Herbs - Newsletter of Hermanus Botanical Society
Fernkloof Nature Reserve
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WHAT'S IN IT FOR FERNKLOOF?
| AT LAST - a brand new Department of Environmental Services is due to
come into operation on July 1, under the new municipal management structure plan. Eleven nature areas in the Overstrand will be compacted into three larger ones - the eastern (Gansbaai) section, the western (Kleinmond/Hangklip) section and a central Hermanus one.
A Chief of Nature Conservation heads a Nature Conservation Officer for each of the three areas, with student back-up. There will be a certain amount of overlap with the new Public Amenities section, which will have a trained horticulturist on its staff
General comments from those in the know range from "its (the municipality's) heart is in the right place" and "its not perfect but better".
The question now arises: WHAT IS IN THIS FOR FERNKLOOF?
Not actually much it seems. Where all of us were waiting for a dynamic
manager to appear on the scene, there is only going to be a
conservation officer for Hermanus and no-one specifically for one of the most valuable ecological assets in the Cape Floral Kingdom. It seems we still have to prove ourselves.
Perhaps there is one ray of light coming from Maanskynkop way: A proposal has been put to the Fernkloof Advisory Board suggesting that Vogelgat private nature reserve work together with Fernkloof, under combined management, in a meaningful and progressive way. Let us fervently hope that something positive will come of this to help Fernkloof into a new and interesting era.
AND TALKING WATER ...
Also on the Fernkloof Advisory Board agenda is a scheme to monitor the effect of boreholes, large and small, on wetland areas. Two automatic weather stations will be installed in Fernkloof and one in Vogelgat. Until they are in place temporary rain gauges and thermometers, funded by our society, will be put in place.
AFRICAN ALOES ARE GROWING IN OUR PARKLAND
| The weather was appropriate. A hot summer sun beat down on us at midday as we viewed an arid stony patch hidden away in the Fernkloof parkland, an area which is now the home of aloes from all over South Africa. I was with
Dr Eric Kuschke, who arrived on his big Suzuki motorbike to show me the result of a year's loving labour, collecting and planting aloe slips and seed from as far away as the Richtersveld.
"I actually would like to turn this piece of ground into a succulent garden," says Dr Kuschke. "Euphorbias, vygies and crassula combine well with the aloes which are now really growing well."
Dr Kuschke's love of aloes started as a child growing up on a Magaliesberg farm. G W Reynolds, author of one of the first definitive books on the subject, helped him and his father identify the specimens collected and he has retained the interest to this day.
Among Aloe globuligemma from a Limpopo farm, A greatheadii from the Zoutpansberg. A pictifolia donated by Ernst van Jaarsveld, Kirstenbosch, and
A arenicola from the diamond fields , his pride and joy A karasbergensis from Namibia was flowering, delicately branched and coral flowered. His other pride and joy is A ramosissima, flourishing from seed he gathered in the Richtersveld five years ago. Nearby stands its first cousin, the kokerboom, and our own indigenous aloe, A succotrina.
To date Dr Kuschke has planted, with special permission, 44 different species and would welcome further contributions. Only aloe predators he has found are the occasional hungry tortoise or a playful baboon.
SAVE OUR PORCUPINES
|Perhaps you've seen the beautiful lampshades made from porcupine quills?
And the jewellery or even decorative stationery that includes quills?
Please note that there is a relatively new and incredibly cruel retail operation in action at the moment, involving the selling of quills for use in such décor and accessory projects.
It takes hundreds of quills to make a couple of lamps and porcupines only shed a few at a time over a few months. This means that these creatures are being hunted, trapped and farmed for their quills.
Basically it is the same as the fur trade and incredibly cruel. Why should yet another beautiful species become endangered for us to decorate our home/stationery/outfits? PLEASE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS INDUSTRY
Abridged from Cosmopolitan.
DID YOU KNOW?
|End of the month Saturday hacks have fallen away for the moment
but Bob Hill (tel. 028-3121463) who organizes hack meetings on the third Tuesday of the month would welcome new hackers to the alien scene.
The Visitors' Centre, closed for a few weeks, is open again for business and looking good after its facelift. Our thanks go to Safe Security for patrolling Fernkloof night and day free of charge in an effort to stop vandalism there in particular.
A rare and endangered ground protea Protea angustata has been found
alive and well mainly on the lower slopes of Klipspringer. The stands have been cordoned off to prevent being decimated by Eskom's pending visit to move power lines. The new conservation page Overvlei in the middle of the Hermanus Times/Overberg Venster ran the story.
You can see Herbs Newsletter in glorious technicolour on our Fernkloof website www.fernkloof.com . If you are an internet learner like most of us, to find Herbs, call up the website as above, then click on the heading, Hermanus Botanical Society. Then click on Herbs Newsletter top lefthand corner of HBS page. A letter recently arrived from cruiseship Europa passenger Friedel Weber thanking the Fernkloof 'guides' for their botanical walk, and enclosing a photo of 'this charming lady' Belle with her basket of 'strawflower bouquets' one of which sits on his office desk in Frankfurt. (See website)
Special website message was a foster mother plea asking the menu for a baby mongoose . Priscilla and Hazel were able to help. Preparations for a fragrance garden are forging ahead. The dassies at the Old Harbour are breakfasting on the juicy pig's ear Cotyledon orbiculata being planted in the cliff-top gardens. The Welsh Botanic Garden has won a silver medal for its display of South African indigenous plants in the Glass House. Many are from Fernkloof.
THE MOUNTAIN (courtesy of J. C Smuts)
|The mountain is not merely something eternally sublime. It has a great historical and spiritual meaning for us. It stands for us as the ladder of life. Nay more, it is the great ladder of the soul, and in a curious way the source of religion. From it came the law, the Gospel and the Sermon on the Mount. We may truly say that the highest religion is the religion of the mountain.|
|HACKING MEETS :||08:00||September - March|
|08:30||April - August|
|Tuesdays (third of each month) :||May 20|
|For further information contact Bob Hill||028-3121463|
OTHER SOCIAL EVENTS :
|May 23||20:00||FERNKLOOF: Thomas Niemeyer: The Ultimate Flower Show; Shore Line; Overberg; Travel to Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana.|
|June 14||08:30||DAY WALK: Three Sisters, Kleinmond|
|June 20||20:00||FERNKLOOF: Gerald McCann: Life among the giants|
|July 12||08:30||DAY WALK: Vogelgat|
|July 18||18:00||FERNKLOOF: Soup evening and video: R20 per person. Watch press for details.|
|August 12-14||EXCURSION: Goudini spa|
|August 20||20:00||EXCURSION: Napier tractor ride. Phone Nancy 028- 3140186|
|September 13||08:00||DAY WALK: Fynbosrant private nature reserve, near Caledon.|
|For further information re walks please contact Piet Joubert||tel 028-3140264|
|Published by Hermanus Botanical Society,
PO Box 208,
Editor: GERALDINE GARDINER - Fax (028) 3130617