Monthly Archives: June 2014

How to stay warm in Clarens

Snow in Clarens

Staying warm in a Clarens winter is easy.

Here are some tips:

Posthouse IMG_0005 Grouse IMG_0002

–  Wrap up warm – but wear layers of clothing so that you can always take something off when you get too hot.  (And yes – at some point of the day you will.)

– Find a sunny spot out of the wind.   It may be winter, but we still have clear blue skies, and there are lots of spots where you can thaw out in the sun.

– Eat out!  Most Clarens Restaurants are well equipped for winter weather – and what can be more romantic than a gorgeous dinner next to a blazing fire.

Click here for Clarens Restaurant numbers and make a booking.

 

Snow:
Snow in Clarens is very unpredictable.  The mountains around Clarens are often dusted with snow during the winter months, as are the Maluti Mountains, and given the clear skies this makes for postcard perfect photographic opportunities. During winter visitors can go skiing at Afriski in Lesotho – only a few hours away – and there is a regular shuttle service between Clarens and Afriski during the winter months.

 

CLARENS WEATHER
Monthly Rainfall Monthly Temperatures Weather Forecast

News items:

June 2014: Welcome to Winter – Afriski

 

Further Reading:

Clarens News:  Clarens Climate

 

Welcome to Winter: 20 June 2014

Contents:
Welcome to Winter; How to stay warm in Clarens; Self-drive:  Clarens to Fouriesburg:  The Caledon Loop; Save our Horses: AHS Campaign; The Twitcher; Report Back:   Upgrading of Clarens Water Treatment Works;
Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve: Schizoglossum atropurpureum ; CVC Report back: May 2014; Music This weekend; Congratulations;Restaurant Specials; Coming Events: 26 June 2014:  Supper Theatre: Brel meets Hardy;
Coming Events: 26 June 2014:  Mountain Breeze Locals Night; Coming Events: 27 June 2014: Rocky Horror Party Nite; Regional Events:  27 – 29 June, 2014:  Platteland Preveiw, Smithfield; Rugby; Classifieds; Making the Clarens News work for you; Mailing list


Welcome to Winter

Snow making at Afriski

 

No snow in Clarens yet :  just clear blue skies and very chilly nights.  But yes – winter is here and it’s time to go skiing.   Afriski (only 2 hours from Clarens) is open and the thanks to their ability to make snow, the slopes are already providing opportunities for some great fun in the snow.   Click here to find out more about making snow and to read the latest snow report, and directions (with map) to Afriski.


 

How to stay warm in Clarens

Staying warm in Clarens is easy.   Here are some tips:

Posthouse IMG_0005 Grouse IMG_0002

 

–  Wrap up warm – but wear layers of clothing so that you can always take something off when you get too hot.  (And yes – at some point of the day you will.)

– Find a sunny spot out of the wind.   It may be winter, but we still have clear blue skies, and there are lots of spots where you can thaw out in the sun.

– Eat out!  Most Clarens Restaurants are well equipped for winter weather – and what can be more romantic than a gorgeous dinner next to a blazing fire.

 


Clarens to Fouriesburg The Caledon Loop

 

Self-drive:  Clarens to Fouriesburg:  The Caledon Loop

If you’re driving the popular Clarens to Furiesburg route (one of the recommended self – drive/sightseeing routes on clarens news website) why not make a short detour and drive the Caledon Loop.

From Clarens, take the R711 to Fouriesburg.   About 18k from the Clarens Golf club look out for the turnoff left onto S1356/S505, then stay right on the S505, a gravel road which winds down to the Caledon river valley floor.    This road is in excellent condition and easy to drive in any vehicle.  Read more

 


Save our Horses  AHS Campaign

Horses in Clarens - African Horse Sickness Campaign

 

There are 4 major viruses killing our horses in SA. : African Horse Sickness, West Nile, EEV and Middelburg Virus.   In an effort to stop our horses from dying  Fund raising rides  are being planned throughout the country to create awareness and to raise funds to vaccinate horses belonging to those communities who cannot afford to vaccinate their horses.  (The blanket vaccination of horses  is no longer done by the State.)   The rides are due to take  place in August, just before the major vaccination time which usually takes place in September.  The first ride is to take place on  16th August, 2014,  when riders will ride from Shumba Valley to a beautiful historic farm just outside Fouriesburg.   Click here to read more.

