjoying this project and hope that you are too. Let me know what has been your favourite so far.

Tomorrow I will publish number 13 titled  “Creeping Condensation”.

Striated Skies No. 13 – Creeping Condensation

13. Creeping Condensation

On a recent trip through the Huguenot tunnel I had to stop on the side of the road in order to capture the clouds that were rolling over the mountains. I stopped at the road to the Du Toitskloof Resort and Trout farm. This resort is somewhere that I would really like to stay at and having researched it a little I definitely want to stay. Interestingly I found out that a lifestyle estate is being developed on the site and more info can be found here.

The Du Toitskloof peak is the highest in the Western Cape and is a barrier between the sea and the inland. The mountains are made up of Table Mountain Sandstone and are part of the Cape Fold Mountains. The Cape Fold Mountains act as a rain shadow, the wettest parts of the Mountains can receive 1,500 millimetres (59 in) of rain, Worcester (approx. 35km from the Du Toitskloof Resort) receives only around 200 millimetres (8 in). The clouds that creep over the mountain push up over the mountain and often you can go from a completely overcast day in Cape Town to no clouds as you get through the tunnel.

The creeping clouds show how the topography of the Cape affects the weather and remind me of how amazing life is.


Striated Skies

Striates Skies No. 12 – One Paarl Pearl

Striated Skies

Paarl is the largest town in the Cape winelands municipality and is the third oldest town in South Africa. The name Paarl is derived from the large granite dome mountain that exists in Paarl. In 1657, in search of new trading relationships inland, Abraham Gabemma saw a giant granite rock glistening in the sun after a rainstorm and named it “de Diamondt en de Peerlberg” (Diamond and Pearl Mountain), the diamond part was dropped but Pearl stuck.

Paarl is a beautiful town in terms of the nature, farms as well as the beautiful Cape dutch architectural buildings. I would suggest taking a drive through Paarl before heading to one of the many award winning wine farms on the Paarl wine route.

You will be sure to drive past the thatch church building that inspired this piece.

Striated Skies No. 11 – Passion Prickly Pear

11. Passion Prickly Pear


The Prickly Pear is a Cactus that is native to the Americas and in particular Central America. Prickly pears were introduced into other countries including South Africa over 300 years ago although a spineless version was introduced as a crop in 1974. The Prickly Pear is a member of the Cactus opuntia family and became fairly invasive in South Africa due to the fact that no natural pest existed. The cochineal insect was introduced in order to contain the spread of the prickly pears to prevent damage to the natural environment. Interestingly cochineal insects are used to produce a natural red dye.

Prickly pears are a delicious fruit and must be eaten very cold. When peeling the skin off the fruit you have to be very careful  as the fruit contains spines and glochids (the fine prickles, or bristles) that readily dislodge and may cause skin and eye irritation. You can find many videos online showing you how to cut a prickly pear.

If you have never eaten a prickly pear then I suggest that you do but don’t have too many as the edible pips can cause a blockage in your pipes. This is in fact an argument my wife and I have as she believes that if you follow the prickly pears with a cup of tea it actually has the opposite effect.

Prickly pears may not be indigenous to South Africa but I have eaten them all my life and have a passion for prickly pear eating especially when they have been peeled by someone else!!!

Striated Skies No. 10 – Memory Jump

10 Memory JumpMemory jump depicts a childhood memory my mother has. On a recent trip to visit my parents in George we took a drive to Mossel Bay. We went down to the rock pools that my Mother remembers from a family holiday many moon ago. The rock pools form a channel of water that provides a natural water attraction. This location is a great place to have fun as a child and I would recommend a visit on a nice hot summers day.