Here at the sanctuary, rainy season means beautiful and deep green colors in the grass, vines, and land; we usually see at least four shades of green in the grasses alone. As the dry season begins, we are a little sad to see that lushness begin to disappear. Things will get parched and fade fairly soon – and we can already see changes moving across the grounds. The African habitat has started to dry out a bit and the greens are gradually fading. It is a sign of things to come.
Though the dry season technically began in April, we were lucky this year, since it rained about a month longer than last year. The grazing is still beautiful, but there is a definite feeling of change in the air. The elephants also seem to be sensing a shift in seasons because they are moving into the greener areas across the creek in Yard 4. The grazing is not as abundant once it gets dry, so the girls have to be more selective, eating all of the new saplings, vines, and leaves that sprang up before the rains ended. We supplement their food more during this season, but there is still year-round forage throughout the habitat.
We have no idea how long it will take for the remainder of the habitat to become yellow and dry; after about two weeks without rain, we had nice, steady rain this week. Once we enter the dry season, there is always the chance for wildfires but, as we mentioned, we have prepared for that as best we can. Change is expected and inevitable. We are just partial to green surroundings and plan to enjoy them as long as we can.