Thursday, June 5, 2008

It is Winter Spring in the Cape

It is winter spring in the Cape. One day sunny, the nest rainy.

The masked weaver in the front garden built his second nest already.

The whole garden has a spring feel today.

These untimely warm spells after rainy weather seem to create havoc among the animals.

My friend returned home from a long absence recently. Before she left, she relocated all her tortoises, on her return; she found two dead baby tortoises in her garden.

These tortoises hatched out of season, and there were nobody home to give them water or food on hot summer days.

Tortoises normally hatch in autumn when there is enough food and water around. My friend's tortoises hatched after a rainy period in the middle of summer.

One of the first things they look for is water to replace dehydration that developed during their incubation period. They also look for food. They then look for a nice sheltered spot to hibernate for the winter.

A garden tortoise will look for a spot to hibernate similar to that of the one where the egg was laid.

All this has to happen soon after they hatch.

The tortoises that hatched after a summer rain, found the ground dry and food scarce.

In my friends' case, her tortoises died.

I do not know what happens in the wild.

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