Number 37 : Summer 2009
What a year!
Yes, we have survived another year! In spite of difficult economic times, Village Life has actually expanded, with more outlets added nationally and with a steady growth in subscriber numbers.
Our Spring issue did exceptionally well, selling out within a week at many outlets. The visitors’ guide to the Cape Overberg and surrounds which was distributed with our last issue probably contributed to the sales: this guide has been extremely well received, with most people calling it “stunning”. The next issue is planned for June 2010, and indications are that it will be much bigger than the first one.
It’s been a tough year, with a fair amount of hard work and stress. During our upcoming break, Annalize is returning to her singing, with three concerts already scheduled for December, some with the Hawston Crooners. For better or for worse, I shall be thumping away in the background on my wooden drum.
We are grateful for the support we continue to receive, from readers, subscribers, printer, advertisers and especially our regular contributors. We trust that you all will be blessed with good health, and that the year ahead will be a good one!
2: At the office
Letters and other important matters
The owl on the balcony
Another of the characters featured in Village Life has made it into print! Just over a year ago, we published Tracy Eccles’s account of the Spotted Eagle Owl nesting in a pot plant on their balcony in Johannesburg. Tracy and her husband continued recording everything they saw – how the parents reared the chicks, the chicks growing up and learning to fly, etc. They kept a daily diary and took over 2 500 photographs.
Through much nagging from interested people, they finally agreed to write a book. The book is called Pot Plant Owl and was launched on 28 October 2009. It is in coffee-table format with over 100 photographs.
Pot Plant Owl has been endorsed by BirdLife South Africa and the Endangered Wildlife Trust. Proceeds of the sales of the book will go to these organisations, as well as FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and EcoSolutions.
For photos, sample pages and sample text, readers may visit the website www.potplantowl.co.za
4: They keep the old songs alive
The Baardskeerdersbos Orkes is one of the few traditional “Boere-orkeste” (country bands) in South Africa still proudly upholding the cultural musical heritage of the Overberg, in fact of all of South Africa. They have no formal training, but can play hours on end from memory, even songs that have never been written down. By Annalize Mouton
8: The face of South Africa
St Michael’s Church amongst the daisies – by Stephen Pryke. View as PDF
10: The astonishing diversity of Ericas
With over 800 species, Erica is the largest genus in the Cape Flora and comes in all shapes and sizes, writes Thys de Villiers
18: Stormsvlei – bypassed by the highway
After the new N2 highway bypassed it by a few hundred metres, the once-vibrant hamlet was eventually overtaken in size and importance by neighbouring Riviersonderend – by Annalize Mouton
24: The Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve
Stephen Pryke writes about his favourite place to get away from it all
30: Optical toys of yore
Amusement from before the days of cinema and TV. It started with the Magic Lantern and progressed to various devices which simulated movement in a scene – by Carol Hardijzer
This group of pensioners in Mpumalanga refuses to sit still and do nothing – by Thandi Mkhatshwa
36: The golden age of the Drakenstein wagon industry
When demand for wagons and carriages reached its peak, Paarl and surrounds were home to the giants of the industry – by Maggie Follett
38: They were proudly South African
Local conditions required new types of wagons and carts, writes Maré Mouton. One of the innovations was that the local ox-wagons could be dismantled, the parts carried over an obstacle, and then reassembled to continue the journey
42: Chickens be warned!
Veteran birding photographer Nico Myburgh looks at the Black Sparrowhawk, which has a strong preference for chickens and pigeons. Read full article
46: A plum of a pudding
Annalize puts some tasty dishes for the festive season on our Country Table
48: Camera work
Textures and shapes interplay in this photograph of a weathered barn door at Calitzdorp – by Maré Mouton
49: Tail piece
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