The rains normally begin in November, but what’s “normal” about the climate these days? There was much shaking of heads on Stone Hills through Christmas and beyond when temperatures soared into the late 30’s. Another drought was almost certainly looming, and no amount of supplementary feed was going help the animals through this one.
FIRST WEIR SPILLING - JANUARY 2014
FIRST WEIR - LOOKING BACK FROM THE SPILLWAY - JANUARY 2014
And then suddenly the rains arrived, giving us the best New Year’s present we could ever have wished for. We are heading for a total of 500mm (20 inches) to date and with any luck there will be more, as we need late rains to see us through winter. Now the place is bursting with babies – warthogs, impala, wildebeest, zebra and eland – many of whom owe their lives to the support (whether it was financial, in kind, advice or passing the appeal onto your friends) that so many of you gave to their mothers through that devastating drought. We lost some of course, particularly amongst the older animals, with the sable taking the hardest knock – but they too are recovering now that their bellies are full of new green grass.