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). 😉

These pictures show how millions of South Africans are housed.

To avoid misunderstandings: it’s NOT the homestead of South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma. This guy has always been very privileged … 😉 …; most probably never stayed in a shack (well I did and it was quite an experience. Everything there except electricity and a toilet …)

These pictures are part of a documentary serie I’m engaged in for the NGO Food4Thought which runs the pre-primary school Funimfundo (= ‘Seeking Knowledge’) in the location (township/informal settlement) Die Kop nearby my village. The school is privately funded (no state involved), exists for 10 yrs and is regarded as one of the best in the Western Cape.

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