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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Arriving in Piketberg


What more could a town ask for? Piketberg lies against a wonderful mountain and its streets are lined with enormous jakaranda and other types of trees! The mountain harbours two more towns on its opposite side, but long ago the Gonjemans tribe lived here, and many examples of San art can be found in the caves. Khoikhoi herdsmen also knew the place intimately and would hide russled cattle in the caves and valleys. It was decided in the 1670's to create a small military outpost known as a piquet (French) or picket (English), from there the Afrikaans name Piketberg.

A cannon placed on the mountain was used to warn surrounding farmers of trouble in the vicinity, or of ships arriving in Table Bay harbour to buy their products. It boomed happily when Queen Victoria had a birthday, and even more so when a telephone line was completed that linked the town with Cape Town. The cannon is filled up with concrete now, and kept in the schoolgrounds. You can just see the lovely old school at the end of the street.

14 comments:

  1. hello Marie, thanks for your comments.
    Love that Jacaranda in the middle of the street it takes me back to Lisbon where they were in blossom in April/May when I visited.Beautiful

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  2. Is the lovely purple leafed tree a jacaranda? it is stunning, truly. I love the quaint feelings of this little town and particularly the idea of those mountains behind protecting this little place. Thank you for the history too, Marie. I love learning and find these bits of information so interesting! I am struck by the "movement" that I see in the mountains.

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  3. Thank you dear Isabel, your sketches give me much joy! AutumnLeaves, thank you for your comments. The Jakaranda carries only flowers in my painting. The flowering time is normally in November and only after the blooms have fallen will the foliage appear. Read about this lovely tree in: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacaranda

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  4. What wonderful history and beautiful visuals to go with the story. I like the way you have painted the hills in the background and the touches of violet that balance with the Jacaranda. I love the way words evolve over the years. So many Anglicisms of original names. I guess that says a lot!

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  5. Oh, those mountains! Awesome....another lovely painting, drawing us into the tranquil town. The school building is most beautiful. Imagine treading those halls -

    Excellent background on the history of Piketberg - we have passed through it often, but never knew the origins. As always - stunning painting and informative blog. Thank you.

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  6. Marie, What an interesting country you live in. Thank you for both the background information and the lovely work.

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  7. This is a lovely painting and a good illustration of the country and it's history. I really enjoy hearing about these distant places and it's people. So different from the UK.

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  8. I love the ruggedness of the mountain, which sets off the beauty and gentility of the town. Thanks so much for the history on your area.

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  9. Your postings are always full of interesting information! You could publish a book with your paintings as beautiful illustrations.

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  10. I love when you come to visit my blog, Marie. You always say such wonderfully kind things to me. I did indeed visit the jacaranda article in Wikipedia. Those trees are just gorgeous when in full bloom! Wish I had the climate here to try to grow one! I suspect we get too cold in the winters though...Ah well...

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  11. Yes, this place is dreamy. I too love the Jacaranda!

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  12. Gosh Marie, but I love your paintings and the great information that goes with each of these gems. I never knew that about Piketberg! Keep them coming!

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  13. Oh my.. please don't wake me up yet, ok!

    ~Silver

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  14. On my exhibition in September "Victorian Broekie Lace" had the most remarks by gallery visitors and according to the purchaser it still attracts attention. (http://artistmarietheron.blogspot.com/2009/06/victorian-broekie-lace.html)
    This painting of Piketberg is definitely the one I like most and it had such nice comments both here and on Facebook.

    Thank you Isabel and AutumnLeaves,Catherine, MacTeddy,Carol and Carolann,Mary,Diane and Dianne and Liz for enjoying our country's sights and history and your kind remarks about the painting. Silver, your comment was funny AND left me with a "warm glow"

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I love your comments, they make my day!