Skip to Content

Nature's signs of rain

Use this forum for general postings not related to any specific park or special interest, but RELATED to Conservation in South(ern) Africa

Moderator: Crested Val

User avatar
Rooies
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2944
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:44 pm
Location: Welkom

Nature's signs of rain

Unread postby Rooies » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:26 pm

After a little bit of argy-bargy in the poaching topic, it is time for something more relaxing.

I grew up on a farm where a lack of rain meant disaster. Just one crop failure was enough to put a farmer out of business. In those days, the weather bureau did not have all of the modern gadgets like satellites to assist them with the prediction of rain and their forecasts were mostly inaccurate. Instead, the old folks looked at what the animals were doing before they decided on whether to start planting or not.

One such creature was the weaver. The farmers looked at the height of the nests above the water level. If the nests were built low or no nests at all, it was a sign that it was not going to be a good year. However, if there were plenty of nests built high up in the trees, planting could begin. The termites were also an indicator. If the termites started to increase the height of the mound, rain was on its way.

I am sure that some of you have also heard of such behaviour, like the Impalas. Come share it with us.
Give thanks for unknown blessings already on its way---African saying
Member nr 8512
Cheetah supporterPURIST and proud thereof

User avatar
NetEk
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 1103
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:43 pm
Location: JHB

Re: Nature's signs of rain

Unread postby NetEk » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:06 pm

If reptilies start heading for high ground so should you. (Northern Cape saying)

We saw it in December on Mapungubwe that the wildebeest started calveing that was 2 weeks before the big rain. They always start having their young if rain is on the way. Apparently they can "keep the calfs back" not sure how true that is.
I live in my own little world. But it's okay they know me here.

User avatar
Grantmissy
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 7487
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:21 am
Location: SA

Re: Nature's signs of rain

Unread postby Grantmissy » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:14 pm

Some of my older family members used to say, and some are still saying that when a person notices a sudden increase in the number of duisendpote it is going to rain a lot.
Do not support Circuses that uses wild and other animals to perform circus acts to amuse people

User avatar
Sheenaugh-Lee
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 938
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:36 am
Location: Ermelo

Re: Nature's signs of rain

Unread postby Sheenaugh-Lee » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:29 pm

Quailia finches (hope the spelling right) are the biggest sign especially in the kruger when the fly together swooping in large groups then their is big rain on its way guaranteed :)
Im still In LOVE with my Kruger!


Home is where the Heart is and my Heart lies in the Kruger ...FACT!

User avatar
PNF
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 3264
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:09 pm
Location: In the heart of the Waterberg; Deep in Limpopo

Re: Nature's signs of rain

Unread postby PNF » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:48 pm

Birds are always are good indicator of impending rain - if they suddenly become scarce or even disappear totaly - then there's trouble on the way ..............soon!
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
Benjamin Franklin

okie
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1664
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:29 am
Location: Worcester , Cape

Re: Nature's signs of rain

Unread postby okie » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:30 pm

I grew up in the old Transvaal and lived on the highveld ( Jhb ) until 1979 , when we moved to the Cape . Of course , over the years I have grown to consider the Cape my home , but there are still certain things that I remember and sometimes miss , maybe even momentarily , but things that brings back the nostalgia . One of those things are the bitterly freezing wind on a cold highveld morning , when the sun struggles to warm you , but your your ears just freeze , with your eyes watring and numb fingers , while cycling to school :big_eyes:
And the hot windless highveld summers , with afternoon thundershowers , flashing lightning , and loud thunderclaps that shake you in your socks.

And , sometimes when we travel from the Cape up to Kruger , sudddenly you get a whiff of a breeze , and a smell ........ wow , and it brings back memories , because that is the smell of rain , carried on the breeze for a hundred miles , and I just stop the vehicle , and stand next to it with arms spread wide , smelling and inhaling the fresh , earthy smell , of a far-away thunderstorm . Then , waiting , waiting , for the first raindrops ... puff , puff , and then coming down faster and faster , and I just stand there getting wetter and wetter , absorbing the goodness from the sky :dance:
Tread softly , and let your departure not be spoiled by the damage of your arrival

Next :
3 - 6 Sept 2013 - Punda.
7 - 10 Sept 2013 -Shingwedzi .
11 - 13 Sept 2013 - Balule .
14 - 17 Sept 2013 - Satara .

User avatar
Bush Baptist
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9956
Award: Funniest/Best Forumite Name (2013)
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:38 pm
Location: In the shadow of Table Mountain

Re: Nature's signs of rain

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:11 pm

Along the theme started by okie.....

My wife & children are from the Western Cape, and when we have been in Currie Cupless country, I have warned them that when you experience a 'sudden, mighty, wind' (not from within :roll: ) run for cover because it will rain like mad in a few minutes.

In the UK they can make it rain at will. A man goes into a meadow and knocks 3 sticks into the ground and walks a little way and knocks another 3 into it. A group of men enters the meadow and spreads out, with one holding a spherical object. Two other men join them and stand near the sticks, one at each set. Then the man holding the sphere starts to run towards the sticks and the heavens open. :wink:
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

User avatar
Rooies
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2944
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:44 pm
Location: Welkom

Re: Nature's signs of rain

Unread postby Rooies » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:27 pm

Like BB has mentioned, if you want rain, organize a cricket match. An American once asked what a cricket test was. The reply was short and sweet; It is a game played over five days, more often interrupted by rain than not. Try and explain to a total stranger to the game that you play a test match over five days and end it sometimes happen that there is no result. Explain tea time, lunch break, dinner break (one day games), night watchman, silly point, deep square leg etc..

