A Little Magic...

Posted on Thu February 1, 2018 in Rogge Cloof Conservation Blog.

While throwing out Lucerne a couple of weeks ago, I saw an old animal digging, I couldn’t really tell if it was a porcupine looking for roots or an exploratory aardvark dig, but it wasn’t the dig itself that caught my eye.  It was what was inside!  And it got me to thinking maybe I’d write a little story about it.

In many places of the Karoo, and Rogge Cloof is no exception, there have been less than perfect land use strategies put in place, that saw the degredation of land into what is basically a barren area.  Such was the case in this Lucerne spot that I use, it was obviously an old gate to a new sheep camp and the heavy traffic of sheep, and the overgrazing meant that nothing is growing there now, nothing that provides soil protection anyway. But……

Inside this little animal dig, I saw something that got me excited.  A small cluster of flowers was growing there in the dead organic matter that had blown in there.  Protected from the wind, and reduced evaporation and sun exposure makes it a slightly more habitable area than the surrounding hard packed earth! 

Over the years this little cluster of flowers will grow and more vegetation will be blown in and break down to form organic particles that will feed the flowers, and eventually, this little cluster will spill out of the hole and start colonizing the bare earth around it…WE HAVE SUCCESSION!  Here is the first steps to revitalizing this barren patch and bringing it back to life, nature finds a way.

Try it yourself, dig a small hole, leave it for a season and see what grows, you may be pleasantly surprised by this little piece of pure magic.

(This Rogge Cloof Conservation blog was written by Michael Anderson, just before his departure to new adventures!  We wish you well, Mike & thank you for starting up the Rogge Cloof Blog.  To all the followers of the Rogge Cloof Blog out there: stay with us - the Blog has many surprises in stall!)