Watching over the valley

Valley Watcher

Ever since I saw Carl Jason Smorenburg ‘s recent photo, I’ve been wanting to get my own photo of an aloe. I pulled over on the R34 outside Vryheid, hopped a fence and snapped this proud aloe. Next, I want a similar photo but with the sun coming up.

Canon 6D, 17/40mm, F9, 1/25 sec, ISO 320

The bitter aloe is most famous for its medicinal qualities, provided by the golden-brown sap of the leaves. The long, tapering leaves are green, sometimes with a slightly blue or reddish tinge, and bear sharp, brown teeth on the margins, and sometimes also on the surface of the leaf. Indeed, the scientific name of this species alludes to the prickly leaves, as ferox means ‘fierce’ in Latin. The leaves are arranged in a rosette, and as the leaves age and die, they remain attached to the plant, forming a ‘petticoat’ of dried leaves around the base of the stem. The flowers of the bitter aloe vary in colour from red to orange and yellow, and occasionally white, and are borne on spike-like heads.” ~ — at Vryheid KZN



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