Talk Report – Oct 2018

The Annotated Old Four Legs – The updated Story of the Coelacanth Dr Kerry Sink, 20 October 2018 South Africa is a country with an incredible marine biodiversity. Seeing the latest ecosystem map we could but wonder at the deep troughs and ridges the map shows. As a country South Africa is strategically positioned with territory in three oceans, the Indian, Atlantic and Southern. We are the only country in the world that can contribute to the protection of life in all three oceans. Near the land mass, the mixing of warm, cold, and even…
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Celebrating Women in Conservation

Helene van der Westhuyzen by CapeNature Meet Helene van der Westhuyzen, Conservation Services Manager at CapeNature. We spoke to her as part of our women in conservation series for August (Women’s Month). Nature conservation officials are the heartbeat of an entity like CapeNature and they deal with a range of responsibilities, including resolving conflict between humans and wildlife, promoting environmental awareness, implementing stewardship strategies with landowners, and ensuring that regulations relating to fauna and flora are correctly enforced. Conservation officials need to be physically fit as well as target orientated with the ability to work independently.…
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A Botanical Art Feast

“Botanical artists are detail people who fall in love with the plants they paint. The close-up view gives us a great connection to the natural world…” Vicki Thomas Our Branch monthly talk for November is by Vicki Thomas, one of South Africa’s most well known and well loved botanical artists. Here, we delve a little deeper into the world of the botanical artist, and hope you find the reading as enriching as we found the researching. The difference between ​botanical art, botanical illustration and flower painting [View source] Put simply the differences relate to EMPHASIS: In botanical…
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Something every hacker knows

Courtesy of treepopper.co.za A Tree Popper is a rugged, simple tool that makes it easy to remove invasive/unwanted plants and trees. PRACTICAL - A simple, yet effective, one-person, back-saving implement, used to extract unwanted trees and plants, roots and all. PRODUCTIVE - No repetitive clearing in the same area – the perfect tool for follow-up, final clearing. COST-EFFECTIVE - A rugged tool that needs no maintenance at all. ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY - Organic and manual operation with no herbicides, petrol, oil, grease or high-speed blades to cause damage to natural vegetation. ADAPTABLE - The Tree Popper…
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Celebrating Women in Conservation: Nosicelo Luhabe

By CapeNature  “I want to thank CapeNature for giving us this opportunity, it means a lot to us and it really opens doors for us.” These are the words uttered by Nosicelo Luhabe after receiving her certificate for her tremendous work as a Pupil Field Ranger under the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).  During the month of August this year, CapeNature celebrated some of the amazing women in the organisation. Here is the story of Nosicelo Luhabe. She started as a general worker in 2015 and qualified as a Pupil Field Ranger in 2018.  When we asked her about her journey, she wrote a beautiful thank…
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Thanking Priscilla Blake

CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION FOR PRISCILLA BLAKE This huge smile from Priscilla tells it all. At long last Priscilla has a small but tangible token of her very substantial gift of Ethel Dixie paintings to Kogelberg Branch. A visit to her new home, a small room in Heritage Manor’s Health Care Centre, found her happy and alert, in fact she was reading Gerald McCann’s Seven Years among the Giants, the giants being Protea cynaroides. (McCann was a forester in the Kogelberg.) It was a signed copy as was her Your Place in the Kogelberg by Tim…
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Wednesday Hack Group shenanigans

You might have already read the Wednesday Hack report for the month of September. It gives a pretty usual account of the group’s activities, and you might have got the sense that this is a group of regular hackers who, like all the hackers in our part of the world, are passionate conservationists, who enjoy a real sense of camaraderie, and who get stuck into the job with a bucketful of good humour.   But you would not have realised that in the past few weeks, behind the scenes, Willem has been working on a creative design project for the group. So here we unveil, for all Botsoc members to see…
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Garden to Garden Visit

Harold Porter NBG to Karoo Desert NBG Wet, cold Harold Porter 8.30am, Monday 3 August, seven intrepid members who realised that just round the mountains would be bright sunshine, and across the Breede Valley a Garden of many delights. The journey was a highlight on its own – Theewaterskloof Dam nearly brimming, a pair of fish eagles perched above a farm dam, snow on the mountains and flowers aplenty, especially on the way home. Already at the garden were four more Kogelberg Branchers and our old friend, Werner, the Curator, to show us round for…
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How Kogelberg branch became proud owner of botanical art

It was mid 2015 when Priscilla Blake, an active member, said she would like to donate sixteen paintings by South African artist Ethel May Dixie to the branch. Priscilla, a physiotherapist from Johannesburg, had retired to Kleinmond when she was a regular at our walks and talks. When a move to Somerset West seemed sensible, Priscilla felt that her flower paintings, needing a new home, would be cherished by Kogelberg Branch. Of course, we were intrigued to know how Priscilla, living far from Ethel Dixie’s Cape home, had become the owner of her flower pictures.…
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