Autumn 2010 Newsletter

April is butterfly month in the Dargle. Gardens and forest edges are awash with flitting, floating colour.  Gaudy Commodores, Green-banded, Citrus and Mocker Swallowtails, Forest Beauties, Acreas, Thorntree Blues, Common Vagrants, lots of tiny white ones and plenty of others too.  Add in iridescent sunbirds feasting on vivid orange Leonotis leonorus and there is little doubt that this is the most colourful of seasons in the Midlands.

Have you recorded the Butterfly and Bird species seen on your property?  If so, perhaps you’d like to share that valuable information on the Dargle Conservancy website?  We are in the process of updating the photo galleries and would like to include more of the little creatures – butterflies, chameleons, beetles and birds. Please contact Nikki (033 234 4289 or if you have some lovely pictures or information to contribute.

Report Back on Recent Events
We have had great support at the recent talks and film screenings and it has been very pleasant to catch up with friends and enjoy a convivial dinner with neighbours afterwards.  We often have visitors from Curry’s Post, Howick and Balgowan too.  Justin McCarthy (Curry’s Post) commented Thank you for organizing this series of films. They have all been scary, thought provoking or inspiring. Age of Stupid was very powerful and creative. I would like to show some of these films to our community and have been tasked by our fledgling conservancy to do so.” 
After Bridget Ringdahl’s fascinating presentation, Lucinda Bate said “We thoroughly enjoyed the talk, the evening and the enthusiasm. It is what the Dargle is all about. We look forward to all the forthcoming talks and movies.” 
Helen Booysen: “The Conservancy is a wonderful family to belong to.”
Linda Maasch: (visitor from Cape Town)"Everyone is so caring, I could live here."


Wednesday 5 May:  6 for 6.30 at Tanglewood Country House
Claire Janisch will talk about Biomimicry
Biomimicry is the practice of learning from, and then emulating, Nature’s genius and time tested solutions to solve human problems and create more sustainable designs. Organisms and ecosystems face the same challenges that humans do, but they meet those challenges sustainably. The premise of Biomimicry is that Life has been performing design experiments in Earth's R&D lab for 3.8 billion years and what is flourishing on the planet today are the best ideas - those that perform well in context, while economizing on energy and materials.

Donation R10 to Dargle Conservancy
Enjoy a Buffet supper with your neighbours afterwards - R60.00 Booking for supper is essential – call Nicky Mann on 033 234 4366 or 083 645 5619

Forest Walks 6 May and 3 June: 9am to 11am at Kilgobbin Cottage D707
Phone Barend Booysen for details and to book: 082 787 0797
Donation R10 to Conservancy funds

Cape Parrot Counting 8 and 9 May:
We are so fortunate to live in an area which is home to the rare and endangered Cape Parrots. Help ensure their survival by joining the annual consensus. Please report birds seen on Saturday evening and Sunday morning for inclusion in this annual research programme.  Thank you Carl Bronner, Barend Booysen, John and Rose Early, Pam Nicols and Terry Sandy (Carlisle Farm), Katie Robinson, Graham Griffin, Caz Griffin, John Oberholzer, Michael Peacock for agreeing to submit their returns to Prof Colleen Downs at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Wednesday 18 May: 5.30 for 6
Annual General Meeting
Guest Speaker: Jim Taylor – Director of Education at WESSA will speak on:
“Global Warming, climate change and planetary boundaries.  What does it mean for us in the Dargle?”

Kevin McCann of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife will give us a quick update on the Dargle Nature Reserve.

Join us for a buffet supper afterwards at R60 per person.  Booking for supper is essential – call Tanglewood on 033 234 4366 to make your reservation.

Nominations for the committee to be forwarded to


Please Note
The DVD evening on 12 May has been postponed as the Dargle social calendar was looking a little cluttered.

New committee member
Gill Addison, who lives at Antheap beside the uMngeni River with her staffies, cats, chickens and horses, has been co-opted onto the DC committee. Gill is one of the founders of GroundWork, an organisation concerned with environmental justice.  Gill joins other volunteers Andrew Anderson, Clive Shippey, Barry Downard, Vaughan Koopman, Graham Griffin and Nikki Brighton.  Please contact us if you a conservation issue to discuss.  Is there anyone else who is keen to join the Dargle Conservancy Committee?  New ideas and fresh faces are very welcome.

Earth Day
Earth Day is a global event held yearly on 22 April to promote awareness of, and appreciation for, Earth's environmental issues. It is celebrated around the world by people of all backgrounds regardless of race, gender, nationality or faith and is an occasion for the world's citizens to commit to building a safer, healthier, cleaner, sustainable world. 

Congratulations to the D707 community who got together, this week, to clear a large stand of invasive alien Privet beside the road.  A genuine gift to Planet Earth.

Don’t forget the Recycling depot at Dargle Primary School, just along the road.
They accept clean paper, cardboard, polystyrene, washed tins and bottles, washed plastic containers (eg yoghurt tubs or milk cartons), rinsed tetrapak (eg fruit juice), plastic packets which have the recycle symbol, metal and plastic bottle tops, foil containers (not crisp packets).
Phone Mrs Mncwabe for more information 083 766 6708

Many forest trees are fruiting at this time and attract crowds of birds.  It is the perfect time to sit quietly, binoculars in hand.  Listen to the wind ruffling through the grass.  Watch Jackal buzzards and eagles swirling in clear blue skies, listen out for Cape Parrots. This is the best time to enjoy the full moon rising and if you wrap up warmly and sit outside, the night skies are a real treat.

For any additional information please contact us.