Kamonande – Weekend Observations(24/25 November 2018)

1. Basboontjie (Elephantorrhiza Burkei) flowers have turned into very noticable bright green pods.
2. Stamvrugte have fruit now. They are a bit scarce but are there. Skin a bit bitter with sweeter flesh inside. Baboons love them, suck them off & spit the seeds out.
3. Koedoebessie also have fruit, about 20mm in size. Don’t see lots of them, maybe you can help spot a few more.
4. Fluweelboswilg has flowers starting, should be in full bloom soon. Going to be a sight!
5. Beautiful specimen of a Lekkerbreek (Ochna pulchra) AKA Peeling-bark Ochna, bark stripped curvy white branches. Look out for them going up the cement road at Kamonande 2.

Apart from the usual, also saw 3 snakes, a beautiful big porcupine (ystervark), a few new bird sightings & id’d a few new trees.
Another rewarding weekend at Kamonande!

Kamonande notes (13/14 Okt)

1. The Red sesbania (Sesbania punicea) is very prominent on the first dam wall and as one drives across the first vlei stream. Very pretty red flowers at the moment but unfortunately its a Category 1 invasive species. Will require destruction or removal to prevent distribution (hope it makes it onto the agenda for the reserve maintenance teams).


2. The Raasblaar (Combretum zeyheri) fruit pods are currently strewn on the ground and most already have little holes (see photo) as the larvae of the The Apricot Playboy butterfly (Deudorix dinochares) eats a small hole to get to the soft seed kernel inside. If broken open one can see the little dark colored larvae feeding.

44232062_10156734787787856_7985064842941693952_o

3. The Cape gray mongoose (Galerella pulverulenta) were also out to play. Ben van den Berg told me they are a common sight around Kamonande and enjoy a good encounter with snakes.

44348353_10156734787972856_6335090286452015104_o

4. Hammerkop nests. We have now listed 4 of them (outlet of 1st dam, near Yiwarra gate, between chalets 41/43, at last dam on Serengeti road). The one at the first dam had an occupant, not sure about the others. Anyone know of other nests?

44215902_10156734788072856_3668460588331171840_o

5. Lastly, the Basboontjjie/Elephant root (Elephantorrhiza burkei) has some bright yellow flowers busy developing and its a good time of the year to identify and mark this species around your chalet. Hopefully there’s good pollination to we can get many big fat fruit/pods early next year.

44330611_10156734787992856_8797467587836379136_o