 


 

The Twitcher

 

woody_and_doris-1Contemplating winter in Clarens is a confusing business.  Gaze out of the windows and the blue skies stretch to infinity while the sun butters the rolling mountains with awesome hues of khaki and gold.  Gorgeous.  Until you step outside and freeze where you stand.  Such is the social meteorology of our mountain perch, but I wax a trifle too lyrical perhaps.  In short, it looks brilliant out but don’t plan on spending too much time galloping about in it.  That is, after all, why God’s great plan includes breweries, restaurants and guest houses with large, roaring fires.Which brings me, via a complex and tangential route, to painting by numbers.  You’ve seen them; of course you have.  The concept is simple: Some small Korean person makes a neat line drawing of, say, London Bridge or a bowl of Carnations, and carefully numbers each and every little piece of it, circumscribed by a clear and uncompromising line.  The number concerned matches, assuming you bought the right set, a collection of paints which – when carefully applied to the corresponding space on the paper or canvas – produce a pleasing (though sometimes puzzling) outcome.  As a new-borne artist, you will almost certainly leave the result in your will to some thoroughly undeserving member of your intimate family, and never do another one. Read more

 


 

Report Back:   Upgrading of Clarens Water Treatment Works

Proponent: Dihlabeng Local Municipality
EIA Ref: EMB/11(x&xi), 18(i), 40(ii), 13(c)iii(dd)/14/25

Draft Basic Assessment Report for public comment
Please note that the draft BAR and EMPr for the above project are now available for public comment. They can be downloaded at
http://www.edcs.co.za/reports-and-documents/viewcategory/15-clarens-water-treatment-works.html. A hard copy has also been sent to the Clarens Municipality to be made available for public viewing.
Stakeholders are invited to review and submit comments on these draft reports prior to them being finalised and submitted to the DETEA. The deadline for submitting comments is 23 July 2014.
Should you require any further information please contact Paul Scherzer, E&D Consulting Services : 035 791 1362/084 207 6031
Please see  the Community Notice Board for other notices relating to our Community


 Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve: Schizoglossum atropurpureum


Clarens Village Nature Reserve Schizoglossum atropurpureum

Damien Coulson

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-Weekly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at a less-oft observed specimen  of the Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed) family.

Schizoglossum atropurpureum subsp. atropurpureum (Red-Milkwort in English, Melkwortel in Afrikaans and sehoete-moru in Sesotho) –what a mouthful, is a moderately sized erect geophytic herb of 600 – 1300 mm. It occurs in grasslands where there is a low fire incidence, but more often closer to streams where scrub and boulders are found. This herbaceous plant has been recorded at altitudes of 2040 m A.S.L. from the E. Cape through to Mpum.

This specimen was photographed along the Mallen Walk, but be quick if you want to take a happy-snap of the little bugger – the flowers are only in bloom for around a month and a half – 2 months. The stems of the genus spring-up annually from a small carrot-like tuber, which if pierced may exude a milky latex.  Read more


 CVC Report-back May  2014

Damien Coulson’s Report-back for May 2014  makes interesting reading: not only do the rangers appear to be winning the war against Alien and Invasive plants, but they’re also doing what they can about problem cattle in the reserve.   They continue their excellent work on the trails, and are now also offering to help property owners with advice on how to deal with removal of alien plants.   Click here to read the full report. You can also lend your support and keep all their hard work going by becoming a member of the Clarens Village Conservancy.  Click here to find out more.


Music : This weekend

Tonight @ Friends Restaurant in Clarens:

– -Live Band – Slipstream!!!!!

Keep an eye on the Clarens News facebook page, where we’ll post any other music events, as and when we get to hear about them.


Congratulations

Richard Beaming and Carol Orfao  married on Thursday.   Perhaps (going on the photo) to be known in future Mr. and Mrs. Beeming!  Well done you two!!!!

Richard and Carol Beaming


Restaurant Specials

Monday – Friday:  The Posthouse breakfast! Sart the day on the right note.  The Posthouse Breakfast ranges from R22 – R30, and includes tea and coffee.

Monday:  Protea Hotel: 17h00 – 19h00:  Soup and Sherry specials (R35) includes assorted breads and and the 1st sherry free.We also have periodic cake specials at R35 for cake and coffee/hot chocolate/cuppachino.

Wednesday:

Friends Happy Hour from 20h00 to 21h00.  Live music.

Wednesday:  Brambleberry @ The Ash (Old Cranford):  Burger and Pizza Specials

Thursday:   Golden Age Day at Bon Appetit Bistro: (Rosemary Centre) Every Thursday (except Public Holidays) is now “Golden Age Day” @ Bon Appetit Bistro. If you are in the Golden Age (over 65 years old), come enjoy Breakfast (served all day), a light lunch, tea, coffee or cake and get 10% discount on your bill.  Open from 9.30am till 4.00pm.

Thursday:  Brambleberry:  Happy Hour 17h30 to 18h30 followed by two-course meal special

Friday:  Courtyard: Specials at the Cafe every friday from 12 noon, and at the Restaurant every friday evening from 18h00

Friday:  The Highlander: Happy Hour from 17h30 to 18h30. Need to make a booking?   Click here for a list of Restuarant telephone numbers


 

Coming Events:  26 June 2014 : Brel meets Hardy

Can’t wait for this one.  Jacque Brel and Francoise Hardy.  Magnifique!

