As it was raining we found ourselves alone at the Reserve and a good time to do some unusual things. We have been intrigued by the weather station for some time now and have phoned all over to find out who the owners are but to no avail so I decided to open it up and have a look inside. Here is my assistant being careful not to tip the rain gauge and cause spurious readings. Mind you, holding it like that actually might cause a few .2 mm downpours.

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We took a whole bunch of photos and back home we managed to trace the origin to Australia and via the importer in Johannesburg to the agent in Port Elizabeth and thanks to the serial number the owner was found to be the saweather bureau and, thanks to some very helpful people there we may get access to some rainfall figures at the Reserve.

To stay with water we also helped Goodman out with a leaking tap on one of the tanks by the house. Quite a tricky operation at we had to put on a new tap with the tank almost full. Thanks to a clever gadget of a pole with a garden hose spray of just the right shape attached we managed to block the hole from inside and screwed the new tap in with hardly any loss of water.

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Still raining so time to tidy the Fovs room to create some space and then we had enough and, as we needed the gps track of the Three Dam Trail for the new map, we took a walk along the trail. It needs a bit of mowing but Pottaman ensured us he will do it soon. Inspite of that it is quite a lovely walk with all the new growth after the fire, that is if you ignore all the Podylarias of course.

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Thankfully it cleared and off to the arboretum to treat the saplings to some more Bounce Back and plant two more of Jenny’s trees to replace the Natal mahogany which is beyond rescue and must be cut down some time. We have been very fortunate with the new trees as we’ve had such regular rain that it has not been necessary so far to water them.

After lunch it was time to do some more exploring how to best open up around the Lilly Pond and get to the thriving aliens around there without too much hassle.

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Some beautiful Proteas and other “stuff” around there.

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Quite scratchy though so we were glad to reach the Lilly Pond

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Not that it made that much difference because the fynbos further to the old explosives store is just as scratchy

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Quite an interesting little feature, we suspect though that some of the Aloes in there have been planted.

On return we met some visitors and it was satisfying to see that they had made good use of our pamphlets to find their way around the Reserve.

Finally we lent a sympathetic ear to Goodman who has a lot of human resource issues to contend with and needed to blow off some steam. All in a day’s work at Van Stadens.