Milkwood Achievement

Finishing at a marathon is an achievement after a few years of training as is starting a business, set a goal, an becoming a millionaire after a few decades.

But what about trees? There are trees like the Baobab (6 different species in Southern and Eastern Africa plus Australia) that need hundreds of years to achieve the status of ‘mature’. Unfortunately I live too far South in South Africa to have the view of baobab trees at the horizon but in our part (near the Southernmost spot of the African Continent) the Milkwood Trees are indigenous/endemic. Now I must admit that the author of the Wikipedia article (see link) took some shortcuts. The Milkwood Tree evolved in the time of the dino- and other saurus-giants and survived climate changes and human impact. The tree dies after several hundred years above the earth surface but by than time new growth from the enormous root-system has already popped up. Some roots are estimated to be several thousands years of age…  Well … if that is not an achievement?

Photo: Milkwood Tree near our house

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Do NOT hug a Tree in the Southernmost Forest of the African Continent

T_DSC0523ree huggers are a rare breed of the human race. They hug trees, seemingly unaware of damaging (even killing) the life of the bark of the tree such as mosses, epiphytes and fungi that have a lively mutual beneficial exchange with the tree. Especially in the ‘Platbos‘ (meaning ‘Flat Forest’) near our village which is the Southernmost remains of a forest that covered South Africa’s lowlands for millions of years. Five million or so years ago a climate change (less rain, increasing average temperature, etc.) caused a change towards fynbos and savannah grasslands. All those details can be found in the mentioned link.

Recently I scanned the forest for an upcoming photo shoot with a complete team including stylist, make-up artist etc. and photo model; Just to find the right spots for the right pictures and I was amazed by all kinds of details I noticed on my walk through this 40 hectare large canopy-forest. And I made some snap shoots during my hike but I’ll go back for more one day or a week…

‘Platbos’ is owned by  ex-Capetonians Francois and Melissa Krige. Strangely enough it seems that not many local people know about the unique character of this biome right on their doorstep but visitors and camping guests from far and far away know to find their way.

At the edge of the forest is a Cretan Labyrinth made of snail-shells (huge ones….)

Oh .. for the tree huggers amongst you; the pamphlet of Platbos is very explicit about bee swarms living in tree hollows and also mentions puff adders  and tree snakes (poisonous snakes). 😉