 

Clarens News Supper Theatre Brel meets Hardy

 


Coming Events: 26 June 2014: Mountain Breeze Locals Night

Mountain Breeze Thursday


Coming Events:  27 June 2014 :Rocky Horror Party Nite

Clarens News Rocky Horror Party


 


Platteland Preview, Smithfield, Free State

Regional Events:  27 – 29 June, 2014:  Platteland Preveiw, Smithfield

ART, DRAMA, MUSIC:

The Platteland Preview is getting a name as the place for writers and performers to try new productions before hitting the high spots of Grahamstown.

 

Visit the Platteland Preview website  for more information on the events

 


Coming Events: Always something happening in Clarens

As you can see – we’ve got lots of supper theatre happening this month.  But that’s not all…… Click here:  For more information on what’s  happening in Clarens.


Rugby

Watch all the action at one of our local Clarens pubs The atmosphere is great –   almost like being at the game!

rugby


Classifieds

The Classifieds page on the website has some very interesting ads.   Need a washing machine, a house to rent, or a carpenter to fix up that old furniture?  Click here to have a look

email: editor@clarensnews.co.za to place your ad on this page.


 

Making Clarens News Work for you

Clarens News is here for you to enjoy, use, and to promote all things Clarens.  Click here to have a look at our new website: www.clarensnews.co.za.  You may notice that we haven’t got all the listings loaded yet, but in the meantime you can get a good idea of what the website is all about.   email:editor@clarensnews.co.za to discuss how to go about getting your business listed.


Not on the mailing list?

Click here to sign up 

20th June, 2014

Contemplating winter in Clarens is a confusing business.  Gaze out of the windows and the blue skies stretch to infinity while the sun butters the rolling mountains with awesome hues of khaki and gold.  Gorgeous.  Until you step outside and freeze where you stand.  Such is the social meteorology of our mountain perch, but I wax a trifle too lyrical perhaps.  In short, it looks brilliant out but don’t plan on spending too much time galloping about in it.  That is, after all, why God’s great plan includes breweries, restaurants and guest houses with large, roaring fires.

Which brings me, via a complex and tangential route, to painting by numbers.  You’ve seen them; of course you have.  The concept is simple: Some small Korean person makes a neat line drawing of, say, London Bridge or a bowl of Carnations, and carefully numbers each and every little piece of it, circumscribed by a clear and uncompromising line.  The number concerned matches, assuming you bought the right set, a collection of paints which – when carefully applied to the corresponding space on the paper or canvas – produce a pleasing (though sometimes puzzling) outcome.  As a new-borne artist, you will almost certainly leave the result in your will to some thoroughly undeserving member of your intimate family, and never do another one.

Which got me to thinking.  What if Clarens got hold of the idea to invigorate its burgeoning but largely idle artist population?  The concept has endless possibilities.  For example, the village landscape could be deconstructed to allow a lucky tourist buyer to paint all the dirt roads a crisp tarmacadam grey (with perhaps a touch of ivory white (No. 2) and magenta (No.9) to highlight the speed-bumps) to attract more unsuspecting Ferraris and Lambos.  The entire square could be turned into the Hanging Gardens of Dihlabeng with a little care, accented (isn’t that a bit twee? – Editor) with subtle shades of alizarin red (No. 14) and cadmium yellow (No. 16).  Some neat brush strokes and a little calligraphy might change the village shop-fronts for the better: Imagine, if you will, every restaurant sign proclaiming ‘Affordable Prices; Great Service; Trained Chef’ and, of course, ‘Free French Champagne and Irish Oysters’. 

And what if the lucky tourist buyer found his/her No. 2 Sable brush, and scooped up a load of rose madder (No.26) to paint smiles on the faces of all our policemen, as they bow and scrape their way about the village, assisting tourists in their enquiries and guiding their shiny new, dust-free cars into unlimited parking spots?   Imagine.  It doesn’t have to stop at the village precincts, of course: What if the new-borne artist sweeps around to encompass the Golf Estate in its perfect harmony with nature?  Well, okay, maybe not.  But that could be changed in the flick of a palette knife – imagine taking out the clutter of nine-storey villas on the mountain ridge and replacing them with elegant dwellings of style and flair, tucked unobtrusively into the slope.  Imagine, if you will, losing every second house entirely to provide landscaped gardens (sap green,No.31; chrome green, No.14; and yellow ochre, No.47) and a great big sign over the entrance gate saying, in an educated hand, ‘Estate Sold Out’ (post-box red, No.5).  How nice would that be?

