30 March, 2012

Caught a Cape mountain leopard


After midnight the phone rings. My heart sinks. But it is Quinton – Tell Jurg, we've caught A LEOPARD!! Jurg falls out of bed and in one and a half hours he has joined the others at Driehoek. Driving carefully to avoid two grysbok, a duiker, and rabbits who run along the road.

Waiting with the Cape Leopard Trust at Driehoek

The young Cape mountain leopard is in good hands – Dr Quinton Martins researcher at the Cape Leopard Trust, Dr Marc Walton the on-call vet (that’s animal not war) from Ceres,

23 March, 2012

March wildflowers for birds


Altho I do garden for wildlife, it is not as a trained ecologist, this plant for that butterfly. We have a pond full of frogs for the visiting kingfisher. We have a smorgasbord of assorted bugs for the fiscal flycatcher. But the regular residents who delight me are the sunbirds. (Our equivalent to North America’s humming-birds). I think of red or yellow flowers, whose trumpets are filled with nectar. This Wildflower Wednesday post will be my place to record which garden flowers I see sunbirds on each month. And a nudge to find plants to fill the gaps in the diary!

Yellow Bietou, pond bulbs, fiscal flycatcher, salmon pelargonium
Yellow Bietou, pond bulbs
fiscal flycatcher, salmon pelargonium


16 March, 2012

My pioneer plant - spekboom or Portulacaria afra


Dozen for Diana 3

As a gardener something I learnt about years after it was too late, was pioneer plants or nurse trees.

Spekboom against a blue, still summer, sky

In Ernst van Jaarsveld’s Wonderful Waterwise Gardening I find a list of pioneer species for a fynbos or renosterveld garden. Euryops pectinatus and virgineus (yellow daisy bushes), Metalasia (honeybush, tiny fragrant white flowers), Chrysanthemoides monilifera (bushtick berry or bietou donated by our birds), Pelargonium capitatum, Carpobrotus (sour fig, a groundcover with thick succulent leaves), Podalyria sericea (silver sweetpea bush, Cape satin bush) and our annual daisies Dimorphotheca, Ursinia and Arctotis.

09 March, 2012

Walk in my garden


Donna asks us to celebrate the season, as my garden muddles into autumn. In our mediterranean climate, without frost, we don’t expect fiery autumn colours. Nandina in Camps Bay barely managed a few red leaves. In Porterville we have a poster girl – For Autumn Colour in Your Garden!

Nandina for autumn colour

02 March, 2012

Wilderness camps with the Cape Leopard Trust

Drive away from our home in Porterville, North towards Clanwilliam and up into the Cederberg mountains, where endangered Cape leopards live. Since September last year Jurg has been volunteering with the Cape Leopard Trust. In January he went to help refresh the Toktokkie Camp before this year’s children arrived for their wilderness camps.

Klipbokberg on the road to Ceres

Photographs and Copyright

Photographs are from Diana Studer or Jurg Studer.
My Canon PowerShot A490

If I use your images or information, it will be clearly acknowledged with either a link to the website, or details of the book. If you use my images or words, I expect you to acknowledge them in turn.


Midnight in Darkest Africa

Midnight in Darkest Africa
For real time, click on the map.