More on our Otters

A letter to the the Chairman from Dr Nicola Okes Dear Merilee, Thank you so much for the wonderful morning last weekend in Pringle Bay. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing the stories of otter sightings from the people who came to the talk and discussing things further over coffee and delicious croissants. It was such a treat to meet so many other nature and otter enthusiasts! I was particularly touched by the kind gesture from John Carrol. The print he gave me is just beautiful and captures the otters cheeky, curious, defiant yet playful nature so well…

The Annual Red Disa Pilgrimage: A Fern Encounter

It was time for the pilgrimage. As everyone knows, any even slightly botanical wonk in the Western Cape is required, in January and February, to undertake an arduous mountain hike into a kloof containing an appropriate patch of Afrotemperate forest, locate a wet, more or less south facing, vegetated cliff face and do homage to the icon of Western Cape flora that blooms there at this time of year, the lovely Disa uniflora. The infirm may, in special circumstances, be exempt. Others, however, who fail to observe this sacred rite, are summarily condemned to twelve…

Success story of the hackers of the Kogelberg biosphere

Chris Geldenhuys Convenor, Pringle Bay Hack The following article appeared in the December 2017 edition of The Pringle Post: The purpose of this article is to enlighten the residents of Pringle Bay and the greater Kogelberg Biosphere of the activities of the Hack Group. The purpose of the Hack Group is to eradicate or, at the very least, to limit the growth and spread of invasive alien vegetation in the area with a view to protect the natural fynbos.  That is done by cutting down and poisoning or uprooting alien plants and trees.  Many of…

GROENFONTEIN EXPEDITION – TWO BOTANICAL RAMBLES

SPRING in the Klein Karoo, Kevin Koen, professional nature guide of Calitzdorp and Kogelberg branch members – a magic mix. Without Kevin, how would we know that right on the outskirts of the town is Jacobskop, a treasure house of succulents? There we saw how aptly Haworthia arachnoida had been named - see the picture of leaves that could be spider web. Nearby was H truncata known as perdetande from the rows of leaves on the ground (no stems), leaves which have translucent tips for photosynthis. This is a local special found only from Calitzdorp…

‘ED’S VALLEY’ – ‘Where hackers sweated to remove alien plants under the leadership of Edward Silberbauer’

On Wednesday, 22 November, Hackers of the Kogelberg gathered to unveil the ‘Ed’s Valley’ plaque to commemorate not only a great hacker, Ed Silberbauer, but all those who hacked with him to return a large portion of our biosphere to its natural state. ‘Ed’s Valley’ is testimony to the tireless and unremitting commitment of many people over three generations to the restoration and conservation of this part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, some of whom made significant contributions to the designation of the greater part of this area as a Biosphere Reserve in the first…

A Tribute to Penny Palmer

PENELOPE AYLIFF PALMER 16 Janaury 1936 – 23 October 2017 Penny P, first female wielder of chain-saws at the Betty’s Bay Hack, birder, frog finder, music-lover, writer, mimic, comic, past chairman of the Kogelberg Branch of BotSoc SA. Penny lived in Kleinmond when she first came to the Kogelberg in her early fifties. There she was a co-founder of the Hiking Club, keen member of the Nature Conservation Society, even sang in a choir. She discovered the Betty’s Bay Hack - Joy Ruger tells of how she and Penny cycled all the way to hack…

Groenfontein: A Treat of Retreat!

- Rea Borcherd It has become a tradition in this Branch to make group expeditions to explore the flora of regions beyond our own.  In previous years successful group outings were made to  the Gifberg,  Agulhas and Haarwegskloof.   This year was the turn of the Klein Karoo, specifically the region around Calitzdorp. With so many interesting regions in our country to discover, one is spoilt for choice when selecting a destination, but as always practicality has to rule.  Travelling time, accommodation suitability and sufficiency, and availability of local botanical expertise are all factors affecting the…

PART TWO: THE LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY OF A PROPERTY USER/OWNER FOR PLANTS ON HIS PROPERTY

            - Jan Joubert In part two,  of the legal responsibility of a property user/owner, we look in  more depth at other legal implications and protected plants. OTHER LEGAL IMPLICATIONS Under Common Law” (King v Dykes 1971(3) SA 540 (RA) at 545) you can be held liable if IAP’s from you property start invading that of a neighbour. With modern DNA technology it would be easy to prove the origin of such pests. In terms of the present property transaction laws the owner is liable for any latent defects which are…

PART ONE: THE LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY OF A PROPERTY USER/OWNER FOR PLANTS

In the last year that I have been participating in the hack and as a committee member of the branch, my knowledge of plants of the area has slowly been increasing.  With the help of experienced hackers and colleagues who are willing to share their knowledge openly I have started to feel more confident about identifying some of the more onerous aliens of the area.  Having said that, as a land owner, there is a lot of legislation and requirements to wade through regarding the responsiblities of iradicating alien vegetation. So here follows the first…

SO MANY THANK YOU’S

- Merrilee Berrisford Saturday 29th July, an evening of exciting Antarctic exploration, a wonderfully happy and convivial Betty’s Bay occasion but also an evening which resulted in two ring-fenced additions to the Kogelberg Branch’s account, R7100 for environmental education and R4000 for the Hack. It all started with Judy New’s travels to Papua New Guinea years ago which prompted her to give a fundraising travel talk. ‘Slice of Ice’ is Judy’s fifth fundraiser for Kogelberg Branch. We can only say a huge thank you to her for entertaining us and also enabling us to support…