It was a milestone today with the last of the trees on the main picnic site having its branches removed. Slowly but surely we are winning.
The trunk serves as a good separation between the rest of the picnic area and the Xhosa ruins so we may leave it there for kids to clamber on.
Then the seat sawn out of a log had been work in progress for too long so that got finished and added to the braai furniture.
This is all the furniture we are going to provide, so far mainly positive comments. The carvings have been a nice touch.
One of the dead blue gums on the way to the braai threatened to fall over any time and in fact had previously dropped some branches so I tried to talk Goodman into cutting it down but ran out of patience and did it myself. I was warned that it would be quite hard to cut but in fact the wood was quite soft and the tree was cut up and removed in no time.
The U3A (University of the third age) came for a visit today so Ellie took them for a walk to the Arboretum and back as their walking stamina was not quite up to scratch for more strenuous activities. They were very interested in what we all do in the reserve and learned amongst other things that the scientific name of heather is Erica.
In the meantime Neil and I installed the tap at the braai, lots of fun to connect a T-piece in the feeder pipe with the water pressure still on. Quite handy to have Neil around, unfortunately he starts work again next week. We finished too early to go to tea but too late to start anything so we cut some more blue gum logs. Slowly but surely the place is getting tidied up.
Rob, Keith and Cathy had carried on in the stretch along the N2. There are more aliens than expected, we have quite an impressive list by now.
The U3A people were treated to coffee and Ellie’s famous eats in the office and I joined them while the others planted more trees, Rob’s forest to replace the pine trees is now declared full but the picnic site can have some more when the clean-up is finished.
The late lunch made for a short afternoon but we still managed to cut some big trunks in manageable pieces, the area between the huts and the toilet is nearly finished, once Sisanie has mown it should look quite good.
Lastly we needed a picture of a water lily, went all the way to the lily pond, none open then tried the nymph pond, same story and eventually found one in the middle of the Cormorant pond. Only way was to swim to get it even though it was quite refreshing!
As the monthly meeting is our only opportunity to get work out of people who cannot make it to our Wednesdays we decided to change the walk up Ladyslipper to rather get some order into the nursery, have early tea and then go and explore part of the forest on the western side of the low bridge. This forest is seldom visited, has no paths and has some beautiful trees.
A great job was done moving like plants such as the Proteas together, select trees for more planting to replace the blue gums, do weeding and move pots with dead plants out. Also move some pallets into the shade house, amazing how the extra space fills up quickly.
In the meantime Neil dug in 50 metres of pipe to get a tap by the braai, all we need to do now is connect it and then we can declare the braai area finished.
The log furniture is now complete and it was great to see a party of hikers braaiing in the afternoon and really enjoying the facilities.
The usual sumptuous tea, coffee and eats was enjoyed by all and then we set off for our walk only to be stopped at the top of the pass by some officials because a rally was in progress.
This caused a bit of consternation and delay but soon all was resolved and we split into two groups, the hackers who rather tackled the bugweed and wattle infestation and the explorers who made their way upstream. Apart from many wattles growing in and along the stream the area is quite pristine albeit that many trees are overgrown with Roicissus tomentosum.
Some of the plants that were seen:
Back at the Reserve the diehards still did some planting and hacking before it got really a little too cool on this lovely winter’s day.