Friday, October 17, 2008

Farm in the City

Irene farm situated about 15 kilometers from the city center, in the Centurion area, is an example how agricultural land has been consumed with the march of progress. Irene is a village that was established many decades ago. It was an isolated, detached village with loads of character. The nearby Irene farm, well known for it's dairy herd, was really in the countryside.
Much development has taken place and the whole area has now become urbanized with housing complexes surrounding the original farm. However, the farm seems to have embraced modern development remarkably well by establishing an attractive restaurant and outlet for it's farm products. It is always a treat to have sunday morning breakfast here. It is like stepping out of the city and into the country side with it's tranquail surroundings.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Jakaranda City

The Jacarands are now in full bloom and many parts of the city are cloaked in purple. The Jacarandas are very prominent with many streets lined with a double row of the trees forming a colourful canopy as you drive through. I posted a similar scene in June when the trees were green. This scene shows the Telkom communcations tower in the background. It is visible from many parts of the city. At present we are experiencing hot sunny days. Yet there has still been no rain.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stairway to the sky

Sunnypark shopping centre in Sunnyside Pretoria has been undergoing a major renovation. This staircase with it's bulkheads leads to the top floor with a large sky light which floods the entire complex with natural light. In the post 1994 period after the first democratic elections much of the inner city decayed remarkably. Presently there has been a huge injection of capital to rejuvinate the city. Sunyside in particular has been a hive of activity with many new buildings being constructed.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

City Park

This tranquil park, called the Trim Park, is situated about 7 kilometers from the city centre in Muckleneuk. We had a family breakfast at the Blue Crane reataurant adjacent this spot. The stream leads down from the dam in the Austen Roberts bird sanctuary. It was established in 1958 and about 170 species have been recorded by birders. A hide which penetrates into the santuary permits visitors to view many species close up.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Jacaranda Spring

It is now late spring in Pretoria and the jacaranda's are starting to bloom. During October and November the city will be bathed in a blanket of purple. Many of the inner city streets and surrounding suburbs are lined and saturated with Jacaranda trees and form a boulevard with a purple canopy. Any sale or planting of these trees is now prohibited in South Africa as they have been classified as an invasive flora.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

City Founders

Three statues of the city's founders line up in front of the Pretoria city hall facing eastward. In the background is Chief Tshwane after whom the greater metropilitan area is named (see Sept 26 for a larger photo). The founder of the modern day city in 1855 was Marthinus Pretorius who is standing in the foreground. It was named after his father, Andries Pretorius who is riding his horse in the middle ground.
According to cultural history it is claimed that local tribal inhabitants, led by Chief Tshwane, lived in the region before the voortrekkers arrived to establish the modern day city. Questions have been raised whether Chief Tshwane ever existed. At present the controvery is still raging regarding the city's renaming. It has been proposed that Pretoia should be renamed to Tshwane. The name Pretoria would then be retained as the inner city centre suburb.

Friday, October 3, 2008


The city is a blaze of colours during spring. With the initial blossoms now begining to wilt and fall from the plants and trees, the Jacarandas are beginning to emerge. During the later part of October and into November the Jacarandas will form a blanket of purple over much of the city. This has earned the city the nickname of the 'Jakaranda city'. In this instance it is spelt with a 'K' which is the Afrikaans (South African language) version. This shot is looking down Leyds street in Muckleneuk with the Union buildings in the background.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Three Strelizia's in the gardens of the Transvaal museum. The more common name is bird of paradise flower or altenatively the crane flower. It appears as if these flowers are frolicking like a group of birds. The Strelitzia is a genus of 5 species of perennial plants and is native to South Africa. They are always an attractive feature in any garden and rather intriguing with their unique shape. This particular species normally reaches a height of about 1.2 meters. There are other larger species that can reach a height of 10 meters.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Interesting Shapes

This interesting shot was taken of the front gardens of the Transvaal museum in Pretoria. The circular lawn terraces contrast sharply with the regimental columns of the building. I have not visited the museum in many years so it is time for a visit once again.