In many of our country’s provinces, the arid landscape reminds us of the seas of sand of the Namib desert rather than of South Africa’s fertile bread basket (Leon Schreiber, Rapport Weekliks, 6 December 2015). Large parts of our country are suffering from the worst drought in three decades, with five of the northern provinces having been declared as disaster areas. Water levels of all the largest dams are critically low, while the taps in some towns have long since run dry.

State to crack down on invasive aliens – landowners could face legal claims: In the wake of the recent destructive fires in the Cape Peninsula, government is to crack down on landowners who have failed to clear invasive alien vegetation on their properties along the urban fringe.

In 1851, two of Hermanus Nikolas Ras’s sons, Hermanus Nikolas and Willem Adriaan, arrived at Bokfontein, near Wolhuterskop, on the northern side of the Magaliesberg. They started building thatch-roofed pioneer houses with walls made of clay. This signalled the wish (of probably the women!) to start living a more established life and to stop roaming around.

Winter's dust and smoke is with us once again, which means that people suffering from sinusitis are doing good business with our local doctor and pharmacist.

One of our readers (Jill Brunner of Seekoehoek) and one of our members (Charmaine Leygonie) sent us beautiful photos of our feathered friends.

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, one finds it is attached to the rest of the world” (John Muir). 

Do we have a balanced outlook on protecting our natural resources in Hartebeestfontein – or not?

When I see and hear how people react to events in our environment I often ask myself this question. Often, opinions are expressed that clearly indicate ignorance, assumptions and self-interest, with the latter mostly given preference. It is often said that humans will be responsible for their own downfall, and sometimes, one cannot but wholly agree with this and relate it to events in one’s own environment.