On Tuesday I walked along the border of Botlierskop Nature Reserve on my way to visiting a friend who farms closer to the mountains. The walk was lovely and I saw a fair amount of impala and springbuck along the way. When I was at my friend’s place we decided to drive to another farm to buy milk (R3-50 a litre, straight from the cow) and then went on a round trip through Friemersheim, up into the forests along the mountains, through Gonnaskraal ( spectacular views all round) and then on a road right through the middle of Botlierskop. The game we saw was incredible and we just stopped the car and walked a bit – two female rhino right next to the fence, a secretary bird, wildebeest, zebra, sable and Botlierskop’s herd of black impala. It was wonderful to be so close with no other cars around- and all this about 5kms from our place.
I enjoyed the drive so much that I took Andre and my Dad back there the next day and came across a lone cyclist and later a small group of little girls on ponies being guided by a gentleman from the Reserve I presume.
This Sunday we took a ride with Andre’s biking mates along the Saasveld road from George to Wilderness, lovely old windey narrow road through the forests. We stopped at a little bridge crossing the Silver River (I think) and were fortunate enough to see Knysna Loeries and a Bosloerie flying from tree to tree. The Bosloerie was beautiful – I’ve never seen one before – fortunately one of the ladies with us is a twitcher and identified it straight away. Sadly when we went back to get on our bikes and looked down the other side of the bridge someone had dumped a bag of household rubbish down there. I can’t understand how people can do that – especially in such a beautiful spot. They are Philistines.
We’d left Great Brak in search of breakfast and after a little wandering around and a few stops for refreshment we eventually ended up at The Oude, a biker friendly pub and restaurant in Knysna- can recommend it. We had a decent breakfast and good service. Whilst there the owner informed us that there’s a bike jol in that area on the last weekend of this month. We also want to go that way on the 24th October for the Knysna Hillclimb – check it out on www.speedfestival.co.za. Looks good.
Two guys, Carlo and Barend from Cape Nature came to the house this week to advise us on how to deal with the alien vegetation on the property so that the indigenous fynbos can recover. I was pleased to hear that the forest part in the ravine is pretty much okay except for two large black wattles and two pine trees- these we will ring bark – if we can reach them. The forest is very dense and the ground incredibly steep. They showed us that sections of the fynbos area are being invaded by hakea and rooikrantz and told us ways of dealing with them without damaging the soil or spreading seeds everywhere. Thanks Cape Nature .I also discovered that my ’beautiful weed’ is called Patterson’s Curse and it really is one as it is toxic to livestock. Thank heavens we found that out before we put our beautiful goats in there. They, by the way, arrived yesterday. I went to fetch them in my Hyundai Getz – I don’t think that the designers ever really envisaged the Getz as a livestock mover but, there you go. They miss their mummy very much at the moment but are slowly getting used to me and by this afternoon were eating lucerne that I held for them.
The chickens have taken over the joint and wander far and wide – they are real characters and much smarter than our last hens. They know not to come through the fences towards the house as the dogs are there but everywhere else belongs to them. I can’t believe how they’ve grown in one week – last week they could go through the big holes in the fence, now they’re too big.
Best of all we’ve had some rain- 8mm so far but more is predicted – hope the weather boffins are right!