After the Fire

Renee and I went up into Fernkloof this morning to see first hand the effects of the fire.  It was good to see that, as usual, the forest areas survived apart from some scorching around the edges.

The Extent of the Fire

I have managed to work out more or less the extent of the fire that burnt in Fernkloof on Sunday and Monday and it is shown on the attached image.  We can now look forward to a great array of wonderful new botanical specimens, especially since the rain that occurred yesterday morning and put the fire out, will have already started the new germination process.

Fire outline
The extent of the Fernkloof fire

Christmas 2015

I would like to wish all my readers a very peaceful and blessed Christmas. May 2016 be a year in which all your dreams come true and you are filled with joy and happiness, and know success in whatever you turn your hand to.  There has been too much horror and misery in 2015 and we can only hope that all those whose lives are not as fortunate as ours, will find peace and stability, and a future to look forward to.  Let us be positive and kind to all those around us and they will hopefully feel the same.May07 004 a

A night of Fire

The fire continued to rage through the night.  Fortunately there was no wind so it spread slowly eastwards.  I took a few photographs during the night from our bedroom and by this morning most of the mountain was a blackened hulk.  The wind has picked up and the fire will no doubt continue for quite a while; certainly until it reaches the smaller vegetation in a previously burnt section of the mountain.

Fire in Fernkloof

Our favourite walking area is burning.  A fire started this morning; no doubt as a result of some careless smoker, or perhaps deliberately.  By this afternoon the helicopter was dousing it with water but it is now burning out of control and will soon have destroyed many hectares of fynbos.  Of course, this is not all bad news as the veld needs a fire every 12 to 14 years, but it is, nevertheless, sad to see the destruction and one feels for the animals that have lost their environment, or even their lives. Tomorrow will reveal the full extent of the damage, as it will no doubt burn through the night and spread over a very large area.  The pictures below are from our house.

Greater Hermanus and Surrounds

I live in Eastcliff, Hermanus, in one of the most beautiful places in South Africa, occupying, as it does, the narrow strip of land between the mountain and the sea.  It is not surprising, therefore, that I like to use Google Earth to get a bird’s eye view of my home.

I don’t know how we managed before Google Earth – it is such a useful tool for looking at the world, and it is evident from other posts on this site, that I use it often.

Spilhaus Family Reunion

Last month 65 members of the greater Spilhaus family held a reunion at Hohenort, which was once the family seat in Constantia, Cape Town, but which is now a hotel.  They came from far and wide, including France, Australia, UK, USA and Canada.  Peter Elliott took the opportunity to launch his new book on five hundred years of family history, as well as his excellent publication on the life and times of the artist, Nita Spilhaus.

It was a nostalgic get-together and provided a chance to meet up with long lost relatives.  I managed to get 52 members of the family to pose for a memorable photograph.  All but two names are recorded, but maybe somebody reading this will be able to provide the two that are missing.

Five Years of Blogging

In November I was reminded that I have been blogging for 5 years!  During that time I have posted 280 articles, mainly on the walking activities of the Hermanus Hurriers, a group of like-minded senior adventurers who enjoy their regular interactions with nature in the areas around Hermanus in the southern Cape.  Being blessed with such wonderful surroundings and having an eye for flowers and scenery, these posts have included no less than 3560 images (around 12 per post).  Furthermore, without any tags or associations with other media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, this site has attracted just short of 50 000 clicks, at an average of 28 per day.

So, if you are part of the Hurriers group and you want to look into our activities, you need do no more than scroll down through the site and you will be able to see most of what we have done over five years! Enjoy it if you have the time.

Of course there are other posts about family, photography and travel, but they are in the minority.

IMG_0404
High up in Fernkloof

Fernkloof Circular Walk

This morning 13 walkers left from Reservoir Road to go up Droe Kloof and around Fernkloof via the Vogelgat border and then back along the Jeep track and down through Boekenhoutkloof and Adder’s Ladder to the Visitors’ Centre.  We were blessed with excellent weather after the recent heat wave and, although it was steep and tiring on the way up, once we were there, the veld was really beautiful and we had a very good 9.5 km hike, climbing to around 470 metres at the highest point.  This was our last long walk of the year and the next event will be the Xmas and planning party in January, so please remember to bring your ideas for the 2016 season.