Pam at Digging has invited us to share our National Parks. This park was created to showcase the spring display in Namaqualand in the
. Once it was a farm called Skilpad se Graafwater (=the tortoise’s digging place for water). With the low rainfall, farming is challenging here. Tourism for wild flowers is another way of earning a living, while still protecting the environment. There are some very short-sighted politicians who chant – if it pays it stays!? Northern Cape
The spectacular displays of sheets of colour from annuals, tend to be on abandoned wheat fields. There the seeds have the opportunity to flaunt themselves in gay abandon, with no competition or shade from shrubs. Not too many trees here, except along streams or in shaded kloofs (=valleys).
These daisies live a very gracious life in their short season. We rise at 10, and retire at 3 in the afternoon. If it is cool, or breezy, we stay in bed, and wait, for a better day tomorrow. We turn our faces to the sun, so it is up to you to plan your route so you see their faces, not their backs. Plan a leisurely journey. Make time to get out and walk, where you are allowed to. Please keep to the paths – they have such a short, vulnerable season, and your galumphing great boots will kill them. (The same mentality that likes to smash Thanksgiving pumpkins, needs to walk and lie on fields of flowers!!!)
This is the Ungardener's picture of the only wildlife I can't abide - locusts
Don’t despair if the weather is cool and overcast. It is only on foot that you will see rarer plants – bulbs and shrubs, which on a fine day are totally obliterated by the over the top extravaganza of unbroken sheets of orange daisies.
Tomorrow bloggers are showing that we want to be part of solution to global warming and climate change.
Namaqualand with its Succulent Karoo vegetation, is the only arid biodiversity hotspot in the world. Now the 350 mm of rain a year (and the sea fog rolling in) can just, carefully, be stretched to support plants, wildlife, people and farming. Once, there were elephants migrating through here …
A little hotter, and we will lose the plants and the animals to full on desert. The people will have to leave the land, and go to the cities. And there what will we all eat – Soylent green anyone?
There are so many special plants to choose from. So many pictures. In this collage you can see a gladiolus with the most subtle gentle colouring. A Gazania (still in its pyjamas) in its natal home. The heart of a beetle daisy. And a plant I keep trying to grow. Have one in the garden now, looking sad and lonely, but we will keep trying. It is called Lobostemon, no prizes for noticing it is part of the borage family.
There is accommodation in the park. Best we have ever had. Each one stands away from the handful of neighbours. Just you, and the view, all the way, across rolling hills, down to the sea. The very best bit is an enclosed veranda, two comfortable chairs, dining table, concertina windows which open completely, or close to block the wind. We loved it there and will go again. (If you want to stay over, you need to book at least a year ahead for the spring flower season. Here Namaqua or in the hotels and B & Bs in the surrounding Namaqua towns)
And this is the only time we have ever seen a sunset with a barley sugar twist in the tail!