Upcoming Talks

Diarise these dates 20 October 2018 17h30 for 18h00 Topic: Old Four Legs Presenter: Dr Kerry Sink (SANBI) Venue: Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens Dr Kerry Sink of SANBI will give a presentation she calls Old Four Legs which is about marine reserves around South Africa. Old Four Legs is a common term given to the coelacanth. The blue-grey coelacanth adults are about two metres long, weigh about 80 kilograms, and have strange tails, limb-like fins, thick scales and prodigious teeth. The fins contain bones that resemble toes on a reptile.    Coelacanths could well be an…
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Botsoc Kogelberg Next Walk

19 May 2018 Do you know your Spatalla from your Paranomus? Or if you saw an Aulax cancellata, would you know it from a growth of Pinus pinaster? Happily these are not anatomical abnormalities. Apart from Pinus pinaster they are members of the family Proteaceae. Yes, Proteas. But they don’t look like it. Rod’s Trail is a familiar old friend, but it never fails to come up with something different and interesting. Easily accessible Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos, the jewel of the Cape Floristic Region, there is always something happening on the slopes of Voorberg. No…
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Talk Report – April2018

Namibia - Prime birding in magnificent and varied habitats – By Otto Schmidt (17 May 2018) From Vioolsdrif one crosses the Orange River. Canoeists paddle serenely past on a gently flowing river as one enters Namibia.  It’s a good place to visit as it’s not too far and the Namibian dollar is the same as our Rand.  It’s a land of such varied landscape, 67% the size of South Africa but with 87% of the bird species. Otto and his wife Sandy have visited Namibia several times – a favourite destination.  The Reserves have become…
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Talk Report – March 2018

An interdisciplinary study on the human/baboon interface in Rooiels - By Joselyn Mormile, Bsc VT, Msc, PhD candidate at UCT (17 February 2018) A fascinating and most informative talk by Joselyn who has studied the Rooiels troop for several years – the first fine scale behavioural  study on an unmanaged urban baboon troop. This troop comprises  27 members. There is one dominant male who has held this position for two years and reigns over 9-10 adult females.  There is also a small group of 9 sub adults and  2 juvenile males. There have been a…
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Talk Report – February 2018

Christmas in the Drakensberg (and the hunt for Gladiolus symonsii) By Rea Borcherds Unsurprisingly, gladiolus, with its long, sharply pointed leaves, is named after the Latin word for a sword, hence its common name, ‘sword lily’.  This showy plant and popular cut flower is familiar to gardeners and florists world wide, but what may be less known is the fact that it is hybridized and cultivated from a rather insignificant native South African plant, Gladiolus daleni.  This, and other interesting facts about gladioli, emerged from Rachel Saunders’ talk last Saturday. She kept the audience captivated…
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TALK REPORT

- Rea Borcherds Geological adventures in the Fairest Cape – Unlocking the secrets of its scenery A talk by Dr John Rogers, Saturday 17 June 2017 A visit by Dr John Rogers to talk at our monthly Branch meeting always arouses interest and attracts members from afar. It did so in June when members braved a chilly evening to hear him give a talk based on his book, soon to be published, entitled Geological adventures in the Fairest Cape – Unlocking the secrets of its scenery. As the title suggests, his aim is to get…
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TALK REPORT FOR JANUARY 2017

-Andrea Benn 21 January 2017: Cuan McGeorge on “The adaptability of an endangered species  -  the African penguin”. Stony Point is the site of the only growing colony of African penguins on the South African coast. African penguins may be little smelly and noisy for some of their human neighbours, but they arrived in Betty's Bay and formed the first mainland colony in 1982, some three years before the colony at Boulders Beach in Simonstown began. When we built our cottage at Betty's Bay in the early nineties, we would often take visitors from Europe…
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AUGUST WALK REPORT

- Tim Attwell Botsoc Walk 20 August 2016 The Denys Heesom Trail at Betty’s Bay commemorates a hero of the fight against alien invasive vegetation and founder, 53 years ago, of the famous ‘Betty’s Bay Hack’. Multi-talented Denys Heesom was a director of companies, doyen of South Africa’s cricket statisticians in the 1970s, one-time mayor of Betty’s Bay and inspirational conservationist. Multi-talented Denys Heesom was a director of companies, doyen of South Africa’s cricket statisticians in the 1970s, one-time mayor of Betty’s Bay and inspirational conservationist. The eponymous Denys Heesom Trail starts at Jock’s Bay…
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AUGUST TALK REPORT

- Andrea Benn Saturday 20 August: Dr Chris Whitehouse – A complete guide to pokers It was on a Scottish Island that Chris as a young boy began his interest in plants. This led him to South Africa where he is now a world authority on Kniphofias or Red Hot Pokers. Incidentally, his wife Anna has a PhD in elephant studies. They enjoy walking in the Klein River mountains. Of the asphodelaceae/liliaceae family the genus kniphofia has about 70 species from mountainous or upland areas in southern and tropical Africa. The flowers are attractive to…
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JULY TALK REPORT

- Andrea Benn Saturday 16 July, our AGM: David Davidson, designer of the SA stand at the Chelsea Flower Show, spoke about his experience at the Show. The annual Chelsea Flower Show, organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), was held in May this year in the lovely grounds of the Chelsea Pensioners Hospital. These attractive brick buildings were designed by Christopher Wren and this year were enhanced by many thousands of individually knitted red poppies displayed on both sides of the road leading to the Hospital. The poppies were knitted and crocheted by people…
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