To come back to the rain, I have also noticed the millipedes coming into the house when heavy rain is imminent. The same goes with flies. The older folks said that "die vliee raak taai" (the flies are getting sticky) I have noticed that as well. One has to give the fly a decent klap before it flies away.

My bathroom door is also an indicator of the amount of moisture in the air. When it closes with a 'click' its dry, but when I have to slam it and it goes 'doef', then rain is around the corner.

But my favourite is a glass filled with ice cold beer. If the moisture condenses on the glass and it runs down to the bar counter, then it is going to rain, but when the droplets just stick to the glass, you can put your umbrella away.
Give thanks for unknown blessings already on its way---African saying
Member nr 8512
Cheetah supporterPURIST and proud thereof

User avatar
Grantmissy
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
FAC Member (2013)
Posts: 7487
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:21 am
Location: SA

Re: Nature's signs of rain

Unread postby Grantmissy » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:35 pm

Bush Baptist wrote:In the UK they can make it rain at will.


When there is a drought next time in Kruger this method should be put to the test to see whether it works ……. I just hope it won’t be too difficult to put a group of volunteers together to follow BB’s instructions …

Rooies wrote:The older folks said that "die vliee raak taai"


That is true, just before the heavy rains starts to fall.

:D :wink:
Last edited by Grantmissy on Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Do not support Circuses that uses wild and other animals to perform circus acts to amuse people

User avatar
Scottm
Posts: 224
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 1:26 pm
Location: Fourways, Johannesburg

Re: Nature's signs of rain

Unread postby Scottm » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:02 pm

On the Highveld, there are many signs of imminent rain in summer; One just needs to learn to read the signs:

    More flying insects around in groups, and thus the swallows more active in groups;
    Flying ants arrive in their droves, to get out of their underground burrows/nests before they flood;
    More spiders come indoors and more millipedes around;

Once it has tarted to rain, some other tongue-in-cheek responses could also be:

    it will generally be cloudy :o ;
    it will usually be noisy, with lightening and thunder around :lol: ;
    it will always happen when you are out and all your windows at home are open :hmz: ;
    your umbrella is broken, missing or in the car in the driveway and you have to go out. :wall:
"Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints"

Photographs help to crystallize memories, but cannot be seen to be a replacement of them!

User avatar
Rooies
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2944
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:44 pm
Location: Welkom

Re: Nature's signs of rain

Unread postby Rooies » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:05 pm

What I don't see the last couple of years is what the old folks called 'geelperske reen' Not thunder and lightning but soft soaking rain over three to four days. But then the southeaster in the Cape must blow for 5 five consecutive days, so strong that it will lift BB straight out of his socks. (But I guess that after the 'Cup' was brought home, they think they can tame anything including the southeaster.)
Give thanks for unknown blessings already on its way---African saying
Member nr 8512
Cheetah supporterPURIST and proud thereof

User avatar
Bush Baptist
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9956
Award: Funniest/Best Forumite Name (2013)
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:38 pm
Location: In the shadow of Table Mountain

Re: Nature's signs of rain

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:16 pm

Rooies wrote:But then the southeaster in the Cape must blow for 5 five consecutive days, so strong that it will lift BB straight out of his socks.


Yeah Rooies, it has been blowing SE here for weeks now, and all my socks must be in the Atlantic ocean by now.

But when the wind pumps here, like it has been doing, it rains heavily up country, hence the Kruger flooding.

We get your 'geelperske reen' in winter. Steady soaking drizzle.
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

okie
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1664
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:29 am
Location: Worcester , Cape

Re: Nature's signs of rain

Unread postby okie » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:04 pm

Here in the Cape , specifically around Cape Town , it rains over Easter weekend . It does not matter when it is easter weekend , but it will rain . That is 100 % guarenteed .
So , I can tell you now , it will rain somewhere within Cape Town surrounds during the period starting Friday morning 29th March 2013 , and ending Monday night 1st April 2013 :naughty: .
Tread softly , and let your departure not be spoiled by the damage of your arrival

Next :
3 - 6 Sept 2013 - Punda.
7 - 10 Sept 2013 -Shingwedzi .
11 - 13 Sept 2013 - Balule .
14 - 17 Sept 2013 - Satara .

okie
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1664
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:29 am
Location: Worcester , Cape

Re: Nature's signs of rain

Unread postby okie » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:05 pm

Here in the Cape , specifically around Cape Town , it rains over Easter weekend . It does not matter when it is easter weekend , but it will rain . That is 100 % guarenteed .
So , I can tell you now , it will rain somewhere within Cape Town surrounds during the period starting Friday morning 29th March 2013 , and ending Monday night 1st April 2013 :naughty: .
Tread softly , and let your departure not be spoiled by the damage of your arrival

Next :
3 - 6 Sept 2013 - Punda.
7 - 10 Sept 2013 -Shingwedzi .
11 - 13 Sept 2013 - Balule .
14 - 17 Sept 2013 - Satara .

User avatar
Elsa
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 13251
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa

Re: Nature's signs of rain

Unread postby Elsa » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:13 pm

My parents always used to say when the dog's one ear flipped back it was going to rain! :?
and it often was right! :tongue:
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

Kruger - 22nd May - 5th June 2015


Return to “Chit-Chat”