07 February 2013 by Chris Marais

Goose-wrangling in Bedford

Bedford in the Eastern Cape looks like an ancient English village right now, because good rains have been bucketing down since long before Christmas – and well into the new year.

Herding the Bedford geese into the photo frame...

Streets have become tree-tunnels. Backyards have transformed themselves into lush gardens. The river that flows by is gurgling happily, and the birdlife has multiplied. I don’t know about the mists, but for Bedford right now it’s the season of merry fruitfulness, to be sure.

The summer greening of Bedford village

The roses of Bedford are looking fabulous. If you get a chance, ask someone to take you off to the rosarium (yep, Bedford has its very own rosarium) and show you the General Gallieni blooms in their deep crimson glory.

So we’re strolling down one of the side roads, my wife Jules and I, taking pictures of lovely little Bedford, soaking in the green and sniffing the odd heritage rose.

The roses of Bedford are looking fabulous. If you get a chance, ask someone to take you off to the rosarium.

I spot a perfect setting for a magazine cover photograph. But it’s missing something with a pulse.

'If only we had a kid on a bicycle there, pedalling slowly towards us,' I muse to Jules. 'Or, maybe, a flock of geese.'

The colour delight of a General Gallieni rose

Beware of what you ask from the universe; it will often respond with enthusiasm.

Just then, a gaggle of geese crosses our sights in the distance.

'OK Jules, now you’ve got to herd them into the road, keep them there while I set up the picture,' I suggest. Ever the good sport, Jules strides off and begins to talk to the village poultry.

All I hear is 'Hey hey hey hey hey...,' from Jules and then 'Gabble gabble gabble gabble gabble,' from the geese as she herds them this way and that across the country lane, and I shoot away. Pretty soon, they start herding her rather loudly about the place and she comes darting back to me.

'I think they want modelling fees,' she says…

The tree-tunnels of Bedford in the summer

Category: Attractions

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