Farm 510 Olosiva        

Farm 510 Olosiva is the site of a re-wilding project by ornithologist and gardener, James Wolstonecroft, on the lower slopes of Mount Meru, Tanzania.

The garden is in a periurban area outside Arusha, surrounding a family house. Starting with a typical collection of exotic plantings, the garden has been gradually transformed into a more or less wild area with different zones of mainly indigenous vegetation, through selective cutting, and importing leaf litter and dung from surrounding areas. In the Fast Track Forest approach, developed gradually since 1983 in various habitats and locations, the gardener emulates the behaviour of a large browsing ungulate, in the Meru case an elephant.

The resulting landscape can be imagined as an inverted egg box, with vegetation forming alternating mounds and glades. These create a maximum of soft boundaries and habitat niches, which are particularly varied botanically and rich in invertebrates and other wildlife.

The density and variety of birds is striking, with a consequently rich avian soundscape, divided into a number of micro habitats and concentrated in a number of 'hollowed out' areas, which function as small amphitheatres.

Tropical Boubou, Blue Spotted Wood Dove, Spotted Morning Thrush, Grey-Backed Camaroptera..

Swahili time begins when daybreak becomes perceptible. This is alfajiri, the pre dawn, when birds start to sing and people get up. By one o'clock, saa moja, the morning, asubuhi, is established. In Kianga on the outskirts of Mtwara, people will turn to greet one another as they are returning from the field with a hoe on their head.

Six hours later, at saa sita, it is noon. By now in Olosiva it's hot. Mchana, afternoon, begins.

Some time in the late afternoon the light begins to change character, and to fade. This is alasiri: pre dusk. Near the equator the shift happens quickly: in the country, people finish what they are doing in time to be near home. They go indoors. By saa kumi na mbili, twelve o'clock, it is dark. Usiku, night, begins.

At nightfall, Swahili time starts to count the hours of darkness from zero. Day and night are roughly the same length. During most of the night, people are sleeping. After about twelve hours, the first light appears.