Back in Freetown the rains have begun and the landscape is transformed. Our lawn is green and the leaves are gleaming, washed of dust by the downpours. The colourful bougainvillea has been joined by fragrant gardenia, frangipani and a bush the gardeners call the yesterday-today-and-tomorrow plant: it has both white and purple flowers on one plant, which come and go in a matter of days. I have now discovered, thanks to the link shown, that the first day the flower is dark purple, the second lavender and the third it turns white before dropping off. That is quite an amazing biological change!
When it isn’t raining, the air has a crisper quality and the far shore is more visible. Our view has also been improved to the left, as a neighbour has followed our lead and been tree trimming. We can now see the giant scoreboard in the National Stadium – where there is a game going on between Sierra Leone and Tunisia. A huge roar went up when the home side scored and a more muted sound when the equaliser came. The smoke in the background is from the part of the city where rubbish is constantly burned.
Last weekend a sudden storm blew up from over the hill:
First the clouds gathered, then came the wind whipping the trees and scattering leaves, and soon after down came the rain:
It’s dramatic and good to watch from the safety of a waterproof house, but plenty of local houses are not so fortunate.
The rains seem to have brought an influx of bird life into the garden, so I keep my book (Birds of Africa, south of the Sahara) near at hand, but usually need to take a photo to have time to trawl through all the possibilities. Thanks to my Facebook friends I have identified this one as a black-necked warbler (very similar to the spectacled warbler of East Africa – a slightly different beak being the difference):
While keeping an eye on the wildlife, I will be photographing the flowers in the garden next – treading with caution, as the rains bring out the snakes! Maybe I’ll be able to get a picture of one to share!