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A gale force wind that briefly passed through Ingwelala during the early evening of 31 December raised havoc in the veld. Several large trees were either literally snapped off at the trunk or uprooted. This included iconic Marula and Leadwood trees in the landscape, so sad to see.
This massive leadwood (Combretum Imberbe), pictured on the right, was uprooted at the lay-bye near Farmhouse Crossing. This tree provided fantastic shade when viewing the watering hole in the river.
This is an example of a large marula (Sclerocarya birrea), where the tree trunk is snapped off. The wind destroyed numerous large marula trees.
The above picture is of interest as it shows the hollow centre of the marula trunk. I have noticed over time that marula trees appear to have a hollow centre. However, I am unable to find much literature on this.
Another large marula tree blown over at Old Farmhouse, one less resting place for a leopard!
The Nhlaralumi River flowed strongly on 24 December, for several hours vehicles could not cross the causeway. During this event Ingwelala received only 15mm of rain, but in the catchment in the southern Timbavati some camps reported up to 150mm of rain falling in the same period.
by John Llewellyn