Recently I took a trip to Barberton, which is about an hours drive. There is a restaurant there in an old house dating back to the gold rush days of the 1880s. After lunch, I took a trip into the Makhonjwa Mountains, which is a series of beautiful green hills. The views from a high point are stunning.
This range, now a World Heritage Site, is known as the Barberton Greenstone Belt and reaches over an area of 120 by 60 kilometres. It has some of the oldest exposed rocks on earth, i.e., 3.6 billion years old. The area has been called “Genesis of Life”, as it has been well preserved since the Paleoarchean and Precambrian periods. (When Earth began to form.)
An interesting find in 2014 was evidence of the largest terrestrial meteor that struck the area, estimated about 3.26 billion years ago. The crater has not been found but is estimated to be between 37 and 58 kilometres wide, however extraterrestrial materials have been found in the volcanic rocks.
Gold was discovered in 1874, but the cousins Fred and Harry Barber had an impressive find a few years later, and this led to the gold rush and the founding of the town Barberton. The famous dog Jock of the Bushveld was also known to visit this area with his owner Percy Fitzpatrick, and his statue is situated in Barberton.
I am pleased to report that mining has declined drastically, but some of the oldest gold on earth is still mined here. Artisans fashion it into jewellery in a workshop near the Barberton museum.
Trees are grown for timber and the area is also used for grazing; perfectly peaceful activities for this beautiful mountain range, teeming with plant, animal and birdlife.
The town of Barberton is at the foot of the mountains.
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Revelation 4.11.
Copyright © Caroline Street Art/Poetry/Photography