For the more anally-retentive artist, intent on capturing the human condition, there could be small sets with highly detailed renderings of happy village families hugging one-another on receipt of massive tax rebates, notices of rates reductions or posters announcing bi-weekly beer festivals.  And, for the avaricious guest house owners amongst you, a giant landscape of the Clarens Nek featuring a 12-sheet billboard simply proclaiming ‘Weather Perfect; ALL Accommodation Full Until 2045. Sorry!!

The Twitcher

Schizoglossum atropurpureum subsp. atropurpureum

Clarens Village Nature Reserve Schizoglossum atropurpureum Clarens Village Nature Reserve Schizoglossum atropurpureum

 

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-monthly Plant of Interest”. We’ll be looking at a less-oft observed specimen  of the Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed) family.

Schizoglossum atropurpureum subsp. atropurpureum (Red-Milkwort in English, Melkwortel in Afrikaans and sehoete-moru in Sesotho) –what a mouthful, is a moderately sized erect geophytic herb of 600 – 1300 mm. It occurs in grasslands where there is a low fire incidence, but more often closer to streams where scrub and boulders are found. This herbaceous plant has been recorded at altitudes of 2040 m A.S.L. from the E. Cape through to Mpum.

This specimen was photographed along the Mallen Walk, but be quick if you want to take a happy-snap of the little bugger – the flowers are only in bloom for around a month and a half – 2 months. The stems of the genus spring-up annually from a small carrot-like tuber, which if pierced may exude a milky latex.

The flowers of S. atropurpuream subsp. atropurpureum, are borne aloft a single (occasionally 2) unbranched stems. The leaves are cross-opposite with slightly undulating margins and measure 30-50 x 8-20 mm. The inflorescence stems may sometimes be branched with 8-15 flowers per stem. The lobes are a deep maroon but may even appear almost black. There are 5 tepals per flower which are reminiscent of Christmas bells but are slightly wider than they are long (6×4 mm).  Looking closely one may notice an oblique apical notch, and taking a whiff of the flower may yield a caramel-like scent.  Flowering Jan-Mar. Uses:

Food

The root may be eaten raw and is reportedly sweet-tasting.

Traditional Uses

The roots may be bundled together and smoked to preserve them. They can then be used as a form of charm to protect against lightening.

Conservation Status

This species has been recorded as of Least Concern by SANBI.
Damien Coulson head ranger Clarens Village Nature ReserveArticle, photography and research by Damien Coulson

with input from Wim Wybenga

Latest on Upgrading of Clarens Water Treatment Works

Upgrading of Clarens Water Treatment Works

Proponent: Dihlabeng Local Municipality

EIA Ref: EMB/11(x&xi), 18(i), 40(ii), 13(c)iii(dd)/14/25

Draft Basic Assessment Report for public comment

Please note that the draft BAR and EMPr for the above project are now available for public comment. They can be downloaded at

http://www.edcs.co.za/reports-and-documents/viewcategory/15-clarens-water-treatment-works.html. A hard copy has also been sent to the Clarens Municipality to be made available for public viewing.

Stakeholders are invited to review and submit comments on these draft reports prior to them being finalised and submitted to the DETEA. The deadline for submitting comments is 23 July 2014.

Should you require any further information please contact Paul Scherzer, E&D Consulting Services : 035 791 1362/084 207 6031

Clarens News:  June 2014

 

 

Click here to see the Initial Proposal:

Click here to see CVC involvement in this process

6th June 2014: CLARENS NEWS POLAR BEAR

Clarens News Polar Bear jpg

Contents: Polar Bears get ready; Report back: Awesome Autumn Braai Challenge for Charity; Report back: Cluny Golf Day; The Twitcher; The Sunnyside Sunday Braai; Bowling; Clarens Village Nature Reserve; CVC Report Back April 2014; CVC Environmental Impact Study; Sungazers – Our gorgeous Free State Dragons; Paballos Nursing Sisters; Restaurant Specials; Coming Events; Making Clarens News work for you; Last Thought.


Polar Bears get ready:

Pictured above is Shifty – our Clarens News Polar Bear.   As you can see she doesn’t mind the cold in the least, and she’s ready to do her bit for The Cluny Animal Trust on 28th June.

Yes, It’s that time of year again, when the mad, brave and thermally irresponsible jump into near freezing water and swim float or splash desperately about for 50 metres in a dam amongst reeds and mud, all in the name of “doing it for charity”.

This year it is going to be a little different. There will be 2 distances: 50 metres, and about 100 meters (depending on how low or high the dam is). Also there will be a few “floating trophies”, or spot prizes attached to buoys that the swimmers can grab on their way past. The third addition is that there will be a dog category. This will, however, be only for dogs that truly enjoy swimming for the love of cold water. There will be no throwing of dogs into the water, and only minimal encouragement allowed. The owner may swim with the dog at theIr own risk, or throw a floating toy for the dog to retrieve.  Dry towels are essential for drying the dogs afterwards, and before and after the swim they MUST be under full control on leads, as there are resident dogs and other livestock on the farm.   Please contact Jan Sander or Katherine Barker for sponsorship forms, or if you are not going to brave the water, how about sponsoring someone who is?  Phone:  0782462553.   


