🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Where have all the Guineas gone? .....♪♪♪♫

Birds are indicators of the environment. If they are in trouble, we know we'll soon be in trouble.
- Roger Tory Peterson

Watercolour on Bockingford 300gsm - Maree©

I used to have dozens of guinea fowl pass through our smallholding here in Tarlton (Gauteng, South Africa), but these days it's like Christmas seeing just a few of them. When we moved to Tarlton in the middle 70's, we were one of a few owners living on the smallholdings and there were large tracts of open land with hundreds of mammals, birds and reptiles that crossed our paths daily. Snakes were rife and regularly had to be removed to a safer place, now we only see a snake a couple of times in the year. I used to have wild hares entering my garden and eating my Marigolds; I haven't seen an hare for about 7 years. The same with hedgehogs, monitors, tortoises and jackal.

The area is now totally built up and our smallholding is now flanked by people on all sides, property fenced and surrounded by high walls - there are few, if any, empty tracts of land any more and I'm just wondering where all the wildlife has managed to find a safe refuge...

Here's wishing everybody a beautiful festive season and many years of joy and inspiration!


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