36 degrees and climbing

black mountain 2005.jpg

Our December fire burnt mostly fynbos, the native vegetation, and left the upper slopes of the Groenberg (Green Mountain) black. The fynbos (proteas etc) will recover after next winter’s rain. As a result of fire scorching, seeds will germinate and we will have a new crop of wild flowers in about 5 years’ time.

We are having a scorching summer holiday period, with many days recording maximum temperatures of over 36 deg. C. The fire that burnt up to our boundary on the mountainside was extinguished by the water bombing by helicopter within a few hours of my post in mid-December.
Bush fires have been breaking out all over the Western Cape. At one time, red trucks and helicopters were busy with 14 fires at one time.
We haven’t had any damage, nor has any other vineyard in the area. The fires were mostly in inaccessible mountain tops and gullies. Altogether, over 20000 hectares of surface area has been blackened.
Harvest at Stormhoek will get going in about a month. Most of the red varieties are still green, with just a bit of colour developing in Pinotage.

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