7 December 2014

Report and photos by Rod Hart
[CLICK ON PHOTOS TO VIEW FULLSIZE - or view pics in accompanying SIMPLEVIEWER Presentation]

Time for a "Group Photo" in the immaculate grounds at Eagle Ridge prior to setting off, and then led by Carolee through the gardens and out the back past the new third phase development of the estate.

Pics 2-6: Exiting the Estate

The brisk pace took us to the Currys Post road from where we would normally go into and walk along a track in the plantation, however the area was cordoned off as there was a felling operation being carried out, so instead we walke along the road side and had a front row view of a Hitachi Forester machine in action - it grips the tree near the base, cuts it down, then proceeds to strip the bark and any branches off, before finally cutting the tree in sections. Most impressve!

Pics 7-10: The specially adapted "Foresting machine" and its handiwork

After that impressive show it was up the road a bit and then up the embankment towards Beacon Hill. Whilst there was the usual allotment of wild flowers they were less numerous and seemed mostly at an earlier stage of growth - possibly due to the later and lighter rainfall this year. In particular this was noticeable with the Brunsvigia flower (Candelabra), which last year there were many of in full flower, whereas this year there were anly a few in the early stages of budding.

Pic 11: Caterpillar working up to the top of the plant
Pic 12: Flower spotting, with view of Midmar in the background
Pic 13: The Beacon of Beacon Hill (a "different" view of it)
Pic 14: "Feed me Seymour..." (a budding Brunsvigia flower)
Pic 15: Budding Brunsvigia flower (Candelabra)
Pic 16: Acalypha Peduncularis (Brooms & Brushes)

After reaching the beacon and stopping for a while to admire the view it was downhill and working our way back towards the Currys Post Road. Along this route I spotted the unique looking stinkhorn fungus (Aseroe rubra), also spotted was the less unique but decidedly out of place "Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" (Brunfelsia latifolia) bush. Another find, this time along the road verge was a single pice of a jigsaw puzzle - so that is where those lost pieces go! Very frustrating for someone lookig for the last piece of their puzzle I am sure. and so we arrive back at Eagle Ridge and walk inside along the fence line with an embackment filled with yellow flowers.

Pic 17: Regrouping
Pic 18: Keith striding past the "Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" (Brunfelsia latifolia)
Pic 19: Stinkhorn fungus (Aseroe rubra)
Pic 20: The missing piece
Pic 21: Eagle Ridge Estate
Pic 22: Walking the fence line

Finally our destination and venue for the Xmas function, the Eagle Ridge Clubhouse.

POSTSCRIPT: For anyone interested in the Conservation information covering the Beacon Hill conservancy I include a link to the document which provides a contour map of the area, lists of the flowers, grasses and trees, mammals & birds, as well as a newspaper report. To access click on the following graphic: