What a difference some rain makes ....
After rain there is an explosion of wild flowers here at the Amohela ho Spitskop Conservancy and our grasslands become a patchwork of colours as pockets of blue and yellow and white and pink suddenly appear.
This becomes a wonderland as a myriad insects, bees, butterflies and birds pollinate and feast on Nature's abundant table.
All shapes and sizes ranging from the small single headed blue Wahlenbergia krebsii or the white Arctotis venusta or the tiny and delicate Nemesia fruticans to large headed brilliant yellow Berkheya multijuga and the tall multi-head stems of Senecio inornatus. Some are bells, there are stars, snapdragons and some are massed heads, however all are simply marvellous and without fail all of them have some useful medicinal purpose as well as an effective environmental footprint.
Areas of our Conservancy are carpeted with masses of these colour combinations, and here the very air is alive with insects and bees, these are wild pollinators all busy feeding and pollinating the native plants and wild flowers in our restored grassland biome, where birds too do their bit, this is Nature at its finest.
Erik Holm in his wonderful book Insectlopedia says: “Three quarters of all living species on Earth are insects and no terrestrial ecosystem can function without them, they are more significant in the ecology of our world than all the other animals combined.
It seems that about 80% of all plant-life is in need of pollination by insects, at least 50% of human diet comes directly from flowering plants.
The sharp drop in butterfly, wild bee and moth numbers in particular is really concerning since not only are these species major pollinators, but they provide nutrient cycling and they are also an important food source for birds, mammals and amphibians. Some 60% of birds are reliant on insects as food.
Around our SkyWind Cottages, Quail and Francolin, we are creating a native plant wonderland, a mixture of native plants and utterly beautiful wild flowers collected from our veld and koppie. Gradually, as rains and time allow, we will work the complete block of the Conservancy surrounding the SkyWind Cottages, and they will stand in a wild garden, for SkyWind Cottages will be.....Where the Wild Things Grow.