Orchids Galore at Gydo Pass

This gallery contains 52 photos.

Originally posted on roncorylus:
Yesterday we had an absolutely fantastic outing to Gydo Pass to search for Orchids.  Lester, who has been there previously, was our guide and he did an excellent job, showing us no less than 18 species…

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Orchids at De Kelders/Gansbaai

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Originally posted on roncorylus:
We went to De Kelders and Gansbaai this afternoon to search for orchids and were rewarded with a couple of lifers!  I must admit, however, that it was only due to Lester’s expert knowledge that we…

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Dr Di Marais wins Mayoral Award for Environmental Conservation

The Hermanus Botanical Society heartily congratulates Chairman Dr Di Marais on winning the 2018 Mayoral Award for Environmental Conservation. The awards ceremony took place on 4th October.

Di’s award is richly deserved. She has worked tirelessly to promote the priceless botanical assets of the Hermanus area, vigorously defending the Society’s constitutional mandate to promote the integrity of the Fernkloof Nature Reserve.

She has chaired the Hermanus Botanical Society for four years. The international scientific community has benefitted by her facilitation of the digital recording of the entire plant species of the Fernkloof Nature Reserve.

Her enthusiasm motivates a growing team of volunteers to increase and disseminate their knowledge of the Cape Floral Kingdom within the local community.

Under her editorship, Society members wrote and published the acclaimed guidebook “Fernkloof Nature Reserve”.

Her latest project, the new Research Centre at Fernkloof, will be officially opened in December. It will serve as a general information hub for the public, host environmental courses and be a satellite centre for the Millenium Seedbank Project of Kew Gardens, London. 

 Deirdre Richards

Di Marais portrait

Di Marais

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The Flower Festival

Its amazing how quickly a year passes and the hard working members of the BotSoc are once more called into service to set everything up and decorate the Fernkloof Hall in magnificent splendour.  Even the weather conspired against getting all the specimens in, but the Specimen room looks great and is full of interesting blooms.  Sandy and Liz spend hours there and one has to admire their dedication.  (Unfortunately they got so involved with putting up the ‘watching water’ prints that they even hung a few of them upside down!  Good thing there was somebody there to correct their mistakes – but that is just me being cheeky.  These two ladies never make mistakes with the plants!!)

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Botanical Art with Barbara Pretorius

Leonotis leonurus

The Fernkloof Hall was overflowing on Friday evening with both HBS members and guests looking forward to learning more about botanical art as interpreted by Barbara Pretorius.

Barbara has been painting flowers for thirty years or so.  She loves plants as a whole life form. The colourful petals attract your attention in the first instance, but Barbara was at pains to demonstrate that close examination of the shapes and textures of other plant parts such as corms, stems or leaves brings great rewards. She taught us that looking at the living world though an artist’s eye opens another whole dimension to the enjoyment of our floral kingdom.

She brought copies of her delightful book with her, in which she relates snippets of fascinating historical and medical information relevant to the plant she has chosen to illustrate on each page.

It being the HBS’s traditional Soup and Sherry evening, the audience then turned to the difficult decision of choosing from the variety of delicious soups on offer. That problem solved and with a glass of sherry on the side, long-standing and new members enjoyed chatting to each other with the companionship of a shared interest.

The photo included here is from Barbara’s book.  The HBS has a copy in the library so please contact our librarian, Ann Mapham, if you would like to borrow it at any time.

Di Marais

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Flower frenzy on De Mond se Kop

This gallery contains 48 photos.

Originally posted on roncorylus:
This morning I had the singular pleasure of accompanying eight ladies on their walk up the Zig-Zag path and on to De Mond se Kop in search of interesting plants.  We were not disappointed. A bitterly…

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The Human – Baboon interface in Rooiels

Baboon 1 - Copy

The HBS hosted the much anticipated baboon talk by Joselyn Mormile on Friday 22 June. The packed-to-capacity hall gave an indication of the interest in the subject and the Q&A afterwards revealed the various concerns in the community. (The glass of excellent wine at the door may have had something to do with the turnout as well.)

Joselyn’s PowerPoint presentation discussed the preliminary findings of her interdisciplinary PhD work on the Rooiels baboon troop. She briefly covered their social system, diet, spatial ecology and an interesting graph showing no real rise in the troop size over a 15-year period. In this particular troop, road-kills are keeping their numbers in check. Other surprises were the misinterpreted facial expressions. Baboons communicate primarily through body gestures and facial expressions, the most noticeable (and misunderstood) being the submissive fear-face which involves pulling the mouth back in what looks like a wide toothy grin. Joselyn pointed out that if a dog did that it would be interpreted as a threatening snarl whereas the baboon is showing submission & fear. An aggressive or threatening baboon uses an eyelid signal – raising eyebrows and revealing pink skin.

Regarding the human-baboon conflict and coexistence, it is very clear that the individual has to adapt their lifestyle and take certain measures to baboon-proof their homes; baboon-proof latches, window bars, trellidoors and special bins to mention but a few.

The heart of the problem is that baboons get easy rewards foraging in urban environments and as their home ranges diminish we can expect to encounter them more and more in our living space.

Gilly Louw

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