Sunday, November 13, 2011

Only Seven Pictures Today...

Witels River area - day trip - October 2011
My new theme song is, "It's been another busy week!" If it hasn't already been written, it ought to be, since I have it repeat playing indefinitely. For now, I see little chance of any change.

While we truly love our six dogs and remain totally committed to each and every one, I would not advise anyone thinking of expanding their pack to take on six at once, unless you're fortunate enough to live on a really large plot, with plenty of space for them to run and play freely. Otherwise, one dog is good, two dogs are even better, three still do-able, four leaning towards becoming overly ambitious...six, decidedly over ambitious. The amount of work increases enormously...that is if one wishes to continue to live in an orderly, clean house and enjoy a neat and pretty garden.

I know that once the three youngest pups have reached adulthood and begin to be more contented with digging less and bringing all their bits of flotsam and jetsam into the house, life will begin to resume the more peaceful state we knew before. Until then, I have to deal with the daily hurdle of never-ending cleaning, tidying up and playing watchdog so my poor garden which is constantly under siege, is not destroyed further. 

To not put too fine a point on it, I have been finding it more and more difficult to keep up with everything. My available time for blogging (both reading and posting) has understandably had to reduce to a few hours a week. Suffice to say, I find I'm even struggling with that. I have considered taking an extended leave of absence. However, my blogging time is precious to me and so I will only do that as a last resort. 

By way of something slightly different, what follows is a selection of random pictures taken on our scheduled day-trips over the last two months. It is thanks to our daughter that we are able to enjoy these occasional breaks. She comes home to puppy-sit, giving us peace of mind to escape for a while.

Dead tree, vineyard, mountain. Awesome in combination.

Even fallen trees have a stark beauty irresistible to our cameras. 

The original old tunnel on the Bainskloof Pass. 

This magnificent, fallen, charred tree trunk begged to be housed in my garden. The fact that it was far more than twice the length of our car made it a pipe-dream. Instead, it demanded to be photographed!

Spot the odd one out...

Old Oaks wearing their new green. Battle-scarred survivors of wind and fire, still standing proud in this farmer's vineyard.

My next post will be of the magnificent farm garden, Klein Champagne, on the outskirts of Franschhoek and the fourth of the ten open gardens I promised to show you. Watch this space, but not too intently.


  1. Looking forward to your next garden tour post, but take your time. I love old downed trees too, I'd like to find one suitable to lay across my stream. You have my sympathy over the heavy puppy-related work load. The thing I miss most when I take a break from blogging is the people contact.

  2. oh my little friend, those puppies and dogs are certainly keeping you on their toes, aren't they?! It must be very hard work for you, even though you love them all. Thank goodness that your daughter can relieve you and your husband from time to time, so that you can have little outings to take these stunning photos for us to look at. These are absolutely gorgeous. I can't find your e-mail address, but I looked at your new camera on the internet, and I have ordered one! It should be here any day now. I am very excited! Do you use it mostly on Auto, or do you use it manually? I would be interested to know. Sending you hugs.

  3. I'm trying to decide on ONE dog - cannot imagine the commitment you must make to 6! Love your tree shots - even the charred and fallen have personality.

  4. All I can say is lovely seven :) great shots!

  5. if you need to take a break from blogland, we'd surely understand. and, yes, i had 5 dogs until just a week or so ago so understand completely. down to 4 now, and it is surprisingly more manageable without my sweet 'princess'.

  6. You are very much like my father, Desiree. He was an avid nature photographer and saw beauty in dead and fallen trees, rotting stumps, fungus and other phenomena that most shutterbugs overlooked in their search for colorful blossoms. I wish that I could own six dogs because I love them. As a child I was not permitted to have a dog and I've been making up for it as an adult.

    How well I know about time limitation, dear Desiree. Every blogger faces the same dilemma. Blogging is fun. It provides satisfaction and a creative outlet. It puts you in touch with the world and you make many new friends. It also eats up gobs of your time and, if you let it, will undermine other aspects of your life, including relationships with family and friends in the "real" world. Time management is a challenge that every blogger must face. I treasure my blog friends but as more and more of them came into my world it was very much like adding more puppies to the family. Eventually, the sheer number of them became unwieldy, requiring me to decide which friends will still get all my best and which ones I regrettably must shortchange or even ignore. It boiled down to a common sense policy. Those who consistently make time for me will get the same in return. Those who lose interest in me, my life and my blog will find that I gradually withdraw from theirs. It's a tough decision but there's no other fair way to manage time. Your loyalty to me and my blog means a lot and puts you at the top of my list, Desiree. Thank you very much for your friendship and support, good night to you, and have a splendid week ahead!

