The first of September marks the official arrival of spring. Some blossoming trees and plants start to flash brilliant color like the irrepressible flame creeper ( Combretum microphyllum ) while others like the knob thorn ( Acacia nigrescens ) are more modest with a subtle touch of cream. The function stays the same in that it attracts birds, bees, and even giraffe in the case of the knob thorns, to pollinate in order to reproduce.
It sounds promising, but the hard reality is that the first good summer rains is only about a month away. A good friend of mine’s dad used to say that the winter consists of only 3 months: September, September and September. It is a month of hardship with temperatures rising into the mid thirty degrees Celsius and with very little prospect of rain. Vegetation is sparse and the herbivores do everything in their power to conserve energy. The bush seem to have slipped into slow motion mode with animals walking slowly to and from the waterholes and sleeping through the hot hours of the day.
This is a time of plenty for the predators who make full use of the opportunity to hunt and catch their energy deprived prey. Guests should enjoy excellent predator sightings and the chance to see them hunting or feeding is better than average. Waterholes also becomes a magnate for animals. Guests should also enjoy quite productive picnics at our treehouse hide with regular sightings of elephants and buffaloes as they visit Ngala dam during the sun scorched midday hours.
I enjoy September with its warm temperatures after the cold of winter and wind of August, but am waiting impatiently for summer to arrive with its thirst quenching rain, green grass and most of all beautiful baby impala who stare wide eyed at you with their huge innocent looking eyes.
Post by Robbie Prehn