Report back: Awesome Autumn Braai Challenge for Charity 

The “Awesome Autumn” 2nd Clarens Community Braai Challenge for Charity was held on Sunday 25 May on the beautiful Clarens Square. Six teams entered and nominated a charity of choice to whom they would donate their winnings in the event that they did indeed win!

1.    Clarens Village Conservancy (their charity was themselves) 2.       Sector Police Forum (their charity was themselves) 3.       Sandstone Vets (their charity was Cluny Animal Trust) 4.       Clarens Brewery (their charity was Thusanang Care Centre) 5.       Clarens News (their charity was Centre Ballet) 6.       Tsamahanste Tavern (who didn’t indicate who they were playing for)

The total takings on team entries, plates of food sold and cash donations came to R4550!   Generous cash donations were received by Mont d’Or Hotel and “Team Wildcard 2’ consisting of Bruce & Debbie Marx and Sjoerd & Anne de Boer. Therefore, the winners of the best chop (SPF), best pap en sous (Clarens Brewery) and best side dish (Sandstone Vets) split this money in three and will donate it to their charities. Therefore, the SPF, Thusanang Care Centre and Cluny Animal Trust each get R1516.  Well done!

Great prizes were donated by local business; thanks very much to them:

Post House Bon Appetit Old Stone  Bottle Store Highland Coffee Roastery Protea Hotel Courtyard Cafe Clarens Xtreme Clarens Brewery Homing Instincts

These were awarded to best overall team (Brewery), best spirit (SPF), first to serve (CVC), best looking table (Brewery), last team to serve (Tsamahanste), the smokiest fire (SPF – really!) and the best overall dish (Brewery).  Most of these were donated right back to charity to give those people an opportunity to enjoy the great prizes.

Thanks to everyone who participated, supported, donated and enjoyed the day


Report back: Cluny Golf Day

Clarens News Cluny Animal Trust Golf Day

Jan Sander reports:  We couldn’t have hoped for better weather on Saturday in Clarens on our golf day. The sun was brilliant, hardly a cloud in the sky, and although the wind came up occasionally, it was not enough to ruffle any feathers.   


 

The Twitcher

 

woody_and_doris-1Birds?  Did that last time, if you remember, and quite satisfying it was too.  But time for something new, methinks, to satisfy the inner man, or should that be woman; perhaps even person?  That’s the problem with gender.  Just when you think it’s all buttoned up (or should that be unbuttoned?) it turns out there is yet another group of activists determined to advance their take on what I always thought was pretty straightforward.  But maybe straight isn’t a politically-correct word either! If you think I make light of the issue, bear in mind we areliving in a world of person-hole covers, door-persons, chair-persons and even tea-persons.   I feel sure there are more, but I will not tax you, dear reader, with my over-fertile imagination.  Writing documents, particularly for the development world, isn’t what it used to be, either.  For example, acronyms now cover the first 42 pages and incorporate abbreviations for types of person (?), acts, attitudes and unguents which stretch the boundaries of credulity.  But they are taken mightily seriously and seem to require the daily rewriting of the Shortened Oxford Dictionary.  Nice though that everyone now gets a shout at redefining their gender, what they elect to do with it and who gets a sniff at it too.  One of the reasons, perhaps, why we all live in this little sheltered nest, high in the mountains of the Eastern Free State.  A much-loved resident of Clarens, now sadly deceased, once defined the village as a refugee centre for eccentrics; certainly that was a large part of the reason why Mrs Twitcher and I settled here.  What you see is what you get, so to speak, although there are a few residents about whom you might wish to know less.  Read more  

The Sunnyside Sunday Braai:  A tradition dating back to 1932!

Clarens News Sunnyside braai

Tradition.  Tradition. Tradition.  Every Sunday, weather permitting, a Sunday braai is served at Sunnyside.  This is not the usual DIY affair, so you need to be there at 1 pm sharp, as this is when lunch is served.  (And you need to book beforehand:  Phone Ann Boland: 058 256 1099.) Ann told us that this has been the tradition at Sunnyside since 1932. The braai takes place in a beautiful setting, next to a little river:  George’s Spruit (named after George Mousley) where children can spend hours catching crabs (using home-made “fishing rods”).  If you’re into those traditional values where children run free, dogs can just be dogs, and you enjoy good wholesome food then this is where you should be lazing away your Sunday afternoons.  The cost of a lunch is R80 for adults and R50 for children.  Sunnyside is not licenced, so you need to BYO.


