Life in the Ashes

RISING FROM THE FLAMES IN TABLE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

by Anton Crone  Africa-Magazine

Walking through the ashes of Table Mountain National Park after last week’s monumental fire, I didn’t expect to see it as a landscape teeming with life, and yet it was. The sensation was one mixed with awe at the devastation, and wonder at the nature that has survived or is already emerging. For 5 days the fire raged through 5,500 hectares of the Cape Peninsula with strong winds and extreme temperatures making it difficult for fire fighters to control. Table Mountain National Park was by far the most affected area, a pristine environment which is home to about 2,000 species of plants – more than the entire British Isles.    But as I walked between the blackened fynbos on Silvermine, I saw a rock kestrel hovering above, no doubt tracking a rodent exposed by the lack of foliage; succulent green shoots pushed up through the ash at my feet and pink proteas were poised to blossom at the end of roasted stems. Read more.