Newsletter, Winter 2016 Administrator September 4, 2016 News 2 Comments The stabling of horses has proved popular, with income of R18,338 being derived from it during 2015. The circular paddock close to the stables is often used by young riders to enhance their skills in a quiet environment. Holiday makers may rent space in the stables on a short term basis, or alternatively make use of the “perdekamp” facility. During winter time sunrise tranquility is experienced as the sun rises over the sea close to Arniston and is thus easily seen from houses in the Reserve, setting over the hills behind Tolbos. In summer it rises over the sea closer to the L’Agulhas lighthouse and also sets again over the sea, less visible from the Reserve. Magnificent sunrises and sunsets are thus a feature of the Reserve. The Cape grey mongoose (Galerella pulverulenta) is at times seen close to the houses in Protea Heights scanning for prey to eat. It is predominantly insectivorous but also carnivorous. Insects and other arthropoda such as spiders are caught on the ground and then held down with the forefeet and eaten. Larger prey such as rodents and reptiles are stalked and killed with a bite to the head. Large prey items are held down with the forefeet and then torn into bite size pieces with the teeth. The shy Cape grysbok is sometimes seen in the vicinity of houses in the Reserve, but moves away quite rapidly when it realises that it has been noticed. It is primarily nocturnal, though it may be seen during early morning and late evening during the winter. Also during winter the proteas come into bloom – we have the Protea obtusifolia (Bredasdorp Protea) which comes in red or white flower heads. It survives well in the limestone fynbos conditions in the Reserve (whereas in the Cape Peninsula fynbos occurs in acidic soils). The Limestone Pagoda (Mimetes saxatilis) is on the Red Data List of Southern African plants, and Owners have the privilege of having this very near to their homes. The Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer) abounds, often preferring to perch on top of flowers which stand out as its long, sharp beak is used to reach the nectar of proteas with its long brush-tipped tongue. A characteristic of the Cape sugarbird is the sound it makes when it flies – the main flight feathers are arranged in such a way that when the bird beats its wings, a frrt-frrt sound is made with the intention of attracting females. Since January 2016 our site activities have been undertaken by a father (John Davids, Site Supervisor) and sons (John & Michael Gabriel) team. John jnr became a father for the first time in October last year to a son. One of their main tasks is bush cutting and clearing (mainly rooikrans) on a prioritized basis, including annual fire break clearing, and thus the nature of their activities is quite onerous. Their task is a large one – seemingly without end as we have a 291 hectare property with much alien vegetation. An aging (but powerful) Fiat tractor with a large trailer (1,2 ton tare) are their main means of transport in the rugged terrain of the Reserve. For those who may wish to have more details of local activities, the Agulhas National Park (our main neighbour to the south) publishes informative e-bulletins on their website (see https://www.sanparks.org/parks/agulhas/tourism/bulletins.php) They have offices close to the Cape Agulhas lighthouse. This is the 2nd oldest lighthouse still operating in South Africa after Green Point. Built in the classic Egyptian Pharos of Alexandria style, it boasts the only lighthouse museum in South Africa and has done more than 150 years’ duty as possibly the most important sea beacon along the South African coastline. It was officially declared a historical landmark in May 2016 during a plaque unveiling ceremony. 2 Responses Anna Gloy January 2, 2017 I am looking for stables for ,5 horses In Arniston or Bredasdorp Reply Administrator January 3, 2017 Good day Anna, we can’t help with stables in Arniston or Bredasdorp, but you if you are interested in making use of our facilities please contact the Site Supervisor, John Davids (cell 073 372 9965) Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.