2007 May Newsletter - In this issue

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2007 May Newsletter - In this issue Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                           The Parsonage
                                                                                             The Parsons Newsletter / Nuusbrief
                                                                                                       A member of the Balule Nature Reserve

  May 2007                                                    Volume 8                                       Edited and compiled by John & Terry Sadie
                                                                                                     incident can be read in Crispian Barlow’s preliminary
                                   In this issue                                                     report, which is included in this newsletter. While most
From the Editor … ...................................................................1               Parsons staff are able to get lifts to and from town,
Tree of the month – the Marula................................................2                      through the generosity of various people like the
Quote of the month ..................................................................3               Hartman’s and others who pick them up in town, at the
Letters from Parsons ...............................................................3                gate or on the road which has minimised the pedestrian
   Some years ago............................................................................... 3
                                                                                                     traffic on the road, but what does concern me is the
                                                                                                     number staff that move about Parsons after working
Sal jy bly staan om uit te vind of die olifant wil skrikmaak of
doodmaak? ..............................................................................4
                                                                                                     hours and off-duty times, visiting friends and family on
                                                                                                     neighbouring farms, often still on the road after dark.
Deadly Elephant Encounter .....................................................5
The Night Skies over Parsons – Orion.....................................6 Terry and I witnessed an incident on the road that
Snippets … ..............................................................................7 passes our residence. We were in the kitchen late one
                                                                                                     afternoon when we saw a large elephant bull strolling
   KNP cuts down on water usage....................................................... 7
                                                                                                     down the road towards the river. It suddenly stopped
New laws could tempt private landowners into conservation
                                                                                                     and turned around; facing the direction it had come
field ..........................................................................................8
                                                                                                     from. It raised itself up on its front legs and pointed its
The Honey Badger of Yamani..................................................8                        trunk straight out. Our immediate reaction was “Oh,
The Gecko – Bibron’s thick-toed gecko ...................................8                           sh.t!” We rushed outside to see what was happening.
Totsiens Oom Pierre ................................................................9                The elephant had started to charge up the road and
   Petrus Stephanus van Zyl - 17/02/1927 – 03/05/2007 .................... 9                         there were two male Parsons staff further up the road,
Test your eyes!!! ....................................................................10             walking down towards the elephant, talking on the top of
Sowaar as Padda Manel Dra .................................................10                        their voices and totally oblivious to the elephant, which
                                                                                                     was about 250m away. Their conversation was abruptly
Something a little different ... .................................................11
                                                                                                     interrupted, before we could warn them, as they
   You know you live in SA when… ................................................... 11
                                                                                                     suddenly became aware of the impending danger and
The Hippo and the Tortoise ...................................................12                     rapidly rushed in different directions into the bush. The
   Two Speed Crossword .................................................................. 13         elephant stopped, shook its head and trumpeted its
   Sudoku with a difference ............................................................... 13       displeasure and then proceeded to calmly continue back
Our Banking Details ...............................................................14                down the road towards the river. We spoke to the two
Parsons Nature Reserve Golf Shirts......................................14                           staff members afterwards and they were badly shaken.

From the Editor …                                            Even though some landowners and lodges have had
                                                             their staff sign indemnities to make them aware of the
This has turned out a real bumper issue, reaching 14 risks and that moving about Parsons after hours and
pages for the first time.                                    during off-duty time is at their own risk, it has not
It is with sadness that I report that Oom Pierre passed stopped them moving about after hours and after dark. I
away peacefully in his sleep on the 3rd May. See page 9. sent out blank indemnities in English and Afrikaans in
                                                             MSWord format to all landowners in February; please let
There is still nothing to report on the land claim. It had me know if you want another copy.
not been gazetted at the time of completing this
newsletter.                                                  This month I continue gazing at the nights skies with a
                                                             look at the constellation of Orion.
One of our worst fears has happened; there has been a
deadly elephant attack, and it is not with relief that I say Fans of Annie-Louisa’s elephant stories will be pleased
that the incident occurred in Grietjie and not in Parsons, to see the next episode.
as it can so easily happen here. There was no drama, This month we also see the first of Thomas Oschger’s
no dramatic showdown, simply, a couple walking to work Letters from Parsons. Most of us know Thomas and
one morning and encountered elephant on the road and his lovely wife Beryl and the Oschger family’s long
decided to take evasive action. The details of the association with Parsons, being amongst the first


Parsons Nature Reserve                                                       May 2007 – Volume 8                                                  Page 1 of 14
                                    Newsletter / Nuusbrief
landowners in Parsons, dating back to the mid 1960’s.           branches is smooth and grey with prominent scars
Thomas’ father, Corrie or The Old Man as Thomas                 formed by the dropped leaves, but grey and flaking in
affectionately calls him, originally owned what is now          patches on older branches and stems. The leaves are
Nyati, before buying a number of the smaller properties.        unevenly compound with 7–13 pairs of leaflets plus a
I am looking forward to reading some of the stories that        terminal one that are crowded near the ends of
made his father a legend, what some of the older                branches. Young leaves are mostly toothed. It flowers in
landowners call a notorious legend.                             50–80 mm long sprays, with sexes on separate trees.
                                                                The flowers are yellow and tinged with red. The fruit is
My embarrassing blunder of sending out the April 2006
                                                                fleshy and spherical, 30–35 mm in diameter. The fruit is
newsletter instead the April 2007 edition had one good
                                                                yellow when mature with a white clinging flesh and a
effect; it spurred Bosman Kruger of Yamani to respond
                                                                large stone. The wood is light reddish brown to white,
to the Honey Badger article in it. Most people noticed
                                                                with no definite heartwood. The wood is soft and light
that something was wrong, but no one picked up on the
                                                                (air-dries to 560 kg/m3) and is susceptible to borer and
date.
                                                                termite attack if not treated.
Wessel, paging through an old copy (November 2001) of
the Balule Newsletter, came across an enjoyable tale
about a tree frog, by Albertus Britz, a tale worth retelling.
Another interesting submission by Wessel is the report
by Tony Carnie of the World Parks Congress in Durban
in 2003.
The last weekend of April was a busy weekend with
many landowners having guests. Unfortunately, the
behaviour of many of the guests was not acceptable.
They drove into homesteads, despite No Entry/Private
Property signs. This is exceptionally annoying and I
don’t blame landowners, whose privacy and peace and
quite has been disturbed, to take serious exception and
show their annoyance. I’m tired of excuses like “Ek het
net verdwyn”, or “I just wanted to see where this road
went”. I have no problem with someone who is
genuinely lost, it does happen, but not a bakkie,
obviously on a game drive, often with a load of drunken
revellers on the back.                                     In Afrikaans it is known as maroela, in Northern Sotho
                                                           as morula, in Zulu as umGanu. The botanical name is
I encountered a guest on the road who complained Sclerocarya birrea subspecies Caffra. The marula
about an irate landowner. When I told him that he had belongs to the mango family (Anacardiaceae). The
left the game drive route and had trespassed, he was name derivation come from sclerocarya meaning hard
adamant he had not. I responded that the landowner nut and birrea from birr, the common name for the tree
would have only got angry if he was trespassing. I then in Senegal, and caffra comes from Kaffraria, which
noticed that there was wood on the back of his bakkie, means Eastern Cape.
which he had obviously picked up along the way. I told
him it was against the law to take wood out the veld and
that it was considered poaching. His response was that
there was plenty wood on the farm he was visiting. I told
him again that taking ANY wood out the veld is
considered poaching and if reported, he could have his
vehicle impounded, at which, he drove off. There were
further complaints that this particular individual and his
friends were noisy and were driving around at all hours
of the night.
Well that is it from me for this month and I’ve had my
rant, so be well, be happy and please read and enjoy …
John
John@sangasava.com
Tree of the month – the Marula                                  The tree flowers from September to November and the
by John & Terry Sadie                                           fruit occurs from January to March. It is found from
                                                                Ethiopia in the north to KwaZulu-Natal in the south. It
The marula is a deciduous tree that grows up to 18 m
tall with a round to spreading crown. The bark on young


