Are Trees The Worst Dads Ever?

Could my little Kruger garden look any more wintery?

Like, how windy has it been for the past three days?!

If you’re like me, and you’re here on safari in Kruger Park then you’ll have noticed that the wind’s been blasting everything relentlessly since Thursday. Tents in the campsites will be flying, dust is swirling, impalas are panicking and your hair doesn’t stand a chance. But what’s mattered the most is the trees. In one weekend, we’ve gone from summer to winter as nearly all of our trees have lost the last of their leaves. Shame, trees. Sending you all hugs. Tree hugs.

Me camping. Circa 2008. I’ve learned lessons.

They may look dead, but they’re just sleeping. Waiting for their time to shine.

But it’s good! Leaves have to come off to make way for their luscious new replacements that’ll bud in spring. And when leaves blow off, so do seed pods. This wind that’s blowing my curtains in as we speak, is also carrying LIFE to all of Kruger’s little corners. We need the wind now. Without it, seeds would just fall down next to their tree or their flower or their grass stem. And that wouldn’t work at all, because that just sticks them in direct competition with their own parents. Trees are terrible fathers. Happy Fathers Day, by the way.

Right now, combretum pods are flying in all directions, supported by their ‘wings.’ Soft, fluffy grass seeds are also being lifted across the savanna and with any luck, they’ll get caught up in an old tree that’s been pushed over by elephants. If they can wait there until the rains come, they’ll be the privileged ones, growing up in a lovely nitrogen-rich ‘micro-habitat’ where they’ll grow taller and greener than their less fortunate seedy siblings.

Pretty pretty Combretum.

Looking a little sparse…

Grass seeds that don’t find cushy new homes with the wind, will find other ways to move around this winter. How about these monsters, which are designed to stick to nyalas and leopards and flip flops? Whatever works for them. I don’t mind being used by a few seeds. Spread the seeds, spread the love.

Gotta find the brightside.

So it’s official, winter is here! Let’s all put on our beanies and windbreakers and pick the seeds out of our socks and stick it out until spring, when we’ll finally get to see why this wind was so great all along. X

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