Forthcoming Talks

For an update of what is happening in the BotSoc please see the attached  3 June 19 Rhythms of Life Fiona Sym

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The rewards of ‘fire monitoring’

Since the fire on 11th January a group of fire monitors has been observing the regrowth on the burnt slopes. Often blackened with ash they hang over path edges or clamber up rocks in order to photograph and record their findings.


From fire lilies in January, to fields of yellow moraeas in March, to the bright red fire ericas in April, it is an exciting and rewarding pursuit!

Of particular interest has been the flowering and seeding of the very small Aspidoglossum heterophyllum, a member of the milkweed family. The plants grow up to 12cm tall and have a milky latex. The flowers are white and for their small size produce very large long inflated seedpods – the fluffy seeds will be collected and sent to Kew Gardens for inclusion in their Millenium Seed Bank.

The slender wiry plants of Eriospermum dielsianum, common name Cottonseed, (the seeds look like small balls of cotton wool), have been spotted on the lower slopes, a bulbous plant with a raceme of star-like flowers with red linings under the petals. Their seeds have also been collected for Kew.

Always of interest are new leaves which make their appearance in a numerous array of shapes and sizes. Much discussion ensues as to what they will become!

 For more updates on the burn keep following the ‘burn page’ on the website and click on Read More on the home page.

Sandy Jenkin

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Braai in the Fernkloof Gardens

Every February, the HBS Committee hosts a braai for members in the Fernkloof gardens.  Chops, Wors and Sosaties are expertly grilled by Hoogie van Hoogstraten and his fellow braai-masters.  Another team creates a selection of tasty and creative salads plus the other braai essentials.

Over 90 members and friends arrived to enjoy the balmy evening together.  Gay bunting hung from the trees and picnic tables covered in bright cloths added to the atmosphere.  Out came the bottles of wine and juice and the bowls of nibbles while the meat cooked to perfection.

The Committee were delighted with the support given to this event by both long-standing and new members.  It was good to see the welcome given to those who are new to Fernkloof.  Those who were there all agreed that the meal was both generous and delicious, the venue perfect and that they are looking forward to enjoying a similar happy evening with the Hermanus Botanical Society the following February.

Submitted by Deirdre


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A Walk to the Vogelgat Waterfall

This gallery contains 22 photos.

Originally posted on roncorylus:
There were 11 enthusiastic Hurriers in Vogelgat with perfect hiking conditions to look for the Disa uniflora and to reach the waterfall for a swim. The first Disa was found relatively early during the hike and…

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Fynbos Fires and their Consequences for Birds

Hermanus Bird Club

Positive benefits of fynbos fires are short-term food opportunities for some species

Raptors are often attracted to fire and its charred results, moving in from adjacent habitats. This is particularly evident where predatory birds may flush out injured birds and animals or find other carrion. Jackal Buzzards, Steppe Buzzards and Spotted Eagle Owls are known to visit burnt areas immediately after smoke dissipates. After a relatively short time they move on.

Other species which may take advantage of the aftermath of fynbos fires

The Fork Tailed Drongo, Fiscal Flycatcher, Fiscal Shrike and Cape Grassbird are known to take up the debris of insects, arthropods and the seeds of various plants such as P. falcifolia and L. eucalyptifolium which are exposed about 2 weeks post fire.

Genetic Diversity 

Nectivores such as the Cape Sugarbird, Orange Breasted Sunbird and Cape Bulbul will immediately move away to neighbouring areas, however, this may be…

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Mossel River path renewal

If you go down to the Mossel today you are in for a big surprise.

Everyone should gather there because…

Todays the day you can once more walk along the path next to the river from the sea to the Three Dams. Frank Woodvine and his Malawian men together with some enthusiastic HBS members have hacked and pulled,  slogged and cleared. On Wednesday 23 January 18 excited botanical walkers investigated what had been done.

Starting west of the river mouth, head north until you cross the river to resume walking north, now on the river east bank. A shady section of indigenous trees still shows signs of invading trees, mostly garden escapees from local houses. These will be removed. Just before you reach the bridge across the R 43 near the Voelklip circle, dense bush and rushing river made the path impassable.

But no more! You can now walk to and under the bridge and continue to the arboretum of fascinating cork oak and penny gum trees to name a few and further to the dams.  Enjoy, the walk is charming!

There will be a tree book out soon listing all trees you will see on this walk and indeed in the whole of Hermanus.

Di Marais

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Piet’s AMOEBA Walk

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Originally posted on roncorylus:
This morning Piet promised us an interesting walk – described by him as “The Amoeba”  It was 5.4 km in length and it was most enjoyable, taking 15 Hurriers through a section of the burn and…

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