Of trees and other living things…

The blog this week is about getting out there…experiencing nature’s beauty.

The place I visited is a place I have been to before, but in my view, it has improved since my last visit. The Tokai Arboretum. An arboretum is defined in the dictionary as a place where trees are planted for display. This one though was established more for bio-scientific reasons.

In 1885, Joseph Storr Lister, the then chief conservator of forests for the Western Conservancy of the Cape of Good Hope identified this area as ideal and obtained trees from similar climates from all over the world. The idea was to test for the suitability of various types of  tree for forestry purposes.

To be found amongst the various tree species, are oaks and Californian redwoods.

The trees were numbered and listed and can be seen today still.

It is also a wonderful place to picnic. Hikers and bikers make use of the trails as well.

There is a lovely little restaurant/tea room, where one can order up a breakfast or tea and scones. It is wonderful to sit at the tables under the trees and enjoy some refreshment after a walk in the forest.

If you are fortunate (and walk quietly enough through the brush) you may be blessed with a sighting of various raptors.

My wife and I followed a trail down to the river. As we rounded a bend in the trail we were taken by surprise by the sudden fluttering of wings. I could not get a clear look at what the bird was, but it seemed to be a hawk, possibly a Jackal Buzzard, that was drinking at the stream and was startled by us approaching. Black Eagles (Verreaux’s Eagle) and Peregrine Falcons are known to be found there and I have seen Fish Eagles at nearby dams.

If you want a morning of peace and quiet go to the Tokai Arboretum.

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