Storms, Power and the Cam (in perspective)

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Storms, Power and the Cam (in perspective)

Reading through the discussions recently, there seems to be a lot of frustration about the rain and the power dips and their effect on the camera. Having lived and worked in the region for some time I wish to attempt to put this whole thing in perspective.

Rain is crucial for the survival of everything that you see on the camera and the surrounding area (as it is in most of Africa). Man may be able to provide the animals with artificial water holes but there is not sufficient water (or money) around for the surrounding areas to be irrigated to keep the vegetation alive and which in any event would turn the environment from relatively natural one into a theme park.

It so happens that the Southern Hemisphere summer is when the area around Nkorho gets its rain, which is often in the form of a quick and heavy thunderstorm. Without that rain, the vegetation is unable to regenerate and grow denying the herbivores their food source. In winter the area receives little or no rain, which means that the browsers and grazers have to survive on whatever managed to grow during summer. A dry summer means that there is less for the animals to eat in winter and a drought sets in which can be devastating on animal populations. So far this summer the region has had a less than average rainfall and therefore every drop of rain they receive in the remainder of the growing season is crucial if we want to see healthy animals throughout the winter.

Power is generally supplied by long lines of overhead cables from South Africa’s power stations. These cables are not only vulnerable to lightning strikes but can also be affected by bird strikes (though this has been largely negated due to the redesign of the power cables) and even through an elephant pushing a tree onto the power line (which does happen from time to time). Underground cables are not an option as it is prohibitively expensive and will have a far greater environmental impact.

The electrical storms also have an effect on the telecommunications signal containing the camera’s images and sounds being transmitted out of Nkorho, which would affect the image you see on your computer.

What I am trying to say here is that while it may be frustrating for all the Africam fans when there are problems with the camera caused by storms or power dips, please understand that the camera is situated in a wild and remote area and that without decent rain there would be nothing to watch. Enjoy the sightings when you see them (which is more often than not), appreciate that the rain brings life to that little corner of Africa and in any event you will have many uninterrupted hours in our winter to enjoy the cam.

Landi

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"camfan" wrote:
This site is free to us, we should all be happy when the cam is up and we get to see things we otherwise would never be able to see. The lodge and the people that bring this to us do a wonderful job, but they have no control over the weather.

Well said, camfan. We need to relax and enjoy what is provided for us for free, and to react with understanding and patience when the cam is having problems. Remember what life was like before we found this cam? We are richer for anything we have seen and heard, and might see in the future, regardless of interruptions.

Anonymous
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Very well put everyone. As a senior with alot of time on our hands the wife and I want to thank everyone for making this site possible.

Anonymous
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Very many thanks to you, Landi for the information.

I just feel blessed to witness the many different creations of God. The area around Nkorho is just beautiful and so are the animals. Heck, just having the sounds is great too!! I love listening to the wildlife chatter and chirp.

I know all about needing rain. Where I live, in the desert southwest of the USA, we need rain really bad too. So, when rain comes, it's a blessing. If the rain messes with the camera...so wait. So we don't have picture for a bit. But hey, they need it in Nkorho, and that's the most important thing. The more rain they get...the better...so bring on the rain!!

*does a little rain dance to bring more rain to Nkorho*

Blessings be upon everyone!

Heather Laughing out loud

Anonymous
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thanks you landi!!!!

Anonymous
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Quote:
I want to just say that I feel that they do a wonderful job with the camera and the site. Conserdering the remote area they are in, its a wonder we get to see as much video as we do. Keep up the great work!!
My opinion exactly! I'm excited to have every second of activity, even the thunderstorms provide fantastic viewing when the cam is down! Thank you Landi! Laughing out loud

Anonymous
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Thank you for the explanation to those who seem to be frustrated and/or critical when the cam is down. Here in the US we are experiencing ice storms, and cold weather which have caused huge power outages. Yet, people come here and expect perfect viewing from Africa which is in the rainy season.

This site is free to us, we should all be happy when the cam is up and we get to see things we otherwise would never be able to see. The lodge and the people that bring this to us do a wonderful job, but they have no control over the weather.

Anonymous
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Thank you so much, Landi! We have suffered from drought here in central Florida and it can be devastating! We are under watering restrictions right now. Everyone is complaining about that, too. However, they would really be upset if they turned on their tap and nothing came out! We are so spoiled!

Thank you Lord for the rains and life giving water!

Have A Blessed Day!
Lynn

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Joined: Mar 14 2006

Quote:
Having lived and worked in the region for some time I wish to attempt to put this whole thing in perspective.

Thank you for posting Landi!

When I first started watching the cam I was very pleasantly surprised at how well it worked, and when things do go wrong at how quickly the problem is resolved.

I lived in SA for a long long time, this camera is such a joy for me and I can see that many people feel the same way.

When I went to SA for the first time a dear wise friend gave me some advice, he said "Africa will go at it's own pace, you just have to go with the flow" .............

I'll meet you all at the waterhole for some relaxing African(m) time Eye-wink

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Anonymous
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Thank you, Landi. Cool

Anonymous
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Thanks Landi for this Post.
When I started to watch the cam, I did expect the cam would be down in this rainy season.
Now I am surprised when there is a picture and I can watch and listen to these thunderstorms Eye-wink

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