Knysna Fires : Five factors that produced the Perfect Inferno

June 2017 will be remembered by South Africans for decades to come. A historical moment when Mother Nature showed her true power and the only option was to get out of her path and watch in awe. For a week preceding the fire, extreme weather warnings had been issued with predictions of flooding in drought stricken Cape Town and surrounds and rain and strong winds … Continue reading Knysna Fires : Five factors that produced the Perfect Inferno

How to safely handle a Rinkhals.

EVERY day in nature is a lesson, and while wading through books, we learn a lot, actually being able to experience some natural event will embed the knowledge forever. Yesterday I was privileged to be present for a search and release of some snakes that had been rescued from a proposed construction area. The snake that grabbed my attention was the Rinkhals. I have always … Continue reading How to safely handle a Rinkhals.

The Guardians of Elliot

When we first drove into Elliot, it was at the end of the second stage of a long dashed trip from the Garden Route for an initial bird survey on a proposed wind farm. As we past the ‘Welcome to Elliot’ sign, the shadow of a Cape Vulture darkend our dashboard. I screeched to a halt, jumped out the car and focused my binoculars on … Continue reading The Guardians of Elliot

Mud and snow beneath the stars in the Karoo

“Do you realise that it is going to be freezing during your stay here?” was the opening question from Erna when she phoned a day before our planned arrival at her establishment in the Roggeveld. “Yes, we have seen the weather report and are packed for extreme weather” I replied. Amanda and I were preparing for our winter visit, the first of four 14 day … Continue reading Mud and snow beneath the stars in the Karoo

The Nature of Farming

There is something mystical about the Karoo light. In summer the landscape shimmers beneath the relentless sun, the hills and thickets a quantum image seemingly fixed only in your mind’s eye. Amanda and I are perched on a hill near Middleton, a sculptured geological model of the towering flat topped mountains 50km further north. We are on one of nine birding sites that we monitor … Continue reading The Nature of Farming