Conservation and Environment in South Africa: Monthly Updates
Monthly Updates from 2009
The silly season is upon us and another year at an end.
We had lots of sad goodbyes and even all the remaining staff went off for a well deserved break and time with their loved ones.
Even hotter!!!! Car trouble and more car trouble and loads of good conservation! November was extremely hot but at least we had some rain which makes a huge difference in temperature as well as smells, colours and the number of creatures that emerge from their hiding spots.
HOT! October is one of the harshest times of the year. Temperatures can reach the high forties and sometimes even fifties. Celcius! We have had a couple more millimetres of rain for which we are very thankful, but we need the raining season to start now. Most of the trees have started budding and the bush is starting to look lovely and green again.
September was a month of change. Spring is here in full swing and most trees and other plants are flowering and here and there life is starting to come back in full force. We have at long last seen Leopard (Panthera pardus)! We had a magnificent sighting during one of our research drives when it ran across the road in front of us. Mieké spotted it first and struggled to get the word out her mouth for a couple of seconds.
Eventful!!! Eventful doesn't begin to describe the last month! August saw us digging, hammering, chopping, hammering and more digging. Thanks to the kind donations of Dana and Haley, we provided Mathathane Primary School with a playground built by our own hands.
July means cold. It gets more and more difficult to get up in the mornings, but we soldiered on. The colours of the bush start changing and available surface water gets less and less which means sightings at our waterholes get more interesting and eventful.
June was yet another very exciting month in the bush. Work on the next waterhole and observation deck has started in full swing. This means loads more digging. Our plan with this waterhole is to have it as natural as possible to thus allow animals more access and elephants amongst others to enjoy mud bathing, splashing and generally just playing.
The beginning of May saw the beginning of winter. The bush is changing drastically and the wildlife is getting ready for the dry season. Nights and early mornings are getting colder and colder. Daytime temperatures are very pleasant and this is one of the most beautiful times of the year. Our night sky has also changed - Orion is now invisible and Scorpio has made an appearance.
April is always one of the most beautiful times of the year in Legodimo. The temperatures are moderate and the bush is still really green. Mosquitoes have nearly all gone and the nights are getting cooler and cooler.
This month was one of the most eventful we've had in a long time and included the infamous BIG hole! In March we had a visit from Stuart Timson, the Conservation Director from Peru. His help in digging THE hole was greatly appreciated as well as some advice on streamlining our various projects.
February was a busy month, the heat has subsided a bit and everyone is in good spirits. We built a platform in the Nyala Berry (Xantocercis zambesiaca) tree in front of camp. This has now become prime real estate at midday.
January started off with a bang as we had a large number of volunteers. Everyone was excited, well rested and ready to go! We started the year with the planning and construction of an extended terrace in front of camp. We got this done in record time, and this served as motivation for everyone to get stuck in. The reason for the extension is to serve as a barrier which protects camp from hippos and elephants, who are sometimes a bit too curios.