 

Bowling 

Clarens News Bowling at Sunnyside Clarens News caught up with the Sunnyside Bowling Group last Tuesday.  This is an informal group (no need to dress up in the usual bowling attire) and anyone is welcome to join.  If you would like to join be sure to be there by 9.00 am on Tuesdays.  And don’t be put off if you don’t have a set of bowls – phone Millie on 058 2561312 who has a spare set you could borrow.  It looks like great fun.


 

Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve:

Clarens Village Nature Reserve Disa versicolor Disa versicolor Article and photography by Damien Coulson with input from Wim Wybenga Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-monthly Plant of Interest”. This time we’ve decided to focus on a specimen from the Orchidaceae (Orchid) family. Disa versicolor (Apple-blossum Orchard in English), is a robust orchid of between 300 & 600 mm tall usually found in damp grassland at altitudes up to 2400 m A.S.L. It’s widespread throughout S.A. and also occurs in Mozambique and Angola.It is interesting to note that unlike most plants which grow from seed alone, D. versicolor also spreads via an underground rootstock or sucker-system. The exact origin of the word Disa is unknown; however some have postulated that it stems from dis meaning “double” which refers to the 2 large “wings” on the flower style. Alternatively Disa may mean “rich” or “plush”, referring to the spectacular display of the original specimen recorded for the genus. The direction in which the spurs point is a useful means of spp. identification. Versicolor means “variably coloured” referring to the changing of colour of the florets through the flowering season. This specimen was photographed on the Scilla Walk.   Read more


 CVC Report-back April 2014

Clarens Village Conservancy REPORT BACK APRIL  4     Damien Coulson’s Report-back for April 2014  makes interesting reading: not only have the rangers been involved in the removal of  Alien and Invasive plants, but they’ve continued with the on-going battle of protecting the reserve (including the removal of cattle from the reserve,) trail maintenance, and the never-ending clearing away of rubbish.  (We find it extremely odd that people who visit this pristine area – presumably because they enjoy it – then not only find it necessary to leave their rubbish behind but to also damage or remove the trail markers.)     Cick here to read the full report. You can also lend your support and keep all their hard work going by becoming a member of the Clarens Village Conservancy.  Click here to find out more.


 

The Clarens Village Conservancy – Environmental Impact

Upgrading of Clarens Water Treatment Works:

Clarens Village Conservancy Environmental Impact Study I’m sure that most Clarenites are totally unaware of the work carried out by the Clarens Village Conservancy in looking after the Clarens environment in general.   Committee members not only keep an eye on the Clarens Village Nature Reserve, and the Clarens Village Recycling Centre, as well as the Working on Fire team, but also keep an eye on developments and planned developments in our area.   Earlier last week committee members Louw van Biljon and Toni B Walters met with Paul Scherzer of  E & D Consulting Services to discuss what environmental and visual impact of the proposed upgrade of the  Clarens Water Treatment works. would have on Clarens.   Click here to learn more about the proposed upgrade of the Clarens Water Treatment upgrade.  Please note that should you wish to participate in this process you need register and comment before the 9th June, 2013.


 

Sungazers:  Our gorgeous Free State Dragons

Clarens News Sungazer Clarens News received the following letter from Dr Ian Little, Manager, Threatened Grrassland Species Programme, Endangered Wildlife Trust

Hi All  We want to recognise the Sungazer as South Africa’s national lizard! We realise it seems like spam but we really need your vote and it’ll only take 1 minute. Please join us in this ground breaking initiative. You can be one of the key people to make this happen! Please sign the petition and pass it on to all of your contacts, regardless of their background or interests. This is important to all of us.https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Department_of_Arts_and_Culture_Make_Sungazers_South_Africas_national_lizard/  Thank you

I’ve been led to believe that these wonderful dragons occur in our area (although I confess I haven’t actually seen one yet.) We’ve been surfing the net to find out a bit more.  Click here for more information.   AND if you happen to spot one – please let us know:  editor@clarensnews.co.za


 

Paballo’s Nursing Sisters:  They’ll be back soon!  

Paballo’s Nursing Sisters:  They’ll be back soon!The sisters will be back at worK from  8.45am on Monday 9th June 2014Click here to see more notices on the Community Bulletin Board Click here for more information on Paballo’s Nursing CarePaballo’s Nursing Care @ Clarens has one nursing sister available for a position as live in night companion/nurse, this is due to the sad passing of one of our dear patients. For more details, please contact Dawn Wainwright at 058 256 1037 or 083 635 5881.


