memoirs of acacia
LIFE... THROUGH THE EYES OF A TREE
MEMOIRS OF ACACIA
1 x 48 minutes
Across rippled dunes, in the wind-swept grasslands of the southern Kalahari, a magnificent Camelthorn towers from amongst the blackthorn bushes. Growing from but a sapling, it has transformed into the imposing thorn tree it is today. The Camelthorn has been anchored to its spot in the Kalahari for two centuries.
From the colony of Sociable Weavers that nest within the tree’s grasp, to the larger herbivores that feed on the tree’s pods, there is an abundance of life that visit the tree.
In spring, new leaves start pushing through its drab winter coat. Sweet honeydew, expelled by the fresh leaf nodes, attracts Cocktail ants. Soon, the Camelthorn’s branches are draped with golden-yellow puffy balls… the tree’s flowers. These seduce many pollinators, like beetles, flies, ants, and wasps. Several colonies of these ants use the tree’s thorns as a place to raise their young.
The warming temperature draws a formidable Kalahari inhabitant, A Cape Cobra, from its winter slumber. The snake heads up into the Camelthorn’s canopy, straight for the massive weaver nest. The cobra gains access to the nest by hanging upside-down from the Acacia’s branches. It can stay in the tree for days and may even take up residence inside the nest for weeks at a time.
The Camelthorn is most vulnerable when its pods begin to form, this is when an aggressive adversary strikes. Although small, Bruchid beetles can cause serious damage to Acacia fruit. The intruders lay their eggs on the unripened pods and, once they have hatched; the larvae will bore into the pod and make their home inside the seeds, preventing them from germinating.
Acacia seeds can lie dormant in the ground for up to 50 years, and when infected with Bruchid beetle larvae, chances of germination are even less. For the next generation of Acacias to survive, the tree needs antelope like the Oryx and Duiker to eat her hard, ripened pods. The digestive juices of these animals kill parasites like the Bruchid larvae and soften the seeds, making it easier for them to germinate in the herbivores’ dung.
After the summer rains, young saplings emerge from the antelope’s dung, the first chapter in the life of a brand new Camel Thorn tree. Like their mother tree, these saplings will have their own love affair with this earth and all its inhabitants.
Memoirs of Acacia is part of a series of five films about five of the iconic trees in Southern Africa. Also featured in the series is a Baobab in Zimbabwe, a Yellowwood in the Soutpansberg Mountains, a Sausage Tree in the Okavango Delta, and a Namaqua Rock Fig in Namaqualand.
Rooted Media produced and filmed Memoirs of Acacia and FrogFoot Filmes and Graphics were in charge for the Post Production of the series.
Rooted Media Contribution:
● Sound Recording
FrogFoot Films and Graphics Contribution:
● Offline Edit
● Online Edit
● Final Delivery