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Sunday, December 13, 2015

African Springtime Butterflies, Birds and Flowers

Numerous stories, poems, and paintings have been dedicated to Africa's desert ecosystem Namaqualand's springtime butterflies, birds, and flowers. 

African Springtime Butterflies, Birds, and Flowers

Wild flowers
Every year around springtime the desert South African Namaqualand region comes alive with a sea of colorful indigenous wild flowers. 

South Africa’s Namaqualand or Namakwaland in the Afrikaans language lies about 5 hours north of Cape Town South Africa.

Namaqualand falls within the Succulent Karoo biome, an arid region with the highest succulent plant diversity in the world. Forty percent of the plant species occur nowhere else on earth and 17% are endangered. The 116,000 square km or 44,787 square mile Succulent Karoo biome extends from the southwest through the northwestern areas of South Africa and into southern Namibia. 

Succulent Karoo biome
Succulent Karoo biome

With the help of Mother Nature Namaqualand showcases around 1,000 - 4,000 different species of plants and flowers each season. The amount of plants and flowers each season depends on the rain received, every year brings a different spectacle lasting only for a few weeks. 

During the dry hot summer months of South Africa it is hard to imagine the spectacle of the yearly Namaqualand flower show each season. After the winter rainfall, Namaqualand dons her coat of many colors and for a brief moment, the wildflowers invade the countryside. Numerous stories, poems, and paintings have been dedicated to Namaqualand’s spring annual cascade of color.

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