 

Restaurant Specials:

Monday – Friday:  The Posthouse breakfast! Sart the day on the right note.  The Posthouse Breakfast ranges from R22 – R30, and includes tea and coffee. Monday:  Protea Hotel: 17h00 – 19h00:  Soup and Sherry specials (R35) includes assorted breads and and the 1st sherry free.We also have periodic cake specials at R35 for cake and coffee/hot chocolate/cuppachino. Wednesday:  Friends Happy Hour from 20h00 to 21h00.  Live music. Wednesday:  Brambleberry @ The Ash (Old Cranford):  Burger and Pizza Specials Thursday:   Golden Age Day at Bon Appetit Bistro: (Rosemary Centre) Every Thursday (except Public Holidays) is now “Golden Age Day” @ Bon Appetit Bistro. If you are in the Golden Age (over 65 years old), come enjoy Breakfast (served all day), a light lunch, tea, coffee or cake and get 10% discount on your bill.  Open from 9.30am till 4.00pm. Thursday:  Brambleberry:  Happy Hour 17h30 to 18h30 followed by two-course meal special Friday:  Courtyard: Specials at the Cafe every friday from 12 noon, and at the Restaurant every friday evening from 18h00 Friday:  The Highlander: Happy Hour from 17h30 to 18h30. Need to make a booking?   Click here for a list of Restuarant telephone numbers


 

Coming Events: 12th June, 2014:  Wine Tasting

Clarens News Morgenhof EstateWine Tasting Event


 


 

Coming Events: 14 – 16 June, 2014  Tanya Jansen Exhibition and Live Painting

Clarens News Tanja Jansen exhibition     Click here For more information


 

Coming Events:  26 June 2014 : Brel meets Hardy

Clarens News Supper Theatre Brel meets Hardy



Coming Events:  27 June 2014 :Rocky Horror Party Nite

Clarens News Rocky Horror Party


 

Coming Events: 2015 Beer Fest:  27 and 28 February 2015

NO – It’s not too early to make a note in your diary!   Clarens Beer Fest 2015 Clarens Brewery : As with this year, we appeal to accommodation owners to try and reserve their accommodation for beer festival goers. It made an huge difference to the festival this year and we are very grateful to them for supporting the festival in such a positive way.


 

Coming Events: Clarens Country Market – every Saturday

Remember to visit the Clarens Country Market on Saturday.   10am – 3pm, outside Bibliophile, Church Street.


 

Coming Events: Always something happening in Clarens.

As you can see – we’ve got lots of supper theatre happening this month.  But that’s not all…… Click here:  For more information on what’s  happening in Clarens.


 


 

A “must have” for anyone who loves Clarens

 

Clarens capsNote from Rolf Schlub: I have now made another run of 100 Clarens-Clarens caps.

They are available from either Renel at the grocery shop or from Dean &

Maureen at the Maluti Tours at R 75.- each.

The proceeds will again go to someone local who deserves financial support.

To all Guesthouse owners, please tell your guests about this great souvenir.

Every local resident should have one also.


Springbok rugby

Watch all the action at one of our local Clarens pubs (and if you want to watch it on a big screen go to Artichoke).  The atmosphere is great –   almost like being at the game! Rugby


Municipal Rates:

On a rather sad note:  The Clarens Village Ratepayers Association advise that Clarens July Municipal accounts will show a 6% increase.


 

Classifieds:

The Classifieds page on the website has some very interesting ads.   Need a washing machine, a house to rent, or a carpenter to fix up that old furniture?  Click here to have a look. email:editor@clarensnews.co.za to place your ad on this page.


 

Making Clarens News Work for you:

Clarens News is here for you to enjoy, use, and to promote all things Clarens.  Click here to have a look at our new website: www.clarensnews.co.za.  You may notice that we haven’t got all the listings loaded yet, but in the meantime you can get a good idea of what the website is all about.   email:editor@clarensnews.co.za to discuss how to go about getting your business listed.


Last thought:  Today is the  70th Anniversary of D- Day. (June 6 1944)

The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Neptune, were the landing operations on 6 June 1944 (termed D-Day) of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the Allied invasion of German-occupied western Europe, led to the restoration of the French Republic, and contributed to an Allied victory in the war.


 

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6th June 2014

Birds?  Did that last time, if you remember, and quite satisfying it was too.  But time for something new, methinks, to satisfy the inner man, or should that be woman; perhaps even person?  That’s the problem with gender.  Just when you think it’s all buttoned up (or should that be unbuttoned?) it turns out there is yet another group of activists determined to advance their take on what I always thought was pretty straightforward.  But maybe straight isn’t a politically-correct word either!

If you think I make light of the issue, bear in mind we are living in a world of person-hole covers, door-persons, chair-persons and even tea-persons.   I feel sure there are more, but I will not tax you, dear reader, with my over-fertile imagination.  Writing documents, particularly for the development world, isn’t what it used to be, either.  For example, acronyms now cover the first 42 pages and incorporate abbreviations for types of person (?), acts, attitudes and unguents which stretch the boundaries of credulity.  But they are taken mightily seriously and seem to require the daily rewriting of the Shortened Oxford Dictionary.  Nice though that everyone now gets a shout at redefining their gender, what they elect to do with it and who gets a sniff at it too.  One of the reasons, perhaps, why we all live in this little sheltered nest, high in the mountains of the Eastern Free State.  A much-loved resident of Clarens, now sadly deceased, once defined the village as a refugee centre for eccentrics; certainly that was a large part of the reason why Mrs Twitcher and I settled here.  What you see is what you get, so to speak, although there are a few residents about whom you might wish to know less.

