Ode to a Commode

I wrote poetry in high school once. We were doing Engels and had to read ‘ode to a something’ and so I wrote my Ode to a Commode, which was way better than John Keats’ effort. Hey, I was an immature, scatological teenager easily amused. In some ways . . . . I searched forContinue reading “Ode to a Commode”

Caltex Calenders

Annie had a Caltex garage; Dad worked for Annie; Louis Schoeman traveled for Caltex. Between 1962 and 1971 Caltex gave cloth wildlife calenders as their gift to their filling station owners. Dad (now 96) says Louis would ‘forget’ to hand them out and he would insist on seeing what was in his boot. And there,Continue reading “Caltex Calenders”

Our Mountain Burns

Once again Platberg is burning. Old school friends Noeline Bester and Annatjie Labuschagne sent these images. Sure hope the Grey Rhebok and Mountain Reedbuck and Chacma Baboons that Koos Beukes and Pierre du Plessis tell me are still there, are OK.

Little Switzerland on Oliviershoek Pass

I asked Leanne Hilkovitz Williamson about Poccolan / Robinson’s Bush and this brought a flood of memories: She takes up the story: I was born on the farm De Nook which belonged to my grandfather Elias Hilkovitz and was inherited by my father Leo Hilkovitz after the 2nd World War probably round about 1945, twoContinue reading “Little Switzerland on Oliviershoek Pass”

Save Precarious Platberg!

Platberg, overlooking the town of Harrismith in the Free State, is an inselberg that presents a refuge for indigenous plants and animals. And its status is precarious. ‘Little is known about the different taxa of Platberg and hence a detailed floristic and ecological survey was undertaken in 2009 by UNISA’s Robert F. Brand, Leslie R.Continue reading “Save Precarious Platberg!”

Cuckoo Comeuppance

People often rail against cuckoos and use all sorts of pejorative descriptions about them and their ways. Hey! Cuckoos gotta do what cuckoos gotta do. Nature. Survival of the fittest. Evolution. Life. Bird life. Consider three things: 1. Cuckoos have no alternative. This is the ONLY way they can breed; 2. Cuckoos eat a wholeContinue reading “Cuckoo Comeuppance”

Mfolosi Wilderness Walk

The Umfolosi Wilderness is a special place. Far too small, of course, but its what we have. I read Ian Player’s account of how Magqubu Ntombela taught him about wilderness and Africa and nature. The idea of a wild place where modern man could go to escape the city and re-discover what Africa was like,Continue reading “Mfolosi Wilderness Walk”

Good Lord, Deliver Us!

I needed to take a hike, I really did. But to do it I needed a henchman. You can hike alone, but I’d really rather not, so I persuaded Stefaans Reed, The Big Weed, resident son of hizzonner the Worshipful Lord Mayor of Nêrens (aka Clarens) and fellow optometry student in Jo’burg to nogschlep along.Continue reading “Good Lord, Deliver Us!”

Botswana Safari with Larry

Hey, let’s go on a safari! Great friend Larry Wingert is out from the USA and we hop on a flight to Maun in Botswana. It’s 1985 and we’re bachelors on the loose with time and money! From Maun we fly into the Delta (Tjou Island camp) in a Cessna 206. After many beers andContinue reading “Botswana Safari with Larry”

Kayak the Canyon

Crystal rapid on the Colorado river in the Grand Canyon