  7. Such wonderful pictures! I'm feeling a bit put about by the new puppy who must be kept on a leash and completely understand your time crunch. Plus, a very busy schedule recently has put me behind in blog visiting and I want to enjoy all those gardens ...

  8. Your readers will all be here when you have time to post, Deriree - don't worry.
    I spotted the odd one out very quickly. I may not know cattle, but I do know donkeys and mules!

  9. Oh, I would have wanted that magnificent, fallen, charred tree trunk in my possession too, Desiree. Love the basin of water it held. Hope the dogs soon become 'perfectly behaved' bundles of joy!

  10. Six dogs is a lot of dogs to take care of - I bet you don't have a lot of time. I would hate to have you not post anymore. Maybe you can think of another answer. I sure hope so, but I would understand - blogs are time consuming. Sandie

  11. There may be "only seven" but they are seven spectacular shots. I love them. Those dead trees really did make for a good subject. Great and thanks.

    I had 3 dogs at one time and thought it was so much. How do you do it? While I miss them, I don't miss the upkeep.


  12. What gorgeous country! You photograph it well!

  13. Hi Desiree!

    I love the photos of the fallen trees. I am drawn to old decrepit trees, I don't know why! I love the gnarled wood and sense the story buried within.

    Thank you for your well received comments on my post. I have so appreciated your thoughtfulness, and honesty. I especially needed the following, " . . . tell yourself, gently and compassionately, that it will help and then believe it."

    Why is it that I turn away from being gentle to myself?? Thank you again for stopping me in my tracks and causing me to think of the "right thing!"

  14. Love them all, especially the fallen tree. Time! Never enough of it. Juggling work 5½ days a week and home with 3 kids, 3 dogs, 1 hubby and 1 cat. Luckily I am spoilt and my sons share the cooking with hubby - leaving time to read and blog! Looking forward to your next post whenever it is.

  15. Your pictures continue to amaze me with their beauty! I can't imagine caring for 6 dogs! That is quite a job. I know what you mean about blogging. I wish the clock would stand still when I sit at the computer to play spider solitaire...I mean blog!

  16. And a spectacular seven it was!!
    Six dogs is a handful. Thank your gracious daughter for her dog sitting so that you are able to bring us along on your outings.

    Don't worry about the whens with the blogging. We'll be here when you do have the time. Real life trumps virtual. ;) It should be enjoyable for you, not a chore. I can be very patient. :):)

  17. Dear Desiree,

    Beautiful photos you're sharing with us today. Beautiful mountains. Have a lovely Monday my friend. Hugs x

  18. Dear Desiree,
    Once again, your photographs spoke volumes. And I do so relate to having a number of animals with whom you live and that sometimes seeming overwhelming. I lived with four cats for many years. One by one they died and when there was just Eliza and myself we took great comfort in one another. We missed the other three, but the bond between us grew strong. Now I have three again. Your six dogs are a great responsibility.

    Now as to the blogging. You know that I recently took two weeks off. They refreshed and renewed me. Since then I've been trying for only one and a half hours a day of reading blogs. I try to stick to that but blogging is truly addictive. I think the advice from "shady del knight" is sound. Friko gave me similar advice with my blogging.

    I encourage you to listen to your body. If you need time away, please take it. Those of us who delight in your blog and in the comments you leave on ours will always be here, waiting to once again experience your sweetness. Listen to what your body longs for and follow that song. We're here for you--whenever.

  19. I can easily see how that many dogs could become overwhelming especially since you love your garden so much and don't want it destroyed. Des, even though your post today has fewer pictures than usual it is still majestic views that take your breath away. I and I am sure everyone hopes you will be blogging for a very long time because you have a gift for photography that blesses so many. I even bought a thumb drive that I have most of your posts saved in case blogger makes them unavailable I will have them to look back at. I am also saving Linda's as well. Don't feel too bad about not having time to post often as we all get busy at times. Hope the dogs give you a break this week.

  20. Oh please do not give up blogging I love going on these visual trips with you. My eyes take in the beauty and your words bring me to the point of actually feeling like I am there. I thank you for that. I am sure I will never see these places so I really enjoy seeing it through your eyes.
    Wow you are certainly busy and I understand the blogging thing. I find it very hard to answer the comments and see every blog I love. I always hope people understand I certainly understand the time restraints you are faced with. Take care my friend I await your next post whenever you find time. Love thew photos especially the burned tree. B

  21. Beautiful Desiree. I've missed seeing your blog. Somehow it doesn't come up on my dashboard any more. Your photography is stunning. And I love your new song, lol! Blessings, Jo (Kenya)

  22. Thank you so much for finding the time in your busy life to visit my blog. I feel honoured that you have found time for me. Your photos are beautiful and I join you in the love of old logs in the garden.
    I can't imagine the time it must consume to care for six dogs you are so kind hearted. We didn't get another dog after the last one as we found it difficult to leave it when we travelled. We don't have a fenced yard either so we enjoy the neighbours dogs except when they bark and annoy us.
    I see you have been given some good advice concerning the time needed for blogging. I agree with Shady and Rita. I only blog as a reward to myself for having completed the days chores. I always put real life first and keep the number of blog friends (and dogs) manageable.
    Good luck with your dogs and blog friends and remember it should be enjoyable and if it isn't stop doing it whether it is dog care or blogging.

