Results: Photographic Competition – Cape Town Photographic Society

Herewith the results of the photographic competition that took place during the weekend that the Cape Town Photographic Society spent in Stanford in celebration of their 125th anniversary.

Richard Goldschmidt’s photograph of the Kleinrivier is a great shot of one, if not THE gem, of Stanford’s tourist assets. The magical weaving of water, sky and mountains makes for a worthy winner. Richard’s prize is two nights for 6 at Eagleyes Guest House.

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Pat Scott’s entry of 5 (or 6, or 7?) different birds in one photograph illustrates the richness of Stanford’s Avian bounty. She wins the wonderful book Portrait of a Village by Stanford’s own Annalize Mouton. Hopefully its contents will draw Pat back to Stanford in due course.

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The third prize goes to Kim Stevens for her a lovely study of lines taken of the Mosaic Farm Jetty. A case of Stanford Wineries best will I am sure help cement an ongoing relation between Stanford & Kim.

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The weekend was enjoyed by all by all the photographers. Amongst many highlights, they were treated to a preview of local birdlife photographer Richard Masson’s soon to be released book, “A hundred Birds in my Stanford garden”. This book is a wonderful example of birding Stanford style and is an invitation to all birders to visit our area to see the ± 150 other species recorded in our area.

Eagleyes are putting together a special weekend to host at least four teams of four to enter S A Birdings big day on 27th November 2015. More on this later.

A very special occasion

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Reminiscent of days gone by in Arniston, the Williamson clan chose to get together for the first time in many years. The above photograph encapsulates the happinessstrength and energy reflected by various members who had in some instances not been together for many years. Eagleyes was the perfect venue for this unique weekend, hosting 14 people with ease in consumate luxury & class that went a long way to making this Stanfordbased happening the event that it was.
Braaing on a generous fire – of Dantes proportions, Steve Leith, braaimaster of note, cooked up a storm that was the centrepiece of a feast fitting for the occasion with 18 seated comfortably in the dining room. Memories were stirred, stories recounted and a wonderful  weekend was enjoyed by all.  Everyone present were generous in their praise of Eagleyes as the perfect venue for such a gathering.  

Amazing Western Leopard Toad

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This amazing Western Leopard Toad, a critically endangered South African endemic, has taken up residence at Eagleyes Guest House in Stanford and had his pic taken by Albert Froneman, highly acclaimed wildlife photographer. Stanford is considered the furthest point this unique amphibian is found from the coast. Their protection in this area is vital and a newly soon to be formed Stanford Frog initiative is being put in place to ensure this species’ survival. In the meanwhile our resident expert, Naas Terblanche, can be contacted at info@vaalvlei.co.za should you need any further information on this extraordinary conservation gem. Failing this, please contact Royd Frith at 071 128 5533 or mail to info@eagleyes.co.za.

“The Western Leopard Toad lives in Cape Town and the Agulhas Plain. As such it shares its home with millions of Capetonians. As toads go, it is larger than most and exquisitely marked. It happily co-exists with humans in the suburbs, and would be just another beautiful inhabitant of Cape Town if it were not for the fact that it is an explosive breeder!

Every year, for a few days usually in August, toady goes a courting. This is unusual in that it is confined to less than a week a year. Thousands of toads migrate to suitable ponds. There the males snore and fight for the females. The females lay their eggs and depart, migrating back to their gardens. The exhausted males follow later when no more females arrive at the pools.

Again, this would be perfectly natural were it not for the fact that we have built roads and highways all around their breeding ponds.

And so every year there is a problem that potentially thousands of toads end up pancaked on our roads

Fortunately, there are volunteers who, every year while toads only have sex their minds, man the roads, rescuing toads, controlling traffic and preventing a blood bath.  We need your help to save our toads. The frenzy lasts for only two to five nights a year, but in that time the next generation of toads is created or doomed.

Identification

The Western Leopard Toad can reach an impressive size of about 140 mm in body length. Like all toads, it has a rough skin and two large parotoid glands on either side of the head and neck region behind the eyes. It has a beautiful pattern of chocolate to reddish-brown patches with a bright yellow or black edging, on a pink or grey background (although duller individuals are also found). There is usually a yellow stripe running the length of the back between the patches. The underside is granular and cream-coloured, with males having a darkish throat.

Other toad species that occupy its habitat in places, generally have a duller brown to greyish upper surface colouring, covered in darker blotches and smaller markings. These species are: the Raucous Toad (Amietophrynus rangeri); the Sand Toad (Vandijkophrynus angusticeps); and the Guttural Toad (Amietophrynus gutturalis), an introduced species in the Constantia area of the Cape Peninsula. Of these, the Raucous Toad is the most similar, but besides colour and pattern differences, it usually has only one elongated patch between the eyes, instead of the usual two of the Western Leopard Toad. It also does not occur on the Cape Peninsula and Cape Flats, which is the best known distribution area of the Western Leopard Toad, but occurs throughout the remainder of the Western Leopard Toad’s distribution area.

The advertisement call is a deep pulsed snore that continues for about a second and is repeated every three to four seconds. It can also be described as sounding like a tractor or motorcycle engine, or a very loud “purr”. The call is quite different to that of any other frog species in its distribution area, including its nearest relatives. For example, the Raucous Toad makes loud, duck-like quacks, repeated incessantly, and the Guttural Toad has a constantly repeated vibrant snore.” – http://www.leopardtoad.co.za

LISTEN TO THE TOADSNORE IF YOU HEAR THIS IN YOUR AREA YOU HAVE WESTERN LEOPARD TOADS BREEDING NEAR YOUR HOUSE! PLEASE LET US KNOW ON THE HOTLINE

 

History of Eagleyes Guest House

We are still in the process of researching exactly when Eagleyes Guest House (34 Bezuidenhout Street) had been built. At this stage all we know is that it was built in the early 1900s by either Hendrik Vermeulen or his son, George. The Vermeulens were a well-known Stanford and Overberg family and builders of reknown. You can read more about them here: The Vermeulens of the Overberg

The house was most probably built for Mr Pieter Stephanus de Villiers, known as “Apie”, of the farm, Bovendrift near Stanford, or for his mother. Apie was a well-known businessman in Hermanus and Stanford. In 1951, six years after the death of his father, Abraham Pieter Matthys, Apie, his mother, Martha Cornelia Susanna, and unmarried sister, Martina Cornelia Susanna (Tienie), went to live at 34 Bezuidenhout Street. Tienie de Villiers outlived both her mother and brother, and in 1979 when she moved to the old-age home in Gansbaai, the house was sold. In a letter (postal stamp on envelope: 5 March 1979) to Tienie from her niece, Gerrie, in which her last municipal account was included, Gerrie also mentioned that a certain Mr Otto’s sister-in-law bought the house from a Mr Thys Erwee. Who this “Mr Otto’s sister-in-law” was, is still uncertain.

 

In 1983, 34 Bezuidenhout Street was bought from another Mr De Villiers by the Pieters family, and they lived there from 1983 to 2013.

 

In 2013 the house was bought by Royd and Lindsay Frith who fastidiously renovated it and brought it back to its former glory under the watchful eye of renowned local heritage architect, Maureen Wolters.

The finished product

The finished product