Parsons Nature Reserve                          May 2007 – Volume 8                                      Page 2 of 14
                                   Newsletter / Nuusbrief
grows in various types of woodland on sand to sandy A decoction of the bark is taken to treat dysentery and
loam.                                               diarrhoea and prophyllactically for malaria. A brandy
                                                    tincture of the bark is taken in small doses as a
                                                    prophylactic against malaria. The bark contains 20.5%
                                                    tannin and some alkaloids. The moist inner bark has an
                                                    antihistaminic action against insect bites and the burns
                                                    of hairy caterpillars. The skin of the fruit can be boiled in
                                                    water to make a drink; it is also burnt and used either as
                                                    a substitute for coffee or as a snuff. Burns and
                                                    abscesses are treated with an essence made from the
                                                    leaves. A relatively good-quality rope can be made from
                                                    the inner bark.



Cattle and game (elephant, giraffe, eland, kudu,
waterbuck and warthog) are extremely fond of the fruit
and leaves. The fruit falls to the ground while still green
and ripens on the ground, where it turns to its distinctive
yellow. Elephant are extremely fond of the bark and will
often severely damage trees by completely ring-barking
them. Meyer’s parrots feed on the kernels of green fruit.
The wood is used for furniture and to a lesser extent,
panelling. It is a popular wood for carvings and
household articles. In the Okavango swamps of
Botswana, straight trunks are often cut down and
hollowed out to make traditional swamp canoes                 The marula tree is easily grown from seed. Plant seed
(mokoros). The fruit is popular with humans and many          directly into black nursery bags filled with river sand and
bird and animal species and is rich in vitamin C, with up     keep in the shade until seedlings appear. The best
to 2 mg/cc being recorded.                                    seeds to use are those from the fruit found in the dung
                                                              of elephant. Truncheons of 100–150 mm in diameter
                                   Jelly and jam can be and 2 m long can be planted in early spring. It is one of
           Fruit analysis
   (Quinn, 1959 & Wehmeyer, 1967)
                                   made from the fruit. It the fastest growing trees in South Africa with a growth
    Average mass          17.99 g  produces     a     good- rate of up to 15m per year.
    Skin                     41%   quality semi-sweet and
    Seed                  52.51%   sweet wine, port, beer,
    Edible flesh           6.47%   juice and nectar. The
    Vitamin C      67.9 mg/100 g   story that originated
    Calcium         6.2 mg/100 g   from the Jamie Uys
    Magnesium      10.5 mg/100 g   movie, Funny People,
    Phosphorus      8.7 mg/100 g   while very appealing
    Potassium      54.8 mg/100 g   and entertaining, is a
    Fructose        0.97 g/100 ml  myth. It takes a very
    Glucose         0.75 g/100 ml  large quantity of fruit to
    Sucrose         5.95 g/100 ml  produce a sufficient
                                   quantity of liquor that
would be enough to induce intoxication. Each seed
contains two or three edible nuts and oil can be pressed
from these and used as a preservative. The nuts can be Quote of the month
eaten raw or roasted and taste not to different from chosen by Henneli Bronkhorst
walnuts. Be careful the first time you eat these nuts, as
overindulgence will get you going and you will have to When you get into a tight place and everything goes
stay in close proximity to the toilet. The nut is high in against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on
protein (28%).                                                a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the
                                                              place and time that the tide will turn. – Harriet Beecher
The marula makes a wonderful shade tree in the Stowe.
garden. Improved strains of the marula can be planted in
an orchard format for the commercial production of fruit. Letters from Parsons
It is drought-resistant but young trees are frost-sensitive. Some years ago
Plant young plants or truncheons in scattered groups of by Thomas Oschger
5 to 10 individuals in a suitable habitat.


Parsons Nature Reserve                         May 2007 – Volume 8                                       Page 3 of 14
                                    Newsletter / Nuusbrief
After 2 to 3 windy and overcast days, towards late              Take it easy, but take it.
afternoon the weather settled and produced a really
beautiful sunset. The crimson light and cloud formations        Sal jy bly staan om uit te vind of die olifant
made an absolutely beautiful show. Even now at 7.39pm           wil skrikmaak of doodmaak?
as I write this letter, it is still spectacular, with ribs of   deur Annie-Louisa Schutte van Lala Ndlovu
white and grey cloud; as If the ocean were turned upside
                                                                My Liewe Bosveld Vriende,
down and the tide was coming in, simply the best.
                                                                Hier is nou die beloofde twee ander ware olifant stories
Beryl has been catching up on her gardening, as we
                                                                wat in ons geliefde Parsons plaasgevind het:
haven’t been down to Kringgat as often as we would
have wanted. Yesterday she had a run in with a wasp’s           Gabby en Tokkie De Cort van Ikhayalengwe het ʼn
nest and today she called me over to show me a snake            beloofde kuiertjie by Tsakane gaan aflê toe Neil Smollen
skin. I have seen many skins shed by snakes before, but         met woes swaaiende arms hulle inwag, toe hulle die
not a complete skin, this perfect, 3.35 meters long with        kamp binne ry. Tokkie wat gedink het dat Neil darem
the jaw and eye holes still intact. It’s amazing to think       nou buitengewoon bly was om hulle te ontvang het
this guy is now slithering around in a new outfit, chatting     spoedig agtergekom, dat Neil hulle daarop probeer
up the female snakes with new confidence, a pity us             attent maak, dat ʼn yslike paarlustige olifantbul besig was
humans can’t copy this act.                                     om hulle van agteraf te bestorm. Gabby en Tokkie wat
                                                                glad nie Tsakane se kamp geken het nie, het die kamp
With the recent good rains we have had, the bush is
                                                                binne gejaag en ʼn weg uit die kamp probeer soek om
looking its best, but what with all the geel apels all over
                                                                van die olifantbul te probeer wegkom. Toe hulle besef
the veld, it’s amazing how every year we have a
                                                                hulle pad eindig by ʼn doodloop het hulle elkeen met ʼn
domination of some plant sort, which reminds me of a
                                                                hond onder die arm, Gabby met Lizzie en Tokkie met
story; no offence meant, but most of us will remember
                                                                Sallie, uitgespring en na die naaste chalet laat spaander
Mr Roodtman who persisted in keeping his goats and
                                                                om skuiling te vind. Hulle was oortuig dat die olifant se
cattle on his 2 plots which by law could only support 1.3
                                                                grief, om een of ander rede, teen die voertuig gemik was
cows per plot. These animals roamed around at will and
                                                                en nie teen hulle nie. Die eerste chalet se deur was
later after many complaints a herdsman accompanied
                                                                gesluit en so ook elke ander een wat hulle na toe
them. Well, my story takes place before the employment
                                                                gehardloop het. Teen hierdie tyd was dit baie duidelik
of the herdsman.
                                                                dat hierdie paarlustige olifantbul se grief nie teen die
I would come down to Parson's to relax with nature but          voertuig gemik was nie. Nee! Hy was kwaadwillig
was repeatedly aggravated by the bleating of goats or           teenoor mense! Om lewe en dood moes hulle van een
the ringing of a cowbell outside my fence.                      chalet na die ander hardloop en skuiling soek teen ʼn
                                                                verwoede bosreus wat hulle wou vermorsel. Gabby het
                                                                die stalasie waarop die water tenk gestaan het met ʼn
                                                                uitkyk bo-op, opgemerk en vir Tokkie gesê dat hulle
                                                                soontoe moet hol en daar opklim om weg te kom van die
                                                                olifant. Genadiglik het hulle, nog steeds met Lizzie en
                                                                Sallie onder die arms, die uitkyk ongedeerd gehaal.
                                                                Daar moes hulle vir ʼn goeie uur sit en wag voor die
                                                                kwaadwillige ou bosreus pad gevat het. Almal was dit
                                                                verseker eens, hierdie was nie ʼn skrikmaak nie, dit was
                                                                beslis ʼn doodloop waaruit hulle ontsnap het.
                                                                Ons kom een middag so om en by 16uur Lala Ndlovu se
                                                                werf binne gery na ons maandelikse dorpsdag met ʼn
                                                                vrag vol kruideniers en werkers van Parsons op die
                                                                Isuzu, toe ons die grote Suaviter (fatsoenlik geaard) by
On this particular Saturday afternoon I was busy outside
                                                                die suiping op ons werf opmerk. Soos altyd is ons maar
when again I heard this tinkling sound, damn, those
                                                                versigtig, veral omdat ons teenaan hierdie groot
goats again, this time I had had enough, I grabbed my
                                                                olifantbul moet verby ry om voor ons huis te kan parkeer
sons pellet gun and walked down the road towards the
                                                                vir die groot aflaai. Ons klim af, laai af, hy gaan rustig
sound which was coming from the approach road to my
                                                                aan met takkies pluk en vreet van die sekelbos langs die
house. Following the road, I came across the cause of
                                                                suiping. Hy loer net so af en toe witoog na ons kant toe
the sound. There was my Dad with a bottle of water and
                                                                maar verder kon ons net sowel nie eers daar gewees
a bottle of Mint Punch tied together with a riempie, the
                                                                het nie. Hy swaai nie eers pantoffelvoet heen en weer
cause of the tinkling sound. He was accompanied by his
                                                                nie, want dis mos wat ʼn olifant gewoonlik doen as hy
dog and his Siamese cat. All had walked from 21 to 31
                                                                onrustig raak. Suaviter is ʼn ou kuiergas hier op Lala
because as he put it, “man, ek soek net so ʼn bietjie
                                                                Ndlovu. Ons reken ons ken hom al. Hy is nog altyd
geselskap.”
                                                                fatsoenlik van geaardheid. Met die werkers weg na hulle
Who could not welcome a guest of such calibre?                  huise toe, pak ek ons maand se voorraad weg en Johan


