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Prof George van der Spuy is a memorable man in all respects. From his childhood in Uniondale he followed his muse to eventually earn the highest respect in the world of music. Annalize Mouton, who studied with him for five years and also obtained her licenciate in singing under Prof, revisits her beloved tutor – page 10. Photo: Maré Mouton

Number 17 : April 2006

 

A village garden

When we moved into our new house in Stanford two years ago, we knew we preferred indigenous plants to those from foreign shores. The only concession was some roses and lavender at the front door. Since then we have planted 39 indigenous trees (plus one from South America, a leopard tree, that was sold to us as a local).

The rewards have been gratifying. We have identified over seventy bird species in our immediate surroundings. Yesterday, Annalize photographed fourteen different kinds of birds within an hour. There are sunbirds every day, attracted by the indigenous flowering shrubs. Over thirty waxbills join the four kinds of doves and other birds at the feeders, which I replenish at least twice a day. They even come onto the stoep while we are sitting there.

As the plants grow, more birds are making this their home. A pair of Robin-Chats have apparently bred in the honeysuckle at the fence, and we now see the parents with their chick hopping about. Before that, Fiscal Flycatchers hatched a chick and we still watch the three of them catching insects. Bullbulls, Drongos, three types of sparrows, Hoopoes, Brown-hooded Kingfishers, Paradise Flycatchers. And then there are the butterflies as well!

 

Contents

4. Agulhas lighthouse saved from the bulldozers

By Maré Mouton

This historic landmark attracts thousands of visitors, but its light was almost dimmed for ever

 

10. Prof George van der Spuy – Music maestro from Uniondale

By Annalise Mouton

Meet this amazing man who still teaches singing at age 87

 

16. Robertson, then and now

By Anita de Kock

The town’s past and present history is preserved in the Robertson Museum, housed at Druid’s Lodge

 

19. A special offer for our readers from Jonathan Ball Publishers:

Buy a travel guide at a reduced price and get a free touring atlas

 

20. Every track tells him a story

Pokkie Benade of the Karoo National Park uses his tracking skills not for hunting, but for conservation

 

22. His art flows freely

By Helena Marincowitz

Well-known artist Hekkie Moos of Prince Albert draws all the time, on anything

 

24. After ashes, beauty

New and familiar plants appear in the blackened earth after the recent fires in the Overberg. Text by Helene Coetzee, photographs by Godfrey Coetzee

 

28. Zuurbraak – a bit of paradise

We follow in the footsteps of Molly D’Arcy Thompson to this historic mission village, another forgotten corner of the Cape

 

34. Nuy – where a farm was bartered for a whip

This well-known wine-producing area started out as livestock country where some land wasn’t worth much

 

38. New biological agent curtails Rooikrans

By Judy Moore

A tiny midge is the latest biological agent that helps to control the spread of this alien weed

 

40. Talons of death

Nico Myburgh introduces, in words and stunning pictures, the fearsome Crowned Eagle. Read full text

 

44. Country Table

Try this nourishing beef casserole

 

46 Salad fresh from the sea

Louie Lemmer continues her series on edible seaweeds

 

48. Tail piece

A rather fishy story from the Karoo: What are the goldfish doing in the plastic bags? View as PDF

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Lantern, Cape Agulhas lighthouse

A visitor is dwarfed by the massive lantern assembly weighing 8 tonnes in the Agulhas lighthouse. The historic building would have been razed had it not been for some hard, dogged work by the local community

Prof George van der Spuy & Manuel Escorcio

Prof George van der Spuy with the promising young (now famous) Manuel Escorcio

March lilies (Amaryllis belladonna)

March lilies (Amaryllis belladonna) amongst the blackened surroundings. The many smaller green plants are watsonias, which will provide a spectacular display once they flower

Village scene, Zuurbraak, South Africa

Livestock is a common sight in Zuurbraak

Glen Oak farmhouse (1810), Nuy Valley near Worcester

Glen Oak, built in 1810 on what was then Kloppersbosch at Nuy

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