In many parts of South Africa one can walk through knee high to waist high scrub-veld, vaguely similar to this. Taller or shorter is affected by browsing, fire, climate and species mix.
Rocks in formation, colour and texture give away where a picture was taken, as does the vegetation, if detail is sufficient. The sure indicator in this picture is the quiver tree, Aloidendron dichotomum, heralding Namaqualand.
The photo was taken on an August morning of intermittent sun and rain along the main road south of Steinkopf (stone head). Flowering and other plants continually stimulated interest and caused more stops, as only they can do to people not hurrying. Every stop (when it wasn’t raining) was made worthwhile by something alive.
This kept happening in spite of the ubiquitous, depressing debris strewn along the roadside by humanity. Our lifestyle leftovers cast away thoughtlessly demoralise or hinder our fellow beings of every species, if it does not harm them. May we never get used to the mess, always fight it and do our bit at countering, wherever we are.
Namaqualand nature, as everywhere, adds positives in flower, fruit, beetle and scurrying mouse to counter sordid surroundings; lifting the mood.
Surprises in animal and plant diversity on degraded soil, where scrub is periodically cut and erosion removes unbound topsoil, pay testimony to the heroics of life. Nature may lash out; it never gives in.