Parsons Nature Reserve                          May 2007 – Volume 8                                         Page 4 of 14
                                            Newsletter / Nuusbrief
besluit om hom op ʼn tuinstoel, sowat 20 meter van ons         bones. Rigor mortis had passed and the joints were
kuiergas af, te gaan tuismaak. Sauviter het naderhand         flexible.
besluit hy het genoeg van die sekelbos verorber en
                                                              The police were informed and after their investigation,
stadig nader beweeg na Johan toe. Johan het bly sit
                                                              the body was removed.
totdat sy kuiergas die helfte van die afstand tussen hulle
laat krimp het en toe stadig opgestaan en in die opening      The Investigation
van die motorhuis gaan staan. Nou was hulle seker so
                                                              The area was searched by the warden on 15/04/07 and
12 meter van mekaar af. Nog steeds het Suaviter voetjie
vir voetjie rustig nader beweeg terwyl hy sy slurp            with the GNR tracker and later by Limpopo conservation
nuuskierig na Johan toe uitgesteek het, sonder ʼn flap         officers on 16/04/07. Spoor of elephants were located
                                                              and examined and workers were spoken to. There were
van die ore of enige teken van aggressie. Toe hy 8
meter van Johan af staan het hy wat manlief is, stadig        no witnesses and the conclusion is based on the
maar seker padgegee. Johan is heilig oortuig dat hierdie      evidence of the scene, the investigators’ knowledge of
gemoedelike ou bosreus wou vriende maak. Ja,                  elephant behaviour, and their familiarity with the area.
moontlik maar my liewe vriende, wie sal nou bly staan         An extensive search of the reserve for aggressive
                                                              elephants was also conducted with no result.
om uit te vind? Nie ek nie, nie jy nie en ook nie Johan
nie. Wie weet dalk sou dit die storie van ʼn leeftyd           The Results
gewees het. Ons kon dalk ons volgende aankope gaan
doen het “te olifant” soos “te perd”. Maar, dit kon ook net   It is apparent that the two pedestrians encountered an
sowel tragies uitgedraai het en was ek dan nou, ʼn             elephant and detoured to go around it, heading away
grafsteen weduwee met die trein op pad na Pretoria.           from the tar road, crossing plot 126 and deeper into the
                                                              bush. As they ran the man headed in a northerly
Versigtige Groot Olifant Groete.                              direction and the woman headed in a southerly direction.
                                                              Approximately 50m from where she started running,
Deadly Elephant Encounter                                     there were at least 3 elephants and she ran into them in
The preliminary report by Crispian Barlow                     the thick bushes. The elephants apparently got a fright
Chief Warden, Grietjie Nature Reserve
                                                              and instinctively and defensively one of them grabbed
The Incident                                                  the woman and threw her to the ground. The elephants
                                                              then fled the scene and the woman died as a result of
On Saturday, 14th April 2007, at approximately 06H30
                                                              injuries sustained. An autopsy will reveal the actual
Lyina Mbokoda and her husband Moses Ndlovu were
                                                              cause of death but the possibilities are that she; (a) bled
walking from their residence at plot 98 towards Lyina’s
                                                              to death from her femoral artery or (b) as she is 59 years
place of work at plot 5, C.A.R.E. On plot 126 they
                                                              old and overweight – died of heart failure.
encountered an elephant and both parties fled in
opposite directions. Moses ran back towards home, and The Conclusion
Lyina, towards work. At 12H00 the same day, Moses
                                                            There have been several incidents of elephants
reported to plot 93 that they had been chased and that
                                                            encountering pedestrians, usually at short notice in the
he thought his wife had continued on to her work.
                                                            bush, or when the elephants are disturbed by
On Sunday, 15th April 2007, at 14H40, Moses reported aggressive human behaviour i.e. shooting, revving
to the main gate that his wife had apparently not been at vehicle engines, quad bikes etc.
work and therefore he was going to look for her. At
                                                            In this incident, the victim left the relative safety of the
14H50 the warden of the reserve was informed, and at
                                                            public tar road, running to avoid an elephant and went
15H10 the body of the deceased was found in the bush
                                                            into the thick bush where she unexpectedly encountered
approximately 70m in from the tar road.
                                                            three resting elephants. These elephants, also surprised
The Scene                                                   by the sudden encounter, reacted defensively and
                                                            tossed the women, then left the scene.
The area is bush with some mopane, commiphora and
bush willow trees of varying heights up to 2-3m and There are no signs of an aggressive elephant attack.
some marula trees of up to 15m. There is also a sandy The body was left alone, and not trampled, pulled apart,
stream bed.                                                 further gored, squashed by an elephant forehead or
                                                            pulled into the bush and covered with branches as often
The body of a black female was found lying face-down
                                                            occurs in genuine aggression situations.
with her arms stretched in front of her and hands
clasped, in the sandy stream bed. The nearest elephant This was an accidental encounter resulting in death.
spoor was 3.1m away. In the area were signs of other
                                                            Recommendations
elephants and blood spoor 4.6m away from the body.
Injuries of a tusk-sized hole to the inner right thigh were • Employers assume a more responsible approach to
observed. There was a small bite mark which appeared             the travel needs of their employees. 120 staff are
to have occurred after death, to her right calf region.          employed by 89 land owners on 120 plots within the
There were no other visible signs of injury and an               Grietjie Nature Reserve.
inspection of the body failed to locate any major broken


