SOUTH AFRICA, Sunday 14th Feb 2010
You’ve heard of something being as interesting as watching grass grow?
One Thursday evening Leon came round for supper. While we were waiting for the roast, we decided to have a game of cards.
Waiting for him out on the patio, whilst he was buggering about with something inside, I was sitting looking at nothing in particular, when I thought I saw a slight movement – of a plant.
Now you might ask, “What’s so unusual in that? They are not exactly solid as concrete or contained in a hermetically sealed, breeze-free tank, but grow wild and rampant in your garden.”
Ah, Yes. BUT it was a totally windless evening. Not the slightest hint of even a breath of wind was to be felt.
Then, you might remark “There must have been an insect or even a very small lizard crawling up it’s nether regions.” But “No”, I would reply, “I checked all over and around it”. There were no foreign bodies to be found lurking anywhere upon it.
It was moving entirely by itself.
SH!T, I thought, the Triffids have landed.
Actually it was the tendril of a Morning Glory plant which has chosen to infiltrate the bougainvillea bush just outside my patio. This particular tendril had grown its way around the white, plastered pillar which supports my patio roof, so it was all on its little ownsome, and thus clearly definable.
About 30cm (or about a foot to the unmetricised) of tendril leant against the pillar. Until it started to move – away from the pillar towards where I was seated on the patio.
I rubbed my eyes and looked again, but as I stared at it, sure as eggs is eggs and the Pope’s a Catholic, I could physically see it growing.
I thought “Sod me”, or words to that effect, and after checking it out for a few more minutes, called Leon to come and witness this amazing phenomenon, cos even surer than eggs is eggs and the Pope’s a German (at the time of the incident) Catholic, no-one would believe me if I told them about this, without having a witness.
I said to him,
“Leon, just stand perfectly still and watch that plant, and tell me if you can see anything unusual about it.” After less than a minutes, he said “Bloody Hell, it’s MOVING”.
We continued to watch until after about seven or eight minutes the end of the tendril had moved a couple of inches away from the pillar.
I went and called Ziggy to see it too, but in his own particular idiom he told me to go away.
Leon and I were transfixed by this marvel and only when it was too dark, did we realise that we should have been videoing this close encounter with nature. But I did manage to take a couple of photos showing its progress.
When I first saw it, the tendril was flat up against, and halfway across, the pillar, as in photo 1. It then started to move towards me until it was eventually about six inches away from the wall (photos 2 & 3).
In the final picture it had turned and was making its way back to where it had originally come from.
By this time we had realised that it wasn’t so much ‘growing’ as moving round. Spookyyyy.
But to watch it in action was like seeing one of those documentary programs where they speed up the film. Albeit this was somewhat slower, but it was LIVE.
Watching grass grow definitely has nothing on watching a creeper creep!