Down to the river

The river, oh the river! How that dark burbling stream worked its magic on our decision to buy this perfection.
It took a steep hike down a well cut track to reach the stretch of Buffels River that hosted the water pump. Down a winding path beneath the forest canopy. Stopping to marvel at new finds of fungi, miniature orchid, a squirming, multi- legged invertebrate that would be remembered and identified later, lichens, butterflies, baby trees. The ever present sighing forest, old and growing older, indifferent to our trespass. Everything still and seemingly asleep, till focus brought a watching bush buck into view. The forest protected us all, hid all, offered us all time to see and learn the things which were to mean the most in our lives.
The track opened onto a thickly ferned bank which sloped down to a fast flowing, tea coloured stream. The rock pools were filled with Red-finned Minnows. Fully grown, these tiny fish measure in at barely 10cm in length, so they are really small.Red Fin MinnowThe rock pools! Dark and inviting. Always busy, always overflowing one into the next. The river gushed on below the canopy and disappeared round the steep walls of quartzite and dripping ferns.
How many dogs over the years have withstood the temptation to bound into those pools and snap happily at the rushing water? Too many to recall. It surely was one of the most joyous places on earth. Also one of the most sustaining and honouring places if peace was sought or direction begged.
Tree fern stood sentinel amongst Cape Chestnut that stretched over the river from one bank to the other. Epiphytic ferns clung to the bark and tiny white orchid flowers hung in minute clusters from their mother plant growing high above the river.
Dappled light played with bold sunbeams and dragon and damsel flies wafted up stream. In the eddies shiny little River Boatmen swirled to and fro. Forest leaves floated by.
The river in any season has never been less than magical.