Parsons Nature Reserve                           May 2007 – Volume 8                                     Page 5 of 14
                                   Newsletter / Nuusbrief
•   Pedestrian traffic is minimized by signage and boast. In any case, it seems clear that it was the Earth
    education.                                     Goddess who sent the scorpion on its mission.
It is to be noted that the roads within the Grietjie Nature   Some stories have the scorpion killing Orion with its
Reserve are public roads and the reserve management           sting. However the general consensus is that he
cannot prevent anyone from travelling on them. Anyone         engaged the scorpion in battle but quickly realised its
in the bush may, however, be trespassing and subject to       armour was impervious to any mortal's attack. Orion
arrest.                                                       then jumped into the sea and swam toward Delos. But
                                                              Apollo had witnessed Orion's struggle with the scorpion
The Night Skies over Parsons – Orion                          and would not let him escape so easily. He challenged
by John Sadie                                                 his sister Artemis, who was an excellent shot, if she
Orion is the master of the summer skies. He lords over        could hit that small black object far away in the sea, the
the heavens from December to April, with his hunting          head, he told her, of an infamous and treacherous
dog Sirius trailing at his feet.                              villain. Artemis struck the object with her first shot. She
                                                              then swam out to retrieve her victim's corpse, and
When we look at the direction of Orion on summer              discovered she had killed Orion. Artemis implored the
evenings we are looking away from the centre of the           gods to restore his life, but Zeus objected. So she put
galaxy.                                                       Orion's image in the heavens.
                                                              In his eternal hunting, Orion is careful to keep well
                                                              ahead of the scorpion. In fact Orion has disappeared
                                                              over the horizon by the time Scorpio rises in the east, as
                                                              it becomes his turn to rule the evening sky.
                                                              Finding Orion should be no problem. Its stars are some
                                                              of the most familiar in all the heavens.
                                                              Question: Can you name the three stars that make up
                                                              Orion's Belt? (Answer below.)
                                                              Above the belt, slightly to the left, is Betelgeuse (alpha
                                                              Orionis).
                                                           Betelgeuse, the right arm of Orion (or armpit as the
                                                           name suggests), glows with a dull red. Although labelled
                                                           alpha Orionis, it is less bright than beta Orionis (Rigel),
                                                           in the opposite corner of the constellation, to the
                                                           southwest. Although slightly less bright, it is much larger,
The mythic tales of Orion go as far back as the Hittites, luminosity is estimated at around 250 Suns. If one were
who flourished from the 2000 BC to around 1200 BC.         to replace our Sun with Betelgeuse, its size would
                                                           completely engulf the Earth and extend as far as Mars.
One story from this culture gives an interesting account
of Orion's death. Here he is called Aqhat, and was a As the brightest star in Orion, Rigel ranks as the seventh
handsome and famous hunter. The Battle-Goddess Anat brightest star in all the heavens, just behind Capella. It is
fell in love with Aqhat, but when he refused to lend her a visual binary; its companion is much fainter, but quite
his bow, she sent another man to steal it. This chap visible if you are persistent enough.
bungled the job, and wound up killing Aqhat and The other corners of the constellation are formed by
dropping the bow into the sea. This is said to explain the Bellatrix (gamma Orionis) and Saiph (kappa Orionis). It
astronomical fact that Orion and the Bow (an older was once thought that all women born under the sign of
version of the constellation) drops below the horizon for Bellatrix would be fortunate and have the gift of speech.
two months every year.                                     The star's name is often translated as Female Warrior or
Like all myths borrowed from several sources over a Amazon, and has also been called the Amazon Star.
great length of time, the Greek stories offer many       The constellation's main feature is of course the three
variations. Generally speaking, Orion was known as the   stars which form the belt across the middle of Orion;
dweller of the mountain, and was famous for his          from west to east Mintaka, Alnilam, and Alnitak. Even
prowess both as a hunter and as a lover. But when he     the Bible makes reference to this famous group. God,
boasted that he would eventually rid the earth of all thewhile pointing out how all-powerful he was, is purported
wild animals, his doom may have been sealed.             to have asked Job if he (Job) was able to loose the
It might have been the Earth Goddess herself who sent bands of Orion (Job 38.31).
the deadly scorpion to Orion, or possibly Apollo, The last of these stars is also known as zeta Orionis,
concerned that Orion had designs on his sister, Artemis. and is a well known triple star system. The primary is a
Thus Apollo may have told the Earth Goddess of Orion's blue-white star, and its companion is a dull red. Close


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by, just to the south, is the renowned Horsehead          Inside the nebula is the fascinating four-star system
Nebula, a so-called dark nebula that is not visible in    known as The Trapezium: theta 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D -
scopes but quite spectacular in long-exposure             four stars held together by common gravity (actually at
photographs.                                              least two other stars are part of this complex system.)
                                                          They are visible in medium sized telescopes and, with
Binary stars in Orion:
                                                          the nebula, form one of the most beautiful binary
There are many double stars in this constellation visible systems in the heavens.
in small telescopes. Below are several selected from a
                                                          M43 (NGC 1982) is a detached part of the Orion Nebula,
wide list:
                                                          with a ninth magnitude central star. A dark lane of gas
Beta Orionis (Rigel) has a 10.4 visual magnitude separates M43 from M42, although the two are actually
companion. This is a fixed system.                        part of the same vast cloud.
Lambda Orionis (between Betelgeuse and Bellatrix) is M78 (NGC 2068) is a faint reflection nebula north east of
another fixed binary, with a 5.5 companion.                Alnitak (zeta Orionis), that looks best in long-exposure
                                                           photographs.
Theta 1A is a complex system of fixed stars. The four
brightest stars form The Trapezium, an outstanding The Horsehead Nebula is an intriguing and devilishly
multiple system for small telescopes.                      difficult dark nebula found just between zeta Orionis and
                                                           sigma Orionis, visible in medium to large telescopes
Theta 1B is also a fine binary, a triple system to the given the right sky conditions.
southeast of The Trapezium.
                                                           Local beliefs
Sigma Orionis is one of the few orbiting binaries found in
Orion. Component B has an orbit of 158 years and is The three stars of Orion’s Belt, imPhambano to the Zulu
one of the few components that trace a not-quite-perfect and amaRoza to the Xhosa, were well known to the
circle. That is to say, we see it nearly face on, as a people of Southern Africa. They were considered to
wheel spinning around its hub.                             depict three animals, usually warthogs. It is interesting
                                                           that both the ancient Greeks and the people of Southern
Zeta Orionis (1.9, 4.0) has a very slow orbit of 1509
                                                           Africa associated this constellation with hunting!
years.
                                                           The ancient astronomers linked most of the
Variable stars in Orion:                                   constellations around Orion into a great hunting scene.
A dozen stars in this constellation are visible in small Orion, the hunter, holds a club above his head as he
telescopes, but most of them are of the EA type of engages the fierce bull, while his hunting dogs support
eclipsing binaries, which change very little. These him. When we look at the scene here in the southern
include two stars of The Trapezium (theta 1A and 1B).      hemisphere, the scene is upside down.
EA variables are old stars, nearing the end of their     The Khoisan’s (Bushman) interpretation tells of Aob the
evolutionary process. The companion has grown to the     hunter (represented by the Hyades cluster) was sent by
                                                         his wives (the Pleiades) to shoot three zebra (Orion’s
size of a sub-giant, perhaps equal in size to its primary.
But their luminosities are quite different; thus, as the Belt). Sadly, his arrow (Orion’s scabbard) missed the
dimmer companion revolves around its primary,            zebra. Aob could not retrieve his arrow as a lion
variations in the total brightness occur.                (Betelgeuse) was nearby. The zebra survived and
                                                         eventually (when Orion set below the horizon) escaped
The maximum brightness occurs of course when the two to Earth.
are not eclipsed, with each one adding its luminosity to
the total output. Two minima also occur: the principal Snippets …
minimum is when the companion blocks out the primary; KNP cuts down on water usage
while a secondary minimum occurs when the companion
is eclipsed by the primary.                              KRUGER National Park management is introducing
                                                         strict water restrictions to preserve the park’s river
The only interesting Mira-type regular variable is U systems.
Orionis, which usually has a brightness of 4.8 but every
368.3 days it drops down to a mere 13.                   As from April 23, the amount of water used for irrigation
                                                         of the KNP camps, hostels, ranger posts, staff villages,
Deep Sky Objects in Orion:                               concession lodges, sports fields and entrance gates will
The Orion Nebula (M42) is perhaps the most be halved.
photographed deep sky object in the heavens, a vast Freek Venter, KNP Conservation Services head of
nebula of gas and dust exquisitely lit by surrounding department, said: “We realise that the restrictions will
stars.                                                       have a noticeable effect on tourist facilities as the lawns
This is a celestial nursery; soon (that's to say, in several will not be as lush and green as they have been for the
hundred million years) young stars will appear from this last few years, but we need to start conserving the little
wealth of cosmic matter.                                     water that we have.”


