The trees were the first to show us by sprouting new leaves and displaying flowers on every possible branch that summer has arrived. Even with the rain being late, many species of flora have adapted survival mechanisms which assist with water storage, therefore, under normal rainfall conditions water is not regarded as a major limiting factor but rather temperature. Studies in our region have indicated that when the soil reaches 12 degrees growing season will commence. The sprouting of leaves and blooming of flowers are all signs that summer is on its way and hopefully the rain will follow.
The next to show us that summer has arrived, is the sight of birds replacing their winter plumage with colourful summer plumage and the building of nests to have some chicks. The first of the baby birds have been heard and some have been seen. There are also those that have been blown out of their nest with the late August winds and need some help from us. If you find a baby bird, please first check if you can place it back in its nest or if you see the parents around. If you are unsure if it needs help, contact Judy from the Wildlife in Crisis Rehabilitation Centre on 073 112 1131 or the Environmental manager Odette on 0664362889 for assistance.
Next our hibernating species becomes active. These species include the South African Hedgehog, Tortoises, Snakes and Spiders. After a long winter sleep, all stored fat has been used and foraging for food has started. Please be careful when driving as tortoises are often seen crossing the roads during the day and hedgehogs are often seen crossing the roads at night. If you find one of these hibernating species in your yard, please contact control room on 010 015 0968 or the Environmental manager Odette on 0664362889 for assistance to remove and relocate them back to the natural areas.
The last indicator are the change in the behavior of our larger animals. With winter being close to an end, the season for babies is here. With the rain being slightly later than normal, not too many babies have been born. Most animals will wait for the first rain before giving birth. This is a way to ensure there will be sufficient food to raise the babies. We did however have a few winter babies so far and are doing great despite the late rain.
As much as everybody wants to see the baby animals, please be aware that all animals are protective of their babies. All animals with babies are to be viewed from a distance for safety reasons.