Yea, we have a savannah, sort of. At least that is what we call it. It is, more or less, a nano plateau, a “vast plain of grass”, covering about 4800 m2, at the highest point of our land and also home to our little hill, which we call “Himmelbakken“. There are some stones on the savannah. The sheep graze there in a rotational system, it’s their home, their territory, even if they move every 3-4 days. It borders “the desert“, it is close to “the liberated chestnut” and it slopes down slightly towards “the fertile crescent”, where we also find “insect nation” [which is silly reference to Bill Bailey’s tune from Cosmic Jam, of course]. The landscape goes from arid savannah on sandy soil at the top, to a lush, damp grove with black soil situated at the heart (or centre) of our 2.8 ha of the earth.
Then, by a wild stretch of the imagination: One of the stones, does it have a sheep’s face?
Here is a current overview, from our on-going observations, pictures taken September 18 and 21. It is late summer, following an allegedly non-conformative “Indian Summer” (which requires that freezing point has already been reached) that saw temperatures rising to 30 C around northern Europe. Things are lush now.
At peak dandelion, in the end of April, it was wonderful, if you, like us, love the lion’s tooth, and a month later all that remained was leaves, flowers and the medicine we made:
In late winter, just as we moved in, with the sun rising, it looked like this:
Here’s a machine version of the savannah, to give further ideas of context and understanding of the homeland of our sheep:
“…Natural Characteristics of Savannah:
- Vegetation: Savannahs are characterized by a mix of grasses and scattered trees or shrubs. The grass component varies but often includes species like buffalo grass, Bermuda grass, and various types of savannah grasses. The trees and shrubs in savannahs are typically drought-resistant, such as acacias and baobabs.
- Climate: Savannahs are typically found in tropical or subtropical regions and are known for their distinct wet and dry seasons. They experience a pronounced dry season with little to no rainfall and a wet season with heavy rains. This seasonality influences the type of vegetation and the animals that inhabit the savannah.
- Biodiversity: Savannahs are home to a wide range of wildlife, including large herbivores like elephants, giraffes, zebras, and antelopes, as well as predators like lions, cheetahs, and hyenas. The biodiversity in savannahs is often high due to the availability of water and diverse vegetation.
Etymology of “Savannah”:
- The word “savannah” is believed to have originated from the Taino (Arawakan) word “zabana,” which was used to describe tropical grassy plains or flat, open areas. European explorers and settlers likely encountered this term when they arrived in the Americas and applied it to similar landscapes they found there.
Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Evolution:
- Indigenous communities living in or near savannah regions have developed deep knowledge of the ecosystem. They have traditional practices related to land use, fire management, and sustainable hunting and gathering that have been honed over generations. This knowledge is critical for their survival in these environments.
- Cultural evolution among indigenous communities in savannah regions often involves a harmonious relationship with the land. Many indigenous cultures incorporate the savannah landscape into their rituals, art, and spirituality. These landscapes often hold deep cultural significance, and traditional knowledge is passed down through oral traditions.
Ruminants in Savannahs:
- Ruminants are herbivorous mammals known for their specialized digestive system, which allows them to efficiently break down fibrous plant materials. In savannahs, ruminants play a crucial role in shaping the ecosystem.
- Grazing Behavior: Ruminants like antelopes, buffalo, and zebras are common grazers in savannahs. Their feeding behavior helps control the growth of grasses, preventing them from becoming too dense and allowing for a more diverse range of plant species to thrive.
- Nutrient Cycling: Ruminants also contribute to nutrient cycling in savannah ecosystems. Their feces contain nutrients that are essential for plant growth, which enriches the soil and supports the growth of new vegetation.
- Predator-Prey Dynamics: Ruminants are a primary food source for large predators like lions and cheetahs. This predator-prey dynamic helps regulate herbivore populations and maintains a balance in the ecosystem.
- Cultural Significance: In many indigenous cultures, ruminants hold cultural and symbolic importance. They are often central to rituals, ceremonies, and traditional stories, reflecting the deep connection between indigenous communities and the animals that inhabit the savannah.
In summary, savannahs are unique ecosystems characterized by a mix of grasses and scattered trees, with distinct wet and dry seasons. The term “savannah” has indigenous origins, and indigenous knowledge and cultural practices have evolved in harmony with these landscapes. Ruminants, as key herbivores, play vital roles in shaping the savannah ecosystem and hold cultural significance in many indigenous communities…”.