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New laws could tempt private landowners                     have been caught in a snare, my father and brother-in-
into conservation field                                     law set of to see if they could find and assist the hapless
by Tony Carnie, The Cape Times, September 2003              animal.
Submitted by Wessel Vorster
                                                            They started looking for the unfortunate animal by
DURBAN: South Africa is about to pass new laws that         following the mournful sound of something in fear and
could revolutionize nature conservation by providing        pain. Not to far from the camp they came across a very
private landowners with generous tax breaks when they       young Waterbuck calf not much older than two weeks in
buy land for conservation purposes.                         the grip of a Honey Badger. The Honey Badger
                                                            somehow got hold of the calf. We don’t know if the
Chippy Olver, Director-General of the Department of
                                                            Badger caught the calf or if it fell and broke a leg, we will
Environmental Affairs and Tourism, told Journalists at
                                                            never know. However, the Waterbuck was damaged so
the World Parks Congress in Durban that the Property
                                                            badly that nothing could be done for it. The next
Rating Bill and Protected Areas Bill contained incentives
                                                            morning, the site of the previous night was visited. No
for landowners to consider forming partnerships with
                                                            trace of the calf could be found.
national parks and other officially-recognized protected
areas.                                                    Years later I took my kids to meet Stoffel the resident
                                                          Honey Badger at Moholoholo, near Hoedspruit. It was
Olver said he understood the Property Rating Bill would
                                                          an awesome encounter with Stoffel being adorable and
be signed into law by the end of the year, and possibly
                                                          extremely playful. At first I didn’t want to tell the Ranger
within a matter of weeks. To qualify for the tax breaks,
                                                          there about the episode with the Badger at Yamani but
buyers of private land would have to enter into binding
                                                          eventually did. He confirmed what was written in the
contractual arrangements with state nature conservation
                                                          newsletter about Badgers emasculating animals even as
authorities.
                                                          big as buffalo and there is a recorded case of a Buffalo
While the exact terms of such arrangements needed to that died of the wounds inflicted during emasculatement.
be assessed in more detail, Olver said he believed that
                                                          Extraordinary.
almost overnight it would encourage "every private
landowner to think very hard" about the benefits of such The Gecko – Bibron’s thick-toed gecko
contractual arrangements.                                 by John Sadie
Speaking at the launch of the latest United Nations / Afrikaans:         Gekko, Nagakkedis
Wold Conservation Union List of Protected Areas report, Scientific name: Pachydactylus bibronii
Olver said, "I think we have some good news instead of
doom and gloom."
Olver said the country now had 403 legally protected
areas covering 6.6% of the land area and 17% of its
coastline. If privately owned conservation land were
included, this amounted to more than 10% of the land
surface.
The Honey Badger of Yamani
by Bosman Kruger, Yamani
                                                           There’s not much to say about this particular species of
I read the article about the Honey Badger in the April gecko, so I’ll be concentrating on geckos at the family
2006 News Letter with great interest and admiration. level.
The Honey Badger has become our camp mascot you
might say.                                                 The family Gekkonidae includes all the geckos and is
                                                           characterised by the absence of large scales on the
There is actually a very interesting story about Honey head; the eyes are covered by a transparent spectacle
Badgers and Yamani (Plot 66 and 90), and this will also under which the eyes can move, and most are devoid of
explain the Honey Badger at our gate if anyone a movable eyelid, exceptions being the barking geckos
wondered what the connection between Yamani and (Ptenopus spp.).
Honey Badgers was.
                                                           The skin is soft and in many species, such as the
One winter about 15 years ago, long before Parsons velvety gecko (Homopholis wahlbergi), tears easily,
was a reserve, and fences and gates were all over the which helps the animal to escape. These animals are
place, my father-in-law, Helmut Hanaczeck and family also well known for the ease with which they shed their
visited Yamani for the weekend. They spent that tails should they be attacked.
particular evening in the lapa having supper, listening to
the cries of far off Jackal, when they heard the cries of This family of unusual lizards has an amazing array of
something in despair not to far from camp. When the feet and eyes. The different species and genera are
crying didn’t stop after a few minutes, it was clear that easily identified by their feet which is indicative of the
something was in distress. Fearing that an animal might type of substrate on which it moves. Geckos, such as


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Bibron's thick-toed gecko (Pachydactylus bibronii) have         gecko subfamilies Eublepharinae and Diplodactylinae
enlarged toe pads along which there are parallel rows of        are now treated as separate families, and do not occur
scales or lamellae. All along these lamellae are                in Southern Africa. Two gekkonid subfamilies are now
hundreds of tiny microscopic hairs which enable the             recognized: the Teratoscincinae, which includes a single
lizard to cling to vertical surfaces such as glass or walls     genus consisting of three species that are restricted to
or rocks even to the extent of being able to move along         the near east: and the Gekkoninae, which is distributed
upside down. Many species also have claws, which in             throughout the tropical regions and includes 607 species
some species are retractile between the scansors. The           in 63 genera. Geckos are well represented in southern
opposing digits of the chameleon enable it to obtain a          Africa, 14 genera (four of which are endemic) and 64
stronger grip on branches swaying in the wind. Lizards          species (42 of which are endemic) being present.
which run on soft sand surfaces such as sand dunes
have rows of small scales in a fringe along one edge            Totsiens Oom Pierre
which gives them better traction and enables them to            Petrus Stephanus van Zyl - 17/02/1927 – 03/05/2007
escape predators and to forage on the fast moving
beetles associated with these habitats.
The gecko’s eyes are usually large, mostly in a vertical
plane, with complicated pupils that dilate widely at night
and close to pin-pricks during the day. Most geckos’ lack
movable eyelids as these have become fused and
transparent so that each eye is covered by a spectacle.
To keep this clean, they lick it with the long, fat tongue.
Most other lizards have eyelids. Some which are
adapted to sandy areas have a transparent shield in the
lower eyelid which allows them to see even when the
eyelids are closed during a sandstorm or similar
situation.
The iris of the gecko is beautifully filigreed with gold and
the pupil, particularly of nocturnal species, is vertical and
when closed consists of four pinholes each one allowing
an image to fall onto the back of the eye and therefore
the four act as an image intensifier allowing them to see
even in very poor light. Diurnal lizards have round pupils
which open and close according to the light intensity,
much the same as that of the human being.
Although a few geckos are diurnal, most are nocturnal
and completely harmless. They can withstand much
lower temperatures than most other lizards, and live in a
large variety of different habitats, including cool
mountain tops and temperate regions; they are most
common in deserts, which may become very cold at
night. Many have adapted well to urbanization and live          Begrafnisbrief
in homes and factories, and have spread around the
world by hiding in packing cases and the holds of ships.        Dit was die wil van die Vader om ons geliefde weg te
All are oviparous (egg-laying) and usually lay two              neem op die ouderdom van 80 jaar. Ons dank die Here
relatively large, hard-shelled eggs; a single egg is laid by    vir sy lewe van liefde en diens. Terwyl daar droefheid in
some         geckos,     particularly    the     American       ons hart is, gun ons hom rus in die Here se ewige
sphaerodactylines. Many species lay several clutches            woning.
during a breeding season, and utilize communal egg-
                                                                Sy heengaan word diep betreur deur sy broer, Moses
laying sites. They store calcium for the egg shells in
                                                                van Zyl, dogters & skoonseuns, Sophia & Fred Durand,
special neck glands called endolymphatic sacs. Some
                                                                Pietro & Dries Coetzee, seun, Willie van Zyl,
species reproduce by laying eggs that do not require
                                                                kleinkinders, Freddie & Nickey Durand, Andries
fertilization (parthenogenetically). Many live in colonies
                                                                Coetzee, Isabel van Wyk, agterkleinseun, Dean Durand
and have developed a range of different sounds to allow
                                                                en vervreemde eggenoot, Isabel Schoeman.
them to communicate in the dark. Most are drably
coloured in buffs, greys and browns, with the exception         A message from Per & Helle Grunert, Owners, Mpala
of a few colourful diurnal groups (eg. Phetsuma).               Safari Lodge
Typical geckos are among the most diverse lizards and We are so sorry to hear that Oom Pierre has passed
are widely distributed throughout the world. The primitive away. He was such a nice person and we all loved him.


