The 2010 Ride the Rhenoster mountainbike challenge, organised by Mercia Komen on behalf of the Rhenosterspuit Nature Conservancy, received an enthusiastic thumbs-up from riders. “One of the best in Gauteng,” was the verdict from more than one rider after completing the third annual mountainbike ride though the Conservancy.
“This looks like a moon landscape,” exclaimed Kim Kruger, surveying the burnt veld around Koppie-Alleen. She was one of the large group that turned up for the Geology Walk in the Rhenosterspruit Nature Conservancy on 22 August. The recent veldfires had left the fascinating rock formations of the area exposed – tough on the vegetation and wildlife but ideal for geological explorations.
A star-speckled sky, silence and a warm, safe darkness. “This is what we miss in town nowadays,” I heard someone say wistfully as she and two children took turns admiring Jupiter through one of the powerful telescopes belonging to the West Rand Astronomy Club (WRAC).
Sixty-five people braved the Conservancy's dirt roads, coming from as far as Pretoria East, Hartbeespoort Dam and Johannesburg to explore our night sky. Light pollution is encroaching from all sides but large areas of the Conservancy are still dark enough for good viewing.
The Roodekrans Game Reserve, one of the most beautiful areas in the middle of the Conservancy, was the dream and creation of Jürgen and Vijay Loosen. The reserve, covering 300 ha of lush bushveld, savannah and grassland spreading over the hills and valleys of Roodekrans, is home to a variety of game.
“What is that big animal?” a city child wanted to know, pointing at at cow. He'd never seen one. He was one of the group of kids hosted for a day in June by the Lotter family of Laezonia and their team mates, the Fosters of Doornrandje.
Many city children are suffering from NDD - Nature Deficit Disorder - according to author Richard Louv, who wrote the best-seller, Last Child in the Woods. “For this generation, nature is more of an abstraction than a physical reality,” he says.
Clean up our country! To encourage South Africans to recycle at home, school and work and buy products made with recycled material, the Plastics Federation of South Africa’s Enviromark has initiated the annual Cleanup SA Week.
In his book, Going Green, Radio and TV presenter Simon Gear says cigarette butts are NOT biodegradable. They contain cellulose acetate, a type of plastic, which hangs around for years and often reappears in the stomachs of birds and fish. “Please make sure you put your 'stompies' in a bin, not on the lawn,” he says. “Don't drop them on the pavement or throw them out of the car window either!”
A talk and slide show featuring the wildflowers of the Magaliesberg and Gauteng.
Judd Kirkel gives this fascinating talk for the Magaliesberg Biosphere and the RNC.
Photographs by Judd of wildflowers in their habitat will also be exibited and on sale.
Venue: Alpha Conference Centre, R512.
Bats – Friends or Foes? - Sunday 10 October, 10 am
Presented by Nigel Fernsby, past chair: Gauteng and Northern Regions Bat Interest Group
Venue: Fourwheel Drive Club of SA, Gemstones Road, Doornrandje
Cost: R50 pp, R40 for RNC and Associate Members. R10 for kids
Info & booking: Dalene, 074 117 4358
Flower Walk – Sunday 13 November
Led by Prof George Bredenkamp and the Botanical Society of SA
Cost: R50 pp, R40 for RNC and Associate Members, kids free.