Last month, as my neighborhood was exploding into brilliant reds, yellows and oranges of autumn, I escaped to a subtropical highland climate far below the equator full of pops of purple. Where was this purple explosion that I speak of? Why Johannesburg, South Africa! Having returned for a family wedding, I was delighted to find that the city’s many Jacarandas currently in bloom.
Although nearby Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, boasts the name “Jacaranda City” as does a local radio station, the Johannesburg suburbs contain many Jacaranda-tree lined streets as well. In fact, you’re hard pressed to find a neighborhood that doesn’t boast one!
My husband and I took many walks in the suburb of Northcliff where we were staying, and I couldn’t keep myself from snapping off one shot after another with my mobile phone.
Jacarandas are actually native to South America, but have been planted far and wide due to their beautiful purple petals that seem to last forever, or certainly for several weeks – sometimes up to two months – before beginning to fade. In parts of South Africa however, the species is now considered invasive, and although the trees are not being cut down, once dead, they are replaced instead with a native species.
As I’m an avid gardener, I tend to take notice of my botanical surroundings as I travel, and I find myself drawn to capturing these details for the duration of my trip. Do you have a special interest that “invades” your photography too? I’d love to hear all about it! Please share in the comments section, so we can learn about something that you capture too.