2 minute read
SPRINGTIME Steve Honeysett
“Finally after a cold few winter months Spring has arrived and it is time to get out and enjoy the change of season.
While out walking the other day I was wondering what it is that signals the change of season.
OUT ON THE BEACHES it’s the winds that start blowing in August but looking for signs of change in the bush, I noticed a certain flower that blooms at the onset of spring - the Blood Lilly which has a colourful bloom like a Protea.
The Blood Lilly is an unusual plant that shortly after it blooms it withers away - this is why I had very little success when I went back to try get a photo of one for this article.
The re appearance of animals, reptiles and insects also signifies change and one has to start to concentrate when walking as I found out when I walked into my first snake.
During winter we know that there are not too many snakes about so we tend not to pay too much attention to where we place our feet, but in Spring they start to emerge from their hiding places as I discovered when I walked straight past a Spotted Bush Snake sunning itself on the side of the road.
Noticeable is the obvious sign of the days getting longer, with sunrises and sunsets taking place earlier and later. I have always been fascinated by the way the sun moves across the horizon from its summer position in the south to its easterly position in the winter.
“During winter we know that there are not too many snakes about so we tend not to pay too much attention to where we place our feet, but in Spring they start to emerge from their hiding places as I discovered when I walked straight past a Spotted Bush Snake sunning itself on the side of the road.”
The rains are another sign of spring’s arrival. We have very little rain during the winter months when cold fronts move out to sea off Port Elizabeth tending to miss KZN.
On a recent mountain bike trip in the Harberg area, we were treated to the signs of spring within the forests and witnessed lots of small grass hoppers on the track in numbers which had us stopping and carrying our bikes over them to avoid riding over them.
Bird life increases with a lot more noise going on up in the trees and another sign is the return of the Yellow Bill Kites that migrate north for the winter and then come back for spring and summer.
Who hasn’t walked into a spider web when out walking?
Also being brought to light, is the number of sightings of large cat prints around in the areas of the beach dunes and as far up as Holla Trails. Some say it’s leopard which would not surprise me, but it could well be serval or other cats.
Stay safe out there and always let someone know where you are walking just to be safe.