Winter has been upon us and there is a current change of the season. I dare myself to pick up the well-worn, sharp Quill, that Joy used. The moths have re appeared, with spring, to help me write this, I thank them.
In all fairness we will all one day be asked, “What did you do to maintain the beautiful garden I gave you?”. Joy, Herman, Frank and Lionel are flying with the Eagles. Their combined effort equates to 160 years of Nature conservation. Truly remarkable. Future generations can only thank them. I do.

For the past month the aloe’s have continued to bloom in an extended bloom of red against the Grey backdrop of winter. August was busy with visitors Including shareholders. However, the rains Have still not arrived yet. 1mm for August is well below average, as we hope for soft forgiving rains in September.

The crowned Eagles have returned and have bred successfully, the monkeys have made themselves scarce due to this. The Ground hornbills have split into two groups, this is very encouraging as they breed only once in about 8 years. As for the Fish eagles, there are now two nest sites with both pairs breeding successfully.

The roads have received back breaking attention, wash a way’s repaired, large rocks removed and with the department of transport, the first 4.2km has been graded and a shale surface applied. A vast improvement. However untested to the downpours we receive. I really do think that the road engineer underestimated the Mhlopeni River. I have had words with him.
Wind erosion has become a factor very apparent in the winter dry season and the August / September windy season. We are trying out sifted Gravel from the river, in a test area. This will not just powder and blow away.
The Alien species eradication program continues. A new method has been developed for the Prickly pear. We heap it and introduce both the cochineal and cactablasta species. This is best done in winter, before the pads can root.

Administration has been a good challenge, the first port of call was to the shareholders, Levies arrears have been addressed and outstanding levies pulled in. We are encouraging shareholders to go for a debit order system by month to stabilize cash flow. We thank everyone that supports Nature conservation. Without the habitat to support the species, the species cease to exist naturally.

We carry on. My projection is not just to survive but thrive. The effort so far cannot be ignored, the success for the veld, incredible. Grass and indigenous hardwoods can be seen in areas where there were previously just pioneer plants. Those who fell in it said, “OH! BLEPHARUS!”
Species that were previously located to the cliffs in hard trodden days, now are semi to adult plants in the bottom of the valley. New Butterfly species have also moved in. The re introductions of endemic species is now spreading outwards.

The Russian entomologists have confirmed the crash in the Riverine acacia to be due to a reduction in water. The beetles have had a party during the drought! The new cycle of plant progression is going to be fascinating. We pray for a wet season. The rains start tomorrow! I am excited.

Regards, Andy, Richard and Jason.