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Then again, we are also happy, because we were able           Dit het lankal gebeur maar so lets kan ʼn mens nie
to get to know him and to have him staying in the house.      vergeet nie. Dis in-gebrand om verewig en altyd te
The peaceful life was the kind of life that he liked and he   onthou. Net ʼn paar van die ooggetuies is al stil, maar die
just loved the place (except when the Elephant were too       wat nog jonk was leef nog almal.
hard on his fence and tomatoes).
                                                              Die jaar? 1966. Die plek? Die plaas Goedehoop, nou ʼn
I remember when we bought the farm, and the seller            deel van die Umbabat Reservaat, wat toe nog nie
was told to tell everybody on the property to leave. We       bestaan het nie. Dis eers geproklameer in Mei 1969.
didn't know about old Oom Pierre. One day when I went
                                                            Dis Desember, warm, ja vrekwarm. Die rooigrond brand
there to inspect what we had actually bought, I met Oom
                                                            jou voete en jy bly middeldag in die koelte. Snags sing
Pierre in his garden. The garden, at the time was very
                                                            die sonbesies byna regdeur. Die meeste bome staan
small and could barely give the man something to do. I
                                                            vaal verlep, net die Mopanies hou nog. ʼn Stofwolk hang
was the ugly foreigner who came to see if everybody
                                                            oor die suipdam soos die Blouwildebeeste daar
had moved out. But I immediately felt comfortable with
                                                            rondmaal op soek na water. Troppe Rooibokke en ʼn
Oom Pierre and instantly got the idea that he should
                                                            paar Koedoes staan netdaar. Vreet nie meer nie. Die
stay and supply the lodge with the vegetables that he
                                                            weiding is nog nie te sleg nie maar die water is op. Die
was not able to sell or eat himself. I also realised that
                                                            enigste windpomp is stukkend en sal dadelik herstel
the old man would have nothing else to do if he moved
                                                            moet word. Deur die nag met die lig van lanterns werk
to the city. I was sure that moving to the city would have
                                                            ons aan die pomp. ʼn Goeie hardekool vuur word aan die
killed him in a short time.
                                                            brand gehou, want die Leeus en ander roofdiere kom
When I asked him if he wanted to stay and to continue konsentreer op die dorstige wild by die suipgat. Doerie
to work his garden, he just looked at me and the tears tyd was dit nog wilde wêreld en jy moes maar katvoet
started running from his eyes. There was nothing better loop, veral in die nag.
that he wanted to do, or elsewhere he would have
                                                            Vroeg-middag die volgende dag was die pomp
preferred to stay. I am sure that, that day I gave him
                                                            herstelwerk klaar en daar was water, water, water. Nog
what he wanted for his years to come.
                                                            een iets. Die windpomp se kop moet geolie word. Ek
This was 4 years ago, but I am sure that Oom Pierre klim op. Hier bo waar die vier pote aan die kop van die
was happy until the end of his life. Thinking of it, I feel pomp vaskom sit so wragtie ʼn paar grys-wit
that everybody should end their lives as peacefully as boompaddas. O, ja dis nou baaie mooi. Een van julle
old Oom Pierre did.                                         gaan saam met my kamp toe. Ek vat een. Die ding voel
                                                            natterig,maar sag en koel. Seker die sweet wat horn so
Test your eyes!!!                                           koel hou, asook sy kleur. Byna spierwit, seker om die
by Terry Sadie                                              hitte te weerkaats. Wat ʼn pragtige diertjie. Net wat ek
We will publish an eye of                                   soek vir die volgende fotografiese kompetisie. Padda, ek
some creature in each issue                                 en jy gaan nog ʼn lang pad loop. Suid Afrikaanse
of the newsletter, be it                                    Fotografie salonne en dalk nog intenasionale salonne.
mammal, reptile or bird,                                    Ons weet mos hoe. Minstens ʼn "Certificate of Merit
which occurs in Parsons.                                    Award". Kom saam in my hempsak. Die 200m van die
Can you recognize the                                       pomp af na die kamp toe sorg ek goed dat die
animal from the picture of                                  waardevolle stukkie fotografiese material nie dalk
this eye?                                                   verloor nie. By die kamp eers word ʼn bietjie gekyk na die
                                                            klein wonderpadda. Maar ag hoe jammer, die linkse
Please email your answer to                                 voorpoot se een toontjie is af. Lankal af en gesond
terry@sangasava.com               or                        geword.
SMS the answer together with your name and farm
number to 083-282-9979. We will keep a tally of the Dis nou jammer. Geen Foto beoordeelaar sal so ʼn foto
correct answers and publish the results in the following aanvaar nie. Ek moet nog ʼn padda gaan haal. Dan't ek
issue as well as a complete picture of the creature.        twee. Geselskap vir mekaar, want dis te laat om nou
                                                            fotos te neem, dit sal in die Vrystaat gedoen moet word.
Thank you to the few who responded to the eye-test in Die tweede padda is perfek. Nou word die twee in ʼn
the April issue. It is the eye of a gecko, to be more kartondoos geplaas met gaatjies in en gras binne-in.
precise, Bibron’s thick-toed gecko. It had most of you Vrystaat toe. Die volgende dag in die Vrystaat was nog
stumped. No one guessed it correctly. We had one ʼn teleurstelting. Tot my spyt. Die tweede padda is net
guess of snake and another of reptile.                      dood. Ek voel soos ʼn skurk. My gewete ry my. Ek voel
                                                            soos die keer toe ek as ʼn jong seun op ʼn Sondag op
Sowaar as Padda Manel Dra                                   pad na die Sondagskool, ʼn jong onskuldige Jan Fiskaal
deur Albertus Britz, submitted by Wessel Vorster
                                                            met ʼn voëlrek geskiet het. Sy vlerk was net af, en ek kon
Ja, ʼn storie oor ʼn padda. Nee, gʼn storie nie, dis ʼn ware niks aan horn doen nie. Hy moes maar self doodgaan.
verhaal wat ek wil vertel en julle kan my glo. As ek wou Ek het my voëlrek net daar weggesmyt.
lieg, sou ek oor lets anders lieg, maar nie dié keer nie.