The tourists love it though, bless them, and keep coming back for more.  They seem to like looking at us, buying our jam and drinking our local brew.  Whatever are they going to say when we pull the top off our own Apple Brandy in the next several months?  Certainly, if you fancy a bit of gender-bending, that’s the perfect lubricant for the job, I would say.  Stay tuned, for the elixir is ruminating gently in its French oak casks as I speak.  If our gender defines us then, what do we think about the size 15 bovver-boots worn by sylph-like little girl-persons (is that term actually acceptable? – Editor) or the flowing locks and lashings of mascara worn by hugely overweight boy-persons (or that? – Editor) who would struggle to make it through the door?  I josh you not: such persons were tripping the light-fantastic just the other day, en route to our neighbouring mountain-cabbage Kingdom, and no-one raised an eyebrow.   But then we are quaintly notorious for looking the other way if said tourist-persons elect to expose a little body hair, or tattoos of their Giraffe, while unfolding their stiff notes of corruption or shiny new credit cards.  The banks don’t care either it would seem.

Where was I?

Ah yes.  Gender.  What fun it is, not least when you are engulfed in very waves of it.  I think the idea, voiced under the breath so to speak, of painting the Clarens Square pink is splendid.  Peter Reed, whose gentle hands have manicured the pre-winter greenery, would of course shudder, but what is the point of having a sense of humour unless you use it.  Just think, the Golf Estate could toss out its architectural guidelines (they don’t really have any, do they? – Editor) and paint all the roofs a verdant day-glow pink.  Imagine Lake Clarens up to the brim with pink champagne, and Bruce frolicking in its heady essence?  Ah, that’s what eccentricity is all about, particularly when little pink helicopters are raining money on our little businesses.  Gather your strength, Clarenites, for pink is the colour of the century it would seem, and we must embrace the fashion or die trying.  With a little encouragement, I feel sure the Brewery would rise to the occasion and produce a vibrant pink beer.   Yes, it is time to embrace our eccentricity once more, even if it involves artist-persons, theatre-persons and blue-wigged hologram persons.  Brace yourselves, citizens, I believe I can hear the future coming………………………..

Disa versicolor

Disa versicolor Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts. Welcome to this weeks’ “bi-monthly Plant of Interest”. This time we’ve decided to focus on a specimen from the Orchidaceae (Orchid) family.

Disa versicolor (Apple-blossum Orchard in English), is a robust orchid of between 300 & 600 mm tall usually found in damp grassland at altitudes up to 2400 m A.S.L. It’s widespread throughout S.A. and also occurs in Mozambique and Angola.

It is interesting to note that unlike most plants which grow from seed alone, D. versicolor also spreads via an underground rootstock or sucker-system. The exact origin of the word Disa is unknown; however some have postulated that it stems from dis meaning “double” which refers to the 2 large “wings” on the flower style. Alternatively Disa may mean “rich” or “plush”, referring to the spectacular display of the original specimen recorded for the genus. The direction in which the spurs point is a useful means of spp. identification. Versicolor means “variably coloured” referring to the changing of colour of the florets through the flowering season. This specimen was photographed on the Scilla Walk.

Another interesting feature of D. versicolor is that the shoot on which most of the leaves occur is separate from the flower bearing stem. The leaves are elongate and basal measuring approx. 200 by 20mm and tend to fold over backwards, tapering to an acute point. Few leaves grow on the flowering stem, and these are usually thin and overlapping thereby providing a protective sheath for the flowering stem. The inflorescence is very dense, with the lower portion of the bracts often dry. The flowers are small pinkish-white and usually face downwards. The typical flower shape is derived from one sepal forming a hood at the top and the other two resembling  spreading wings below. The spurs (5 – 7 mm) are hooked upwards and downwards and may be faintly vanilla scented in the evenings. Flowering Jan-Feb. Uses:

Traditional uses

Used as a protective charm although the particular form of protection is unknown.

Ecology

This spp., like many others of the Disa Genus, is pollinated by bees (mostly of the Amegilla species – pictured below). The short nectar producing spurs have been likened to the mouthparts of the bees which pollinate this plant. For healthy ecosystems, including agro & natural ecosystems both diversity and abundance in the bee fauna is important, both for biodiversity and production purposes.

Amegilla species Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Conservation Status

This species has been recorded as of Least Concern by SANBI.

Damien1-100x100Article and photographs by Damien Coulson,

with input from Wim Wybenga

 Click here for more articles on Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve