Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mixed Blessings!

"It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness."
~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon ~

No, I am not using the term, 'mixed blessing' in the sense in which it is usually understood.  I'm referring, rather, to the mixed bag of blessings I was able to enjoy while accompanying my husband on two site visits this week.

Regular readers of Driftwood Ramblings will already know of my great fondness for hitching a ride with my husband when he has to do a field survey.  Obviously, there are many times when this is simply not possible, but whenever there's the slightest chance of my being able to combine a pleasurable outing with business, I grab it with both hands.  I was able to do just this yesterday and here's what I came home with!  A bunch of happy memories, my mixed bag of blessings stored on camera...
To view these photographs, please click on the Read more button below. I do hope you enjoy them...

A pretty valley in Constantia, currently this section is being used by subsistence farmers who grow flowers to sell to passing trade.

"It is essential to our well-being, and to our lives, that we play and enjoy life. Every single day do something that makes your heart sing." ~ Marcia Wieder ~

I was mesmerised by this beautiful scene!

Swathes of the most beautiful pink dahlias...
As you can see, I could not get enough of them!

Despite the muddy pathways, I simply had to get up really close!
And walk a bit further along, to study these...

My husband caught up with me and took this close-up for me!
While I attempted this one further down the rows and rows of pretty salmon reds...

When, lo and behold, not only my favourite colours in the garden, but one of my favourite flowers, too...
Beautiful blue and white lisianthus, growing side by side...when we'd finished the survey, we bought a big bunch!

Our next port of call was a farming area in Brackenfell...
Amarylliss belladona or March lilies grow well in the loamy soil lowlands of the Western Cape...

They flower particularly well after a fire, so there, you have a 'mixed blessing' in the normal sense...devastation of fire followed by the glorious upward thrusting of these exquisitely fragranced blooms!
What is farmland without its hens!  This one had just returned from the local hairsalon and was proudly receiving plenty of complimentary attention...

Happy to offer a side-on view of that perfect bouffant!

Whilst our attentions were elsewhere, Bonny and Toby had quietly sauntered off to take a stroll through a deep muddy rut...when we turned around from cooing at the hens, this is the sight that greeted our astonished eyes!  Fortunately Heathcliff had had the good sense to stay with us...he thought the hens were lovely and their poop, even better, so while we were trying to distract him and move him away, our Sheps had decided it was time to look for some fun of their own making! 

"Let's have a mud-bath, Toby!  I've heard it's great for the complexion!" 
"the world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful" ~ e.e. cummings ~

Bonny was clearly the ring-leader as she had a lot more mud on her than Toby...
We had to walk them some distance to the farm dam so they could swim off most of the dirt before they could be loaded back into the bakkie (yute for you Ozzies!)

Guess what we did when we arrived back home?  Yes, bathed the dogs!  Right now, they're tucked up in their beds, dreaming contentedly of their wonderful day!  

And now, please pop across to the LG REPORT where Lazarus is running his second annual CUTEST PET on the link below to go straight there! 

Click here

There are a number of worthy winners, but if you are faithful to me, you'll vote for ROMEO - he's the last entrant featured and the only South African.  He NEEDS your votes, because he's just so darn cute and had a tough start in life.  So please go on over and cast your vote.

And, while you're there, read Lazarus's hilarious posts.  You will not be sorry and I'll bet, like me, you'll be hooked and join up as a follower!  :) 


  1. That first flower farm is so pretty.

    Why do dogs love rolling so much!? We called our puppy Rollo and didn't realise we were being prophetic!

  2. wow! BEAUTIFUL flowers! the purples are my favorite...but i REALLY liked the amaryllis!! and seeing them growing in a little the middle of a 'barren' field...brings that field ALIVE!!

    LOVE the close-ups...and mud between the toes for YOU and doggies, is a must of course! :)
    OH, and that hen's 'do'...CUTE!

    ...nothing like some 'mixed blessings' to go with my coffee! what a way to start the day!

    thanks Desiree! :]

  3. Oh the flowers were simply gorgeous! And the dogs, well that's just like something Tucker and all our daughters' dogs would do!

    If I hadn't entered Tucker in the pet contest, I would vote for Romeo!

  4. Amazing pictures! Thank you for this beauty!

  5. I was looking for a post to read during brunch (brunch at 4pm still counts as brunch, right?) and saw yours, so I came by.

    Lovely flowers! I guess it's autumn there, because I see lovely autumn flowers. Your close-ups are gorgeous. How do flowers get such gorgeous colours? I'm really envious.

    Your dogs sure took a dive in the mud. Aschiuta hops in all the puddles she can find too. It's always bath time when that happens. Good thing you had where to clean them up a bit.

    I went to the contest (was sorry I didn't enter too) and voted for Romeo (even before I read the description or your message here). He reminds me of pooch... I hope he wins, he's a sweet little one.

  6. I can't get enough of your lovely photos and the chicken with the big hair made me giggle, but not as much as the mud covered doggies! I miss having a dog, but I have an evil landlord that won't allow them- boo...hiss!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, again, lol!

    I am off to vote for Romeo!

  7. I totally get why you love accompanying your husband on his field surveys.. Who wouldn't?? Those flowers are absolutely gorgeous, and I think the lisianthus are my favourites too. Especially the blue ones. And the March lilies.. Okay, I can't chose. They're all gorgeous! :D :D
    And that hen is so photogenic! :D :D
    And your dogs!!! They are so cute!! They look like so much fun!! :D :D Your captions are great, as usual.. :) :)
    (I think I'm a little hyper right now.. :| And we just lost Sehwag.. :( :( And I decided that the blue Lisianthus are my favourites after all :) And why do I feel like I know you already?? :\ )

  8. I'm very jealous! Of the flowers that is. My dogs get in enough trouble on their own. I have a St Bernard, golden retriever, and a shitzu. No I didn't pick them for their enormous brains but I love them so. Anyway as usual your post made me smile and relax.. thank you

  9. The flowers (and the photography) are amazing, heaven on earth! Loving the puddle pups! xx

  10. Good day Desiree, you have made a wonderful start to my saturday mid morning!!! How I loved, loved this prairie filled with flowers!!!!!
    This is excatly what I love the most, thank you!!!!!
    hugs my dear

  11. I would love to know if there are rabbits eating all the growing little buds and what do people do to protect the flowers without harming rabbits... just wondering...this is my main problem.

  12. Yikes I hope the dogs getting so muddy did not really spoil your day! I love the dahlias you photographed.

  13. MARIA:

    I've emailed you! :)


    Nope, it's all part of being a dog owner...they invariably get themselves messy on outings and we have to bath them when we return home! In my next life, I'm coming back as a dog! :)

  14. Thanks for a very beautiful and enjoyable post! Thanks too for recommending us to Cherie

  15. What a beautiful outing! You don't know this about me yet, but I LOVE flowers!! Crocheted ones mostly, but any flowers generally!} Those fields of flowers were just beautiful!! And the hen's hair-do was not bad either! LOL

  16. Desiree, I just love the beautiful pictures. The hen (and comments underneath) cracked me up! :-)
    It was obvious that Bonny and Toby had themselves a great time! The dirtier they are the more fun they had. It's clear that Bonny had herself a party!!! lol!!


  17. Oh, silly me! I gave you very complicated instructions, when it can be easier to add a link to a post. In the post editor, you can click on "link" and add the text to display (SITE NAME in my previous example) and the URL in its proper place. Voila! The text editor generates the code automatically for you.

    I started a new blog about cooking... Is it a good idea or a bad idea? I'm merely a beginner :D

  18. Beautiful, beautiful flowers you have there in your country, Desiree! The first ones where the fields were full of them were amazing - I loved the first photo best of all, although you're right of course, the fields of Dahlias were also pretty awesome! (Although I'm from England, I have learnt that word from all my American bloggy friends, and I love it! All your photos are AWESOME!). No sign of you know who yet, I see!!!

  19. That flowers !!! lovely....and owwwwwww...yous dogs are dirty...did you wash them ???...hahahahahah!! have a nice weekend love

  20. I voted for Romeo and really enjoyed seeing all the beautiful flowers.

  21. ODIE:

    That was so sweet of you...Romeo will be wagging that tail right off at this rate!

    So nice to have you visit and I'm very pleased you enjoyed the flowers! I did, too!!!

  22. Lovely country--lovely pictures! Silly dogs.

  23. I went and voted for Romeo, I hope he wins!

    I absolutely love those pink Dahlias! One of my all-time favorite flowers.

    Laughed at the muddy dogs, they are so bad.

  24. I LOVE the flowers. I can't wait for ours to begin blooming here.

  25. I'm here to say a big thank you for visiting my little cooking spot and for the great encouragement!

  26. The fields of flowers must have been a joy to see but not naughty shepherd dogs. Great shots as usual.

  27. LAVI:

    It's an absolute pleasure, Lavi! I wish you great things with this exciting new venture.

    I really love what you've done with setting it all up so far. I predict great things for The Laughing Stock!

  28. The pink dahlia field is to die for. Absolutely stunning. What a fun trip it must have been for you--and your dogs, of course. :)

  29. Hi. You ask where I grew up because of the gypsie story. I grew up in France right outside of the Paris area. This particular town I lived in was called Villeneuve St George. I lived there till I was 13 then moved to Lieu Saint which amused my father since it means Holy Place and he is a Baptist Preacher. Maybe that answers more than you asked but that is my forte, giving more inof than needed lol

  30. I literally gasped out loud when I saw those glorious fields of flowers... something one dreams of walking in...seeing out their window on a Spring morning...and the mountain in the distance with the mist hanging above it. There truely IS a God...and if that isn't proof of it, I don't know what is! Makes my heart smile!

  31. A beautiful selection and variety of blooms and colours, but my favourite of all is definitely the deep purple!

    I love the sight of your dogs after their wallow! I can just smell the mud!

  32. Lovely post, flowers so beautiful and a sight for my winter weary eyes! Until,...OH! Those peskys dogs. Our Maggie, rolled in "Shudders", deer droppings. Why oh why do they do that? but apres le bain, she's so fluffy and fluffy! It's a pleasure to nave a freshly washed dog!

  33. Wow those pictures are beautiful, and I love those muddy dogs too :-) Thanks for visiting my blog.

  34. I'm back on a short visit. Thanks for the comment, I do try to tell people a lot about Romania. In my doggie blog, I'm constantly talking about our stray dogs. They are especially under threat now...

    Also, I would love to learn more about South Africa, you're just my second friend from there.

    I'm off to bed now, reading that quote one more time... "It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness." So true.

  35. What an exciting day! Those dahlias and other flowers were beautiful! The dogs, not so much. LOL Larry takes our dog, Heidi to area lakes a few times a month. She gets into the lake and swims whenever she gets the chance. She gets pretty messy, too. Larry says she loves getting wet in the lake, but does not like getting bathed in the shower.

  36. I think dahlias are the most photogenic flowers......what a treat those colourful fields must have been.
    Your dogs, now.....that bath wasn't much of a treat, I'm sure!

  37. Dahlias were my fathers favorite flowers. I can remember as a kid always having a bed of dahlias in our yard. Perhaps I should plant some around the farm.

  38. Another great post Desiree. Those flower fields have more than a touch of Monet about them.

  39. Ok Woman! I have about 5 blogs I check daily and yours is one of them. Where's my new post? lol

  40. That was a beautiful site to pretty all the pink flowers. Trish

  41. Desiree, your pictures are absolutely beautiful! I love dahlias, but never grow them because we have to dig them up in the fall. But, how fun to see an entire farm filled with flowers.

  42. I loved all the flower pics, and laughed at the muddy dogs. Such a metaphor for life. It doesn't seem to matter where you go, you always manage to turn it into an enviable adventure.

  43. That field is indeed a pink piece of Heaven!
    Now I must say that my hens would be simply flabbergasted at that hairdo and be gossiping about her all day long. But our rooster would be quite enchanted and think her quite daring and stylish!

  44. Superb and incredibly beautiful. What a lovely experience to be amongst all those flowers!
    The photos are stunning.
    Oh my goodness, your naughty dogs and their mud bath - didn't they have fun!!
    I just adored the beautiful chook too -ha ha, loved your commentary. It fitted so well.
    Thanks for letting us come with you Desiree.
    Oh, and I popped over and cast a vote for Romeo too. So cute and his fur looks so soft. On that basis, he deserves to win ;-)

  45. Lucky you to get to go along on these adventures. The fields are so pretty! I love the Dahlias. I laughed at your muddy dogs! They sure look like they had a great time in the mud.
    PS I put in my vote for Romeo :)


I would love to hear from you!