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Hierdie padda met sy af toon sal ek nou ook maar aan        population living quaintly in huts, bones through their
sy lot moot oorlaat. So 50m van die huis af is ʼn            noses, eating picturesque cuisine. Photographs of the
peerboom by ʼn eende dam. Daar los ek die arme padda         gleaming towers of Johannesburg and the white-gabled
in die boom en vergeet verder van fotos neem. Gelukkig      houses of the Cape did nothing to dispel this fantasy,
vergeet ek na ʼn paar dae van die onreg wat ek die           after all, if this was how Disney portrayed Africa, who
padda aangedoen het. Dit word Feestyd rondom                was Africa to argue?
Kersfees en Nuwe Jaar en die padda is iets van die
                                                            In case you think I exaggerate, here are some queries I
verlede. So't ek gedink.
                                                            got from an American couple planning to visit South
So gaan die maande om en dit word Julie, Augustus           Africa: they wanted to know if they should hire a 4x4, or
skoolvakansie. Dis weer tyd om Bosveld toe te gaan.         did we have roads? Did the country have hospitals?
Die vragmotor word gelaai met baie gereedskap en            Could we provide maps, or should they get them in the
bagasie. ʼn Maand lange vakansie lê voor asook               States? (If you are wondering, they arrived, had a
bouwerk op die plaas Goedehoop. Vroeg een oggend            wonderful holiday and went back with many
vertrek ons. Die ryp lê wit en ys kristalle hang aan die    photographs of the Karoo and Golden Gate and Table
draadheinings. Halfpad by Belfast hou ons stil toe die      Mountain, all completely new discoveries.)
son net opkom. Ons drink lekker warm koffie en eet
                                                          And they are not an aberration. Just ask tour guides and
lekker padkos. Frikadelle, gekookte eiers en toe
                                                          game rangers about some of the questions that get
broodjies.
                                                          asked by international tourists that show a fundamental
En dit? Wat sit hier? Ons glo dit nie. Die einste padda. disbelief in the evidence of the visitors’ own eyes. Like
Na 7 maande het hy 50m van die Peerboom af na die the visitor to a game reserve who kept hanging over the
stoor gekom en op die vrag geklim wat ons die vorige side of the game drive vehicle and staring at the ground.
aand gelaai het. Hy gaan bos toe terug, en my kop The ranger kept an eye on the track, too, wondering if
begin raas. Ek besef ek het hier te doen met iets wat ek she was seeing some spoor that was eluding him.
niks van verstaan nie. Die padda bly sit waar hy sit en Finally, he couldn’t stand it anymore and asked her what
ons ry verder. In die bos, die eerste ding wat ek doen is she was looking at. “It’s all this sand,” she said
om die padda 200m vêr na die pomp te neem, bo op die admiringly. “Where did you get it from?”
toring te klim en die padda te los waar ek hom 7
                                                          If you add to that the visitors who think that hippos laid
maande gelede gekry het. Niemand praat verder oor die
                                                          eggs, who believe that zebras hunted in packs and who
padda nie. Almal is skaam-bang, stomgeslaan en ek
                                                          are regularly terrified by geckos, you will think that
wens ek kon my gewete verruil vir iemand anders sʼn.
                                                          perhaps we have quite a task ahead of us.
Miskien ruil vir die padda sʼn.
                                                          All the marketing and branding around 2010 will most
Ons werk aan bospaaie, doen bouwerk, jag en geniet
                                                          likely dispel some of these stubborn prejudices, but then
die tyd vir ʼn volle maand voor ons weer op pak en
                                                          I have to ask the question: do we really want to? Aren’t
Vrystaat toe gaan. Vroeg een oggend vertrek ons terug
                                                          we just a little bit proud of the fact that the international
en kom kort voor sononder by die huis. Omtrent so
                                                          airport terminal for the South-Eastern Botswana border
100m voor ons by die huis kom, kry ek die skok van my
                                                          is a bright-blue tin outhouse? Don’t we feel smug that
lewe. Vlak voor my oë, aan die buitekant van die
                                                          our rivers still sport ‘Beware of the crocodile’ signs? And
vragmotor se winskerm sit hy. Reg in die middel voor my
                                                          that in game reserves dung beetles have right of way?
oë. Op my woord. Dieselfde Padda met die-linkerpoot af
                                                          Don’t we just love the story of the fruit-salad bowl in the
toon.
                                                          dining room that at one stage was decorated by a three-
Ek het die vrag afgelaai, die vragmotor in die stoor gaan meter python? Or that, in coastal areas, you keep doors
bêre en die padda het net daar bly sit. Ek het hom daar and windows closed at all times to prevent monkeys
gelos, maar hy't my nog nooit gelos nie.                  from raiding the bread bin?
Ouens aan wie ek die storie, (nee die verhaal) vertel het, If we didn’t, we wouldn’t have van der Merwe jokes
het al vir my gesê ek is padda bedonnerd. Miskien is ek (most of whom, still live in the north-eastern reaches of
... ek kan daar niks aan doen nie.                         our country). We wouldn’t have our tales of growing up
                                                           in areas where the dustbin lids had to be tied on to
Een ding is ek seker van, en dis dat ek toe ek horn die
                                                           prevent attacks from scavenging hyenas. Or, my most
eerste dag op die windpomp gekry het en vir hom gesê
                                                           enduring favourite, passengers waiting for the train at
het: "padda ek en Jy gaan nog ʼn lang pad saam loop".
                                                           the Sabie station who complained that they were
Dit was die waarheid, ONS HET.
                                                           constantly menaced by lions, and the municipality
Something a little different ...                           responded by providing ladders so that they could climb
                                                           up trees.
You know you live in SA when…
by Niki Moore

A FEW years ago there was this perception in foreign
countries that South Africa was a wild and savage place,
a massive stretch of jungle with broad rivers and a


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These are the stories that have made living in South             strong bond with a giant male century-old tortoise in an
Africa so special, and if you don’t have one you are the         animal facility in the port city of Mombassa, officials said.
poorer for it. And even the onslaught of the 21st century
                                                                 The hippopotamus, nicknamed Owen and weighing
has not made a dent in the South African pride in
                                                                 about 300 kilograms (650 pounds), was swept down the
bushveld hickness, and so I bring you the South African
computer dictionary:
Monitor: Keeping an eye on the braai.
Download: Get the firewood off the bakkie.
Hard drive: Trip back home without any beer.
Keyboard: Where you hang the bakkie and bike keys.
Windows: What you shut when it’s cold.
Screen: What you shut in the mosquito season.
Byte: What mosquitoes do.
Bit: What mosquitoes did.
MegaByte: What mosquitoes at the lake do.
Chip: A bar snack.
Microchip: The bits left in the bottom of the bag.
Modem: What you did to the lawn.
Dot Matrix: Oom Jan Matrix’s wife.
Laptop: Where the cat sleeps.
                                                              Sabaki River into the Indian Ocean, and then forced back to
Software: The plastic knives and forks you get at KFC.
                                                              shore when tsunami waves struck the Kenyan coast on
Hardware: Real stainless steel knives and forks you bought at
                                                              December 26, before wildlife rangers rescued him. "It is
Checkers.
                                                              incredible. A less-than-a-year-old hippo has adopted a male
Mouse: What eats the grain in the shed.
Mainframe: What holds the shed up.                            tortoise, about a century old, and the tortoise seems to
Web: What spiders make.                                       be very happy with being a mother," ecologist Paula
Website: The shed, or under the veranda.                      Kahumbu, who is in charge of Lafarge Park, told AFP.
Cursor: The old bloke next door who swears a lot.             "After it was swept away and lost its mother, the hippo
Search engine: What you do when the bakkie won’t go.          was traumatized. It had to look for something to be a
Yahoo: What you say when the bakkie does go.                  surrogate mother. Fortunately, it landed on the tortoise
Upgrade: A steep hill.                                        and established a strong bond. They swim, eat and
Server: The lady at the pub who brings out the food.          sleep together," the ecologist added. "The hippo follows
Mail server: The bloke at the pub who brings out the food.
User: The neighbour who keeps borrowing things.
                                                              the tortoise exactly the way it followed its mother. If
Network: Repairing the fishing net.                           somebody approaches the tortoise, the hippo becomes
Internet: When the network becomes complicated.               aggressive, as if protecting its biological mother,"
Netscape: When the fish manoeuvres out of reach.              Kahumbu added. "The hippo is a young baby, he was
Online: When the laundry gets hung out.                       left at a very tender age and by nature, hippos are social
Offline: When the pegs don’t hold the washing up.             animals that like to stay with their mothers for four
                                               years," he explained. This is a real story that shows that
Story printed with kind permission from Travel News Now.
www.travelinfo.co.za                           our differences don't matter much when we need the
                                               comfort of another. We could all learn a lesson from
The Hippo and the Tortoise                     these two creatures of God, "Look beyond the
“Much of life can never be explained, but only differences and find a way to walk the path together."
witnessed" - Rachel Naomi Remen, MD




