Work nudged me towards Kenton-on-Sea this morning. One approaches this seaside village through a farming area, which includes some private game reserves. It gave me a lift along the way to see a zebra and some impala grazing near the road. There is an obvious infestation of prickly pears, clearly evident in the image below, that do not belong in a pristine natural environment. One has to bear in mind though that most of these private reserves were originally farmland.
Prickly pears originated in Mexico and were introduced to South Africa a couple of centuries ago. These plants are viewed as a scourge by some farmers because of their invasive qualities, yet others regard it as a good source of fodder for their animals in the more arid parts of the country. The fruit of the prickly pear is regarded as a delicacy by many and I passed some people picking bucket loads this morning.
As Kenton-on-Sea came into view I was struck by the cattle grazing on the grassy verge – shades of what often happens these days where I live!
At this time of the year the Erythrina trees are coming into bloom and today I was fortunate enough to see both the Erythrina caffra and the Erythrina lysistemon.
A black-headed heron and a black wildebeest added to the joy of spending the best part of the day away from home.