Good morning Friends

 

I see glimmers of spring in my garden and the Doringkloof Spruit which is good news after a gloomy few months in our suburb.  Our thoughts are with everyone who has suffered loss and hardship, it is not an easy time.

 

We have managed to do some work and have some fun with Friends of Doringkloof Spruit recently.  Please see attached reports.  Thank you to everyone who has joined us for these activities.

 

Other issues:

  1. Veld fires – we have battled  4 veld fires this winter, of which 2 were quite big and required fire engine assistance.  It was very gratifying to see the community respond to all the fires.  I know many people would love to just burn it all and have new growth for summer, but our role is nature conservation.  There is a lot of small wildlife living in the spruit area that can’t live anywhere else and so we must protect the vegetation

Nature Conservation does controlled burns in specific areas every few years as part of their plan for the spruit.

 

  1. Removal of alien vegetation – as per my report.  We have not had the help of Nature Conservation to remove the cuttings from the spruit as they did not have any trucks available until the new contractors have been appointed.  The committee agreed to use our funds to get a private contractor to remove all the cuttings (they are a fire hazard and also attract vagrants into the spruit to collect firewood, which is illegal).  We are very grateful to Andree from AAA Boomslopings for going the extra mile for us,  he has done far more than what we paid him for.  Thank you Andre!

 

  1. Friends Forum  Janet, Astrid, and I attended the zoom Friends Forum last weekend.  It is a gathering of all the Friends groups in Tshwane – 22 in all!

It is so motivating to see what the other Friends groups are doing and how they are coping with their challenges.

The speaker for the morning was Hennie de Klerk on the topic  “The Importance of Insects – is it still a myth”.

Some highlights of his talk:

South Africa has about 300 mammal species, about 970 bird species, and over 200 000 insect species!

2/3 of the worldwide animal kingdom  is insects

Roles of insects –pollinators eg. butterflies

Predators eg. lacewing

Parasites eg. mosquitoes

Ecosystem engineers eg. termites

Nutrient recyclers eg. Dung beetles

 

Requests:

Who would like to take on the challenge of updating our bird list for the Doringkloof Spruit? We have about 65 birds on the list, but I am sure the birders have many more we don’t know about.

Does anyone have a camera trap we can borrow please? I would so love to know what is wondering around in the spruit at night!

Please join us for our zoom AGM on Wednesday 22nd September @ 19h00.  Tarryn Johnson from Hennops River Revival will be our guest speaker.

 

Thank  you for reading this very long email!

 

Kind regards

Penny