Monday, February 18, 2008

Alien sunset

As with many places along South African coast, the Cape St Francis area was characterised by large dune fields. When it was first developed as a tourist area, the large amounts of sand that were blown by the wind made life quite unpleasant at times. It was decided to stabilise the dunes by planting port Jackson Willows from Australia.

The alien vegetation flourished and did its "job" very effetively, but at a cost. It has totally smothered much of the unique indigenous vegetation of the area, it has become a major fire hazard and has also reduced the level of the water table.

This sunset photo was taken shortly after a fire had swept through the area last year and the stark trees serve as a reminder of the constant threat of devastating fires. The alien invaders burn much hotter and faster than the indigenous vegetation and as a result also destroy a lot of wildlife that would otherwise have survived.

Major projects are now underway to remove the alien invaders. The moral of the story is don't mess with nature.


quintarantino said...

The sky is on fire!

bobbie said...

An expensive lesson I'm sure. It's so true. We just never seem to learn.

zentmrs said...

Gorgeous shot!