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Number 18 : June 2006


Dancing & trees

We don’t select a theme for any issue of this magazine, choosing material from a wide range that broadly concerns man in his natural, social and cultural environment. Each issue starts with a list of possible stories, but there are many changes along the way. The content is only final when the last page has been made up.

This issue, however, seems to have chosen a theme for itself: music, dancing and trees. It started with olive festivals in Prince Albert and the Riebeek Valley, and we met the artist who had painted "Dancing with Olives". We heard olive growers speak passionately about the inner life of the trees. Following in Molly D’Arcy Thompson’s steps, we went up Piquetberg Mountain and saw old oaks and the lovely persimmon trees pictured below. In Hermanus, aloes were growing outside their usual habitat, and in the middle of the dry Karoo we found a town proud of its old pear trees. At home we were watching a pair of Spotted Eagle Owls to see if they will nest in the basket in our willow. In the end the Dixieland band went on our cover and bagpipes on the last page, with in between an octogenarian ballerina who dances through life. A happy issue indeed!



5. Grassroots project in Darling

The people of Darling come together at Evita se Perron to teach others new skills


6. The growing taste for olives

Text & photographs by Maré Mouton

More South Africans are consuming olives and the local industry is growing vigorously – and winning prizes


12. She dances through life

By Annalize Mouton

Traudel Groenewoud (now 80) never made it onto the big stages as a dancer, but she dances every day


15. Special book offer for our readers:

The Old Buildings of the Cape and A Cape Camera


16. Beaufort West’s legacy of trees

In this Karoo town nobody is allowed to cut down a tree. Read full article (PDF).


20. Painting the goodness and colour of life

Alexis Bester combines imaginary figures with fanciful landscapes


22. Fertile is the valley on top of the Piquetberg

We follow in the footsteps of Molly D’Arcy Thompson, who tells of John Versfeld of Moutonsvallei, and find old oaks and flaming persimmons in this forgotten corner.


28. A garden full of aloes

Dr Erich Kuschke, medical doctor and amateur botanist, has established an aloe garden at Fernkloof Nature Reserve


32. A mother’s vision secured the Rabie future at Nuy

The only Rabie son at one stage wanted to leave the farm but was persuaded to stay and fight – Annalize Mouton continues the history of this fertile valley near Worcester


38. A wasp counterattack to save pine trees

By Geoff Tribe

An alien wasp that came in on a packing crate cost the country millions in lost timber, spreading from the Western Cape to KwaZulu-Natal. Another wasp has been brought in to counter the onslaught


41. He can hear mice walk

Nature expert Nico Myburgh introduces, in words and great pictures, the Spotted Eagle Owl. Read full text


44 Country Table

Soups are for all seasons (and read how crab soup saved the life of a girl in Montagu years ago).


46 Are seaweeds toxic?

Luckily, few are. Louie Lemmer continues her series on edible seaweeds


48 End note

by Ann Scott

Different cultures meet in the Namib – a Damara boy doesn’t quite appreciate wailing bagpipes at sunset. View as PDF

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Embroidered cushion made by the Darling Trust

The Darling Trust, founded by satirist Pieter-Dirk Uys, has people of the village working together to address social problems

Olive trees at Vesuvio Estate, between Paarl & Durbanville

New life from an old olive tree at Vesuvio Estate. Olive growers look after their trees like close family members

Traudel Groenewald

Dancer Traudel Groenewoud. At 80 she drives her car, exercises, tends her garden and helps to run a crèche

1921 postcard showing Donkin Street, Beaufort West lines by huge pear trees

Pear trees lined Donkin Street in Beaufort West in 1921. Although this street has succumbed to the demands of traffic on the N1, the town still protects its trees

Painting by Alexis Bester

Women picking grapes, a painting typical of Alexis Bester's cheerful work

Historic oak avenue on top of Piquetberg Mountain

John Versfeld planted 4000 oak trees on his farm on top of Piquetberg Mountain

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