Text and photographs: Joe Welman
The first rains fell at the end of October of last year signaling the beginning of the rainy season and ending the terrible drought. The drought was the worst we had experienced in almost three decades, but was brought to its knees in spectacular fashion by some of the most electrifying thunderstorms you can imagine.
The animals seemed to rejoice. The cubs from the Eyrefield pride were joyfully running up and down termite mounds during the first morning-rain. The buffalo herds dispersed immediately as drinking water became abundant. Pioneer plant species heroically pushed through the earth’s surface a short couple of days later. These plants rooted the topsoil, created shade and by doing this improved conditions for the successors.
It is now three months later and the grass stands tall at waist level. Numerous wildflowers are blossoming as if to celebrate the miracle of life itself. The zebra herds have returned and so has the wildebeest.
The dawn chorus comprising of both resident as well as migratory birdsong starts early every morning as if to urge the sun on to make an appearance. Once the sun has risen the sound of singing cicadas follows, the conclusive indication that it is in fact summer.