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The new trail cntnd

Wednesday was a typical bergwind day so we found it more advisable to go the day after. This turned out to be a very good decision as it was ideal for working.

Armed with the brush cutter sporting a brand new blade we tackled the section from the power line to the Lilly Pond with great gusto, Ellie widened the path through the Proteas while I got going on the Erica’s. Unfortunately no pics as the new camera is not quite water- and dustproof.

We were by ourselves so we did not have to trek to the Fovs room for tea or lunch which should have save a bit of time but instead we talked to Patrick who just returned from some hacking at the edge of the forest and learned quite a few anecdotes of the early days of the Reserve.

On the way home we were very curious if Working For Water had done as they promised and cut a few blue gums down. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we crossed the flyover and saw that ALL the trees were down.


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If Ellie looks surprised it is because she is.

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Looking at the size of the stumps we realized that it would have been a heck of a job to do that ourselves.

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Bit of a cheek to pose like that with someone else’s work, all I did was talk nicely at the Van Stadens Forum meeting and hey presto, what seemed impossible is now done. Not only that, they will also come back and cut it all up and the Goodman will get it all cleared up.

Bit of a downer though that the rest of the group did not seem to share our excitement but we think it is quite an achievement towards an blue gum free picnic site.

The new trail

At our last group meeting we started on the Nymph trail which is really an extension of the Forest Walk. As it turned out we discovered that the Forest Walk originally was a bit longer so we started clearing that bit first. It was difficult to find the original path as it was very overgrown but we managed.

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Of course the brush cutter ably manned by Keith was a big help and with the clearing crew behind him the path quickly took shape.

 

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In the meantime I played the lone wolf and started to set out a further section of the trail towards the Lilly Pond and found quite a few Strelizia regina’s there.

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If we needed any proof that it had been a trail before it was here when Keith took a chunk out of a trail marker with the blade.

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Afterwards we explored a bit further and found this Frenchmen’s delight by the dam.

…and the weeds keep on growing

Pleasant surprise when we arrived, the entrance circle was mown. Thank goodness for Pottaman, he really has made a difference since coming back from holiday. He is still catching up with mowing everywhere but he made a priority of the various paths and tracks and the main picnic site looks good again.

Also good to see that quite a large contingent of Wednesday Walkers were present and full of compliments about the Friends and what we are doing.

We can report back that we have traced the owners of the weather station, it turns out to be saweather. We’ve made contact and they are very helpful and provided the rainfall figures for the past five years. Pity that is all that the weather station does, I hoped for temperature and wind but no such luck.

 

Every time we look at the Aloe koppie we see less of it because the grass grows taller so after the good rains it was a perfect opportunity to do some weeding there. This is a before picture, unfortunately I did not take an after but it does look a whole lot better..

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Everything we have planted there is doing well, just that most was hidden by the tall grasses. We also found this tiny plant, Ellie thinks it might be quite rare in the Reserve.

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It was very humid and Cathy and Rob were rather exhausted coming in at teatime having tramped around in the bush near the lookout pulling out plenty of aliens. They have moved to the February section of the plan, January is not quite finished but there is only so much one can do with limited resources.

After tea we tackled a few bluegums just taking some side branches of the coppiced ones so slowly but surely we are making progress.

Pottaman responded to our plea for potting soil so after lunch is was potting and transplanting time in the nursery. Ellie was rather chuffed when she checked the misting house and found that she has successfully propagated Podocarpus, Leucadendron and, believe it or not, Paranomus!

On the way out we still de-grassed the West Bank, it is filling up nicely and checked the East Bank which is also filling up nicely, especially with weeds!

Lastly, a pretty Aloe by the Dell

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