K is for Knysna, from whence I came,
Known for The Heads, of worldwide fame;
Kith and kin all started there –
Keep happy mem’ries, which we all share.
Keynote for scenery past compare –
Kinds: beaches, forests, lakes, mountains there;
Kiss of the sun, embrace of the sea,
Kingdom of heaven it is to me.
I find it strange that so much of what I thought I knew is now contradicted. Take, for example, the meaning of ‘Knysna’. When I was young it was universally accepted that it came from a Hottentot word meaning ‘There is wood’. Now it is a Khoi (why be so coy about that name and the sans-less ‘San’ for Bushmen?) word for a fern. Also, one now reads that the Forest Elephant is smaller than the Bush Elephant. I was always given to believe that it was the other way around, with the Knysna elephants being the largest of all forest ones and therefore the biggest in the world, as Indian elephants are certainly smaller than African. From the evidence of my only sighting of the famous old bull some time in the middle of the last century, I am inclined to believe the latter. He was simply enormous. Maybe the forest ones have shrunk in the wash since?
Not included in my rhyme as part of the wonders of that area are the lovely streams, the rugged rocks and cliffs, hillsides heath-covered mixed with ‘fynbos’; and of course the famous Cango Caves only a day trip away. In my time one had bushbuck, duiker and ostriches visible from or next to one’s front verandah at The Heads (I had a ‘bluebuck’ friend who would let me stroke him), and gigantic turtles would swim up the Knysna River. Leopards and baboons were found a short hike along the coastline – although nobody would believe me about the former for many years. Cunning puddy-tats, those. They mostly know it is a good idea to remain anonymous when near humans, and they learn to leave livestock strictly alone.
The trouble with this challenge is that, with limited blogging time, it is not enabling me to do the visiting and commenting I so enjoy. Not, that is, on top of entertaining guests, keeping up with correspondence, and dealing with little things like eye procedures.
The latter was a very good idea. Already I am finding the difference between the ‘good’ eye and the previously cloudy one is almost imperceptible. My advice to all those who have had lens inserts to cure cataracts is to keep an eye open for deterioration after a number of years. The area behind the eye starts developing cloudy tissue. This apparently only needs to be lasered away once, and thereafter will not recur.
© Colonialist April 2012 (WordPress/Letterdash)