Tales From The Giraffe Pan
12th May 2006
Whydahs, water, wind and winter
The rains this year actually turned out quite well. There were a few moments when I thought the rain would stay away, but as it turned out we ended the season on a high average. It was very effective rain too. It rained exactly when we needed it at the right moment of growing for the grass. We had water in all the pans so the game and cattle were kept out in the veldt for longer, this is good thing as it saves diesel, not having to pump water from borehole to kraal. And with the price of diesel these days I will take any saving I can get.
Our plentiful rains grew plentiful Tsamma melons, so all our game will be well watered and well fed over winter.
Winter is coming fast now, its cold every morning, but all the trees are still green. So a green winter at the moment not yet a brown one. It will only get brown in the few months before summer starts, and those really are the darks times for birds and game alike.
At the moment we have a couple of visitors. The paradise tailed whydah is making an appearance, his tail so long and impressive that he struggles to fly level. The shaft tailed whydah wearing his black cap and coat. Queleas, not in their impressive thousands of a few years ago but still flocked together in hundreds as they take off and land in perfect synchronicity.
Truffles did well this year too. As I said before, the rains came and ended at just the right time. Late rains, and just enough. Unfortunately the cattle are getting to them first in the main grazing camps, however, where there are no cattle, like in my garden!, we find lots every day.
Water source tubers are still growing at the moment but you can tell we had good rains ‘cos they are tasty. Over the next few months they will get bigger until during the driest months, they will be everywhere and nice and big, ready to be used.
Jewel beetles and moramas, the nice fat spinach plant all go to make up the salads that are “mixed” in the pestle and mortar. An excellent source of protein and vitamins.