The Hermanus Botanical Society hosted an enthusiastic SAARP group this morning at Fernkloof. While enjoying their tea and muffins, they were treated to not one but three mini seminars on Life in the Reserve. Frank Woodvine reminded them of the unique position of the Cape Floral Kingdom in the world, with a density of diverse species second to none. Pat Miller brought home the importance of fire in the preservation of this diversity, stressing that there is a real problem with such a Reserve on the urban fringes of a town. Understandably, residents would wish fire safely away from their properties, and yet also wish to enjoy the beauty of fynbos within walking distance. Finally, Vic Hamilton-Attwell had his ‘class’ passing around an Acrea Garden butterfly flapping away inside a small transparent container while he related the amazing story of the cyanide-laced leaves of the Kiggelaria, tolerated by the Acrea caterpillars, which are able to store the cyanide out of the way in their spines!
Article by Deirdre Richards, Image by Daphne Hutton