Sandhof Farm, and Crinum paludosum

Here’s an extraordinary thing.

Marika and I drove out to the Sandof Farm yesterday. It’s here, 40K north of town, in the middle of nothing. The only significant feature is the pan to the east

The drive. There’s a tinge of green after the rainstorm

The farm

The main farmhouse was built in 1909. The current owner lives in Swakopmund, 425K away and his son-in-law loosely keeps the operation going. It was an exceptionally grand place, in its day

Now, 100 year old lace is in tatters in the windows

The windmill

The workers keep a small vegetable garden going

And sheep

Then we head to the main event

Just a kilometer

We get to a huge pan. It’s 750 hectares, 1850 acres. That’s the truck, the white dot

Looking the other way. it’s huge

On the surface, bulbs

Clustered like this

And this is what the man looks like in February, when it’s 6″ deep in rain water during the rain season. It must be one of the great floral sights anywhere in the world, here in the desert

Marika took that photo, a couple of weeks past its prime. Here’s a pic from the web, at this pan, of peak flowering. I apologize for the kid in the photo, from the web

A back of the envelope calculation shows about 900,000 plants, 5 or 6 that many flowers. Click the link for a full description of this Amaryllis. A close-up of the flower

When the blooms start to wilt, 100’s of thousands of giant weevils (Brachycerus ornatus) appear from somewhere to eat the blooms. Pic from web

We got lucky, Marika found a dead one

Close up

Also, there were clusters of shells. The eggs must be hibernating in the pan

We walked down to the pan outflow

The rains had triggered seedlings into growth. They’ll fail without further rain, not expected for another 2 months

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