NAIROBI (AFP) - A baby hippopotamus that survived "Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others
the tsunami waves on the Kenyan coast has formed a cannot keep it from themselves."



Parsons Nature Reserve                                May 2007 – Volume 8                                     Page 12 of 14
                                            Newsletter / Nuusbrief
Puzzle Page
by Terry Sadie                                                               Quick Clues:
                                                                             Across:
I have always been a cryptic crossword fanatic but this is the first time
                                                                             1. Large cat (7)
I have tried my hand at compiling a crossword. It has taken me a
                                                                             4. Portion of land (5)
great deal of time, which I felt was a bit over the top. Please let me
                                                                             6. Mean (7)
know if you enjoy having a puzzle page. I will spend my time on more
                                                                             8. Alcoholic drink (6)
important things if the response is poor. However, time permitting, I will
                                                                             9. Reverberating (7)
try, but not guarantee, to compile a puzzle for every issue, should the
                                                                             12. Degree of deviation (5)
response be favourable.
                                                                             13. Stain (3)
Two Speed Crossword                                                          15. One who inspires fear or dread (7)
                                                                             17. Legume (3)
                                                                             19. Enormous (5)
                                                                             21. Sex hormone (7)
                                                                             23. Lithe-bodied round-headed fissiped mammal (6)
                                                                             24. Bewitch (7)
                                                                             25. Heaps (5)
                                                                             26. Shaken (7)
                                                                             Down:
                                                                             1. Pages of a book (6)
                                                                             2. Reverend (7)
                                                                             3. Female antelope (3)
                                                                             4. Raptor (4,5)
                                                                             5. Brought around (6)
                                                                             7. Trap (3)
                                                                             10. Indication (4)
                                                                             14. One who has achieved a high level of spiritual insight. (4)
                                                                             16. Within a short distance (7)
                                                                             18. Flower (6)
                                                                             20. Modified (6)
                                                                             22. Very heavy (3)
                                                                             24. Make a mistake (3)

                                                                             Sudoku with a difference




Cryptic Clues:
Across:
1. Feline pelted with spots (7)
4. Female arms being units where we stay (5)
6. On par by the way with anger (7)
8. A spirit using the phonetic alphabet (6)
9. Sound repeating coming back with mixed spirit (7)
12. Break salt with pole for an angle (5)
13. Stain hidden in beady eyed cochineal (3)
15. Small company with broken surge causes terror (7)
17. Sweet flower from the vegetable garden (3)
19. Upset glare is gross (5)
21. Crazy editors have an organic compound to make a hormone (7)
23. Cat has secret giraffe lineage inside (6)
24. One disorganised, can then make an entrance to charm (7)
25. Hoard busted plums for a swelling (5)
26. Infant toy shaken by the hot and bothered (7)
Down:
1. Go away in the autumn and thumb through the pages (6)
2. Clergy by the river sounding half like a vegetable (7)
3. Department of Energy, initially, makes a note of the antelope (3)
4. Tilapia, for example, with two strokes under par for raptor (4,5)         I’m sure you’ve seen the normal sudoku that consists of 3X3 squares
5. Woke up and became excited (6)                                            where you use the numbers 1 to 9, well, here is one that is infinitely
7. Trap a spirit (3)                                                         more difficult.
10. Hint for evidence (4)
14. Take part of yoghurt, and I am leaving out the pain for a                Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, column and each of
    philosopher (4)                                                          the 4X4 squares contains all the digits from 1 to 9 and the letters, A, B,
16. Within range for broken hearts including love (7)                        C, D, E, F and G.
18. Flower reaching maturity (6)                                             Remember, this is a logic puzzle and not a mathematical puzzle.
20. Amend pressman who embraces a strange diet (6)
22. This weight is upset, not very heavy (3)                                 The answers to both puzzles will be published next month.
24. Slip and stray during errand (3)




Parsons Nature Reserve                                     May 2007 – Volume 8                                                     Page 13 of 14
                                Newsletter / Nuusbrief
                                      The Parsons 2006/2007 Committee
  Members                      Portfolio           Phone              Fax                Cell          Radio
  Dr Gabby de Cort                              013-643-1741      013-643-1289       082-572-5954       Yes
  André de Klerk          Treasurer             015-781-5414      015-781-9102       082-808-1477
  Jerry Gibbs             Secretary             083-658-9066                         083-229-1570       Yes
  Ken Hartman             Chairman              015-781-1225      086-611-8722       082-879-7842       Yes
  Thomas Oschger                                                  011-867-7444       082-504-8096
  John Sadie              Vice-Chairman         015-793-1873      086-510-0078       083-282-9979       Yes
  Terry Sadie             Newsletter            015-793-1873      086-510-0078       083-282-9979       Yes
  André Scheepers                               015-793-3990      015-793-2779       083-268-2861
  Annie-Louisa Schutte                                                               082-338-2106
  Johan Schutte                                                                      082-457-8511
  Dr EJ Smith (Smithie)                         013-752-5740      013-752-6796       082-893-0346
  Wessel Vorster                                                                     083-278-4949
  Mpala Safari Lodge                            083-654-0883                         082-416-5295
  Balule River Camp                                                                  083-639-9503

  The Parsons Gate                                                                   072-850-5259       Yes



                              Our Banking Details
          Account Name:                      Parsons Private Nature Reserve


          Bank:                              ABSA


          Branch Number:                     33-43-52


          Account Number:                   4058542282




                                                           Parsons Nature Reserve Golf Shirts
                                                        Having an identity gives you a sense of belonging. Be
                                                        proud to be part of the Parsons Community and wear
                                                        your Parsons golf-shirt with pride when going to town.
                                                        If you would like a golf shirt with the Parsons Nature
                                                        Reserve logo, please contact John or Terry Sadie at
                                                        015-793-1873 / 083-282-9979 or visit us at
                                                        Sangasava, portion 20 Parsons.
                                                        Golf shirt with PNR logo only …………………….... R80.00
                                                        Golf shirt with PNR logo and YOUR farm name …R100.00
                                                                       Sizes: S, M, L, XL & XXL.




Parsons Nature Reserve                     May 2007 – Volume 8                                     Page 14 of 14

				
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