A walk in a Milkwood forest should be every child’s dream. These well preserved and ancient environments must be the models on which fairy tales were born. The gnarled stems and moss-covered branches evoke images of phantom forest creatures. These are still places, where one can be at peace with one’s surroundings, hearing no more than the call of the Sombre Greenbull or the chirp of a cricket. Lichens and mosses grow undisturbed on these aged trees, some of which must be around a thousand years old.
Our recent walk at Grootbos gave us a wonderful opportunity to come into contact with these trees and to appreciate the wonder of their preservation in the face of man’s advance and the fires that accompany us, wherever we settle.
White Milkwood, Sideroxylon inerme, is an evergreen tree which occurs in coastal thickets or forests along the south and east coasts of South Africa and into southern Mozambique.