The Happy Ending of a Sand Mine that Became Home to the Blue Crane
Above are pictures of the sand quarry in May 2000 on purchase of Jackals Dans. At this point it
had already been abandoned for over two years.
The old sand mine was an ugly eyesore, a
barren white slash into the mountain. It was total devastation of several acres of irreplaceable fynbos, and a crime
against the delicate environment.
We have worked hard to rehabilitate the old sand mine to
an inviting waterhole for animals and birds. What a difference to the barren
white sand of previously.
rains over the summer, replanting, peace and tender loving care are helping some
of the hardier species of the fynbos to grow back, but alas - proteas will never
grow here again.
Every time we visit the waterhole, I'm excited to see something new: footprints
of visitors like jackal, mountain leopard, or blue crane.
Feet and shoes are in the pictures to lend perspective to the size of
The Blue Cranes and their Amazing Egg Nest
This beautiful pair of rare blue crane has made our waterhole its nesting grounds.
What an honour!
Indigenous trees have been planted along the west perimeter of the waterhole to
provide shade and encourage birdlife. All alien vegetation has been removed from
the waterhole and the entire property.
The picture on the right shows tadpoles in the water; a welcome sign of life.
The area is looking splendid. Water surface covers about 800 sq m in the wet
season with a smaller pond year-round. The indigenous trees are thriving (albeit
growing slowly), reeds are flourishing in the water and waterfowl are slowly
reappearing. Vegetation is growing to the shores. The blue crane pair continue
to nest here.
The trees continue to thrive. The water is lower in the
dry season, of course, but in winter it reaches to their trunks as you can see
below. This has become
a really beautiful place with the stunning Hemel en Aarde Valley in the
background. Whoever buys this footprint will be
Onrus Mountain Conversancy
Overstrand Conservation Foundation.
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