  23. Ah now these I can relate to.. They look like my side of the world. lol Hope all is well with you my friend.

  24. Hi Desiree,
    In reading your comments section I was warmed to see that we are all having similar challenges in keeping up with our 'real' lives and spending much loved time with our blogging friends. It is indeed a hard balance and I'm finding as the holidays and the busy life it brings my time is getting even harder to organize and divide.
    I wanted to share with you this thought of mine. I recently told my family that I now have a new place I'd love to visit...your South Africa. I never knew all it holds in beauty and flavors until I started following your blog. Thank You...
    And yes, I've found two pups rewarding but the puppy stage always takes it toll on yard and home.

  25. I love mountains. Those first three photos were like a refreshing wave of clean air. Beautiful!

    I totally understand that your busy-ness is squeezing out the time for blogging. I find that it's happening to me quite a lot lately too!

  26. We all seem to have busy spells from time to time that squeeze out blogging. We'd be sad creatures really if blogging took first call on our lives. I find it hard to find one decent photo for each post though, never mind seven lovely ones like these.

  27. Dear Desiree,
    Here's Dee again thanking you for commenting on my splotch and spot posting. I'm so glad that the graciousness of the Novice Mistress spoke to you. I've always admired her greatly for doing a task that requires such humility and such steadfastness and such an understanding of youth and its dreams and ideals.


  28. Desiree, no SAW on hand? I think I would have tried to tow it. :)
    It really is beautiful...a pond in a tree..sweet!

  29. More fantastic photos! Thanks for sharing...and I am always touched by how thoughtful your comments on my posts are.

  30. Lovely photos! As always! My two favorites are the dead tree and spot the odd one out! I laughed out loud at that one!

    If you take a break I shall miss you terribly. I'll understand, but I would definitely miss you! I'm glad that option is only a last resort and I hope it never has to come to that!

  31. Blogging time is precious, of course it is. Yet, so many things to do and so little time . . . .

    Your photos are magnificent, as always. Make us wait a longer longer, we'll still come back.

  32. Hi Desiree,
    I hope you don't give up on blogging. We will all miss you.
    I understand though. As a person with 3 dogs, I can just imagine that multiplying that by 2 would be an incredible amount of work.
    "Dog" and "tidy" are two words that you are likely to find used together in a positive way. I can't help but hope that there has to be ways to help you cope. Tammy at Casa Mariposa has 5 dogs. She has a "dog run" in here garden.
    Maybe you could employ a professional dog walker? There are groomers who make house calls here. Is there a service like that there?
    As far as blogging goes, maybe post once a week, return visits a bit more slowly and keep the posts shorter (this last one is a lesson I sure need to learn! Many bloggers show a single picture and a write a few paragraphs)
    In the end though, maybe something just needs to go. Time for yourself is important though. Don't throw that out!
    I hope you can work things out. Hang in there!

  33. Absolutely gorgeous. That first picture reminds me of where I grew up.

    Thank you for your wonderful comment today :)

  34. seven magnificent photos...the oak tree foliage forms a heart:-)

  35. Awesome pictures, really stunning! And I agree on your dog advice, very wise. Thanks for sharing Desiree!

  36. These pics are beautiful. I love getting out into nature like this as well. I probably would have headed over to the tunnel to have a look as well and, like you, I would love to get that log into my garden.

  37. Wow...only seven magnificent pics!!! I've so enjoyed these garden tours!

    God bless ya sweetie and have a delightful weekend!!! :o)

  38. How did I miss some of these Desiree!
    Honestly, you take me away into dreamland....

  39. Hi Desiree, It sounds like you have your hands completely full! I certainly understand having to divide time. If I hear from you less often, please be assured that I will only treasure your visits more. I'm sorry to hear that you are having stress from damage to your wonderful garden. I think I would cry.

  40. Awesome places and I especially like the old oak getting new greens. Rather makes me think of hubby about to get new veins and spring back to another season of living!
    Thanks for your kind comments.


I would love to hear from you!