Go out by yourself, face the wind, hold up your head and thank the Universe for this world we live in.
When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.
🐾 Hedgehogs, Chooks, Nature, gardening and other rambles. In summer I always enjoy an early-evening walk on our smallholding. No need to get in my car to find nature, I have 8.5ha right here to explore, always hoping to see the Barn Owl or some Guinea fowl, but always enjoying the Bluegum trees and beautiful grasses and wild flowers along the way.
Hi, I am Maree Clarkson, a watercolour wildlife and conservation artist and Nature-lover living on my little piece of African soil in Tarlton since 1975 (Gauteng, South Africa), in love with life, my chickens, gardening and nature!
🐾 Maybe the reason I love animals so much, is because the only time they have broken my heart is when theirs has stopped beating.
Monday, 25 February 2013
Nature is telling us...
With the grass
turning yellow and a nip in the morning air, it's plain that we're heading for
Autumn already. One of our March/April jobs on the smallholding is to cut the
grass and make fire-breaks. We started early this year as Nature is clearly
indicating she has plans for an early Winter!
under the fences with a panga.
After the contractor has finished the basic job
of cutting all the fields, it's time for us to trim under the fences and get closer
to walls and other structures. Where the tractor cannot be used it is done by
hand with a panga.
I just love watching
them work and the smell of the freshly-cut grass is like no
other in this world!
Following the tractor
around, I also get a chance to 'rescue' small wildlife and flowers, giving the
driver strict instructions to 'go around' it. This wildflower was blowing
around briskly in the breeze and I had to hold it still to get a shot.
Besides clearing up a
possible fire hazard, I'm thrilled by the annual cut as I get to replenish my
stock of baled grass for the chicken coop. I really don't use that much so
twenty bales lasts me the whole year. The contractor takes the rest of the harvest, which is about 200 bales in total.
By this time of the
year, the Fan-tiled Cisticolas (Cisticola juncidis - Landeryklopkloppie
in Afrikaans) have finished breeding. They hang their tiny nests in the
tall grass by bunching clumps together and building their little cups half-way
up the stems. Quite a job to find them in the tall grass and I never actually
look for the nests as the Cisticolas are very shy and easily abandon a
disturbed nest. I'll miss their constant twittering as they do their dipping
flight above the tall grass.
But the shorter grass
makes way for other wildlife - the Guinea fowl pass through more often and the
Crowned Plovers move in and start choosing nesting sites. It's one of my great
joys watching their tiny, long-legged little offspring following the parents
around in Winter, taking tit-bits pointed out to them.