Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Struik Nature

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Green’ Category

Big Cats in the City: Laurel Seriey Discusses the Urban Caracal Project (Podcast)

Stuarts' Field Guide to Mammals of Southern AfricaStuarts se Veldgids tot Soogdiere van Suider-AfrikaA Photographic Guide to Mammals of Southern, Central and East AfricaBehaviour Briefs

Nature lovers confined to the city will be interested in the Urban Caracal Project, an investigation into the effect of urbanisation on these important predators.

Laurel Seriey, founder and coordinator of the project, recently spoke to Mike Wills on CapeTalk about her work. She revealed more about the aims of her research, and how ordinary people can help.

Caracals, Seriey says, are solitary animals and play a “key role in the health of the ecosystem of the Cape Peninsula”. But they are under threat because of human activities.

Listen to the podcast:


Book details

» read article

Everything You Need to Know About the 2015-2016 Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts

The Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts are an annual opportunity to enjoy some of the best of South African music in the country’s most beautiful concert venue.

Highlights this year include Mango Groove, the Rotary Carols, the New Year’s Eve party with Grassy Spark and Jeremy Loops, and the Cape Town Folk ‘n Acoustic Music Festival in February.

Tickets cost between R110 and R175 for adults. There is a concession for people younger than 21, who pay only R80 and R140. Tickets for the Rotary Carols and the New Year’s Eve party are priced differently (details below). Tickets are sold by Webtickets.

Shows start between 5 and 5:30 PM, and gates open at 4 PM. Going early to secure a good picnic spot is a good idea. Going even earlier to enjoy the beautiful gardens before the music begins is a great idea!

Read all about the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens in these Struik Nature books:

KirstenboschKirstenboschAdventure Trails in KirstenboschKirstenbosch JournalKirstenbosch


Have a look at the exciting line up:
22 November 5:30 PM Freshlyground (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

29 November 5:30 PM Zonke Dikana (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

6 December 5:30 PM Arno Carstens (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

13 December 5:30 PM Mango Groove (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

17 December 5:30 PM Rotary Carols at Kirstenbosch (age 2-5: R20 / age 6-18: R65 / adult: R90)

18 – 20 December 5:30 PM Rotary Carols at Kirstenbosch (age 2-5: R25 / age 6-18: R75 / adult: R100)

27 December 5:30 PM Jimmy Nevis (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

31 December 7 PM New Year’s Eve Concert: Jeremy Loops and Grassy Spark (all: R330)

3 January 5:30 PM The Parlotones (youth: R140 / adult: R175)

10 January 5:30 PM Prime Circle (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

17 January 5:30 PM Karen Zoid and Francois van Coke (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

24 January 5:30 PM Mi Casa (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

31 January 5:30 PM The Soil (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

7 February 5 PM Cape Town Folk ‘n Acoustic Music Festival (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

14 February 5:15 PM Matthew Mole and Rubber Duc (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

21 February 5:30 PM Goldfish (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

28 February 5:30 PM The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

6 March 5:15 PM Shortstraw and The Plastics (youth: R80 / adult: R110)

13 March 5:15 PM Al Bairre and Bye Beneco (youth: R80 / adult: R110)

20 March 5:15 PM Zebra & Giraffe and Monark (youth: R80 / adult: R110)

21 March 5:30 PM Fundraiser: Performer to be confirmed (TBA)

27 March 5:15 PM Beatenberg and John Wizards (youth: R110 / adult: R150)

3 April 5:15 PM December Streets and The Vanilla (youth: R80 / adult: R110)


Book details

» read article

Visit Any National Botanical Garden for Free on Nelson Mandela Day

The South African National Botanical Institute (SANBI) has made an open invitation to all South African citizens to visit any one of the nine national botanical gardens around the country for free on Saturday, 18 July, in commemoration of International Nelson Mandela Day.

Mandela was an avid gardener himself, and is often quoted saying that the small patch of earth he tended to while in prison offered him a taste of freedom. Nelson Mandela Day is celebrated on the day of his birth, challenging people all over the world to contribute 67 minutes of their time to the global movement for good.

In lieu of entrance fees, SANBI asks that visitors bring donations of sanitary pads or toiletries which will be distributed to underprivileged school girls.

Read the article for more information:

Entrance into the garden will be free on this day; however, we request donations of sanitary pads or toiletries. By donating a pack of sanitary pads or toiletries, visitors will be contributing towards restoring the dignity of underprivileged school girls who miss about 7 days a month of schooling to avoid accidental embarrassment.

Your contribution to this worthy course will contribute immensely in ensuring that we keep our girls at school.

Related link:

Struik Nature has published a wide variety of books on the fauna and flora you can expect to find in SANBI’s gardens as well as numerous books on Kirstenbosch, arguably the most famous of them all:

KirstenboschKirstenboschKirstenbosch JournalAdventure Trails in KirstenboschKirstenbosch


Book details

» read article

How to Make 3D Scans of Live Dragonflies and Damselflies: An Interview with Warwick Tarboton (Podcast)

A Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of South AfricaWarwick Tarboton, co-author of A Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa, was recently interviewed on Classic FM about his new book.

In the interview, Tarboton speaks about how the idea for the book came about, and the research he and his co-author did for it,

Tarboton describes how he and Michèle Tarboton took the pictures of the insects. He says a 3D scanner allowed them to get high quality pictures of the dragonflies and damselflies. They did this without killing them, they only had to apply coolant to stop the insects wriggling around during scanning.

Download the podcast:


Book details

» read article

New from Warwick and Michele Tarboton: A Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa

A Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of South AfricaStruik Nature presents A Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of South Africa by Warwick and Michèle Tarboton:

This field guide to the dragonflies and damselflies of South Africa covers all species known to occur in the region. A detailed introduction covers behaviour, life cycles, biology and breeding; and the species entries focus on identification and distribution. Colour plates feature scans of the actual insects – males and females where possible – as well as close ups and side views; and diagnostic labels help ensure accurate ID. Additional photographs show species in their specific habitat and illustrate key behaviour.

Beautifully presented and authoritative, this book will appeal to anyone with an interest in South Africa’s insect life, and to nature lovers in general.

About the authors

Warwick and Michèle Tarboton are accomplished and experienced authors. Warwick is a recognised bird expert who has produced a number of well-received books, and has been awarded the Gill Memorial Medal for services to ornithology. Having already self-published two successful books about dragonflies, and having spent many years in the field studying and photographing their subject, the Tarbotons are well qualified to produce this popular guide.

Book details

» read article

Know Your Pygmy Mice with Stuarts’ Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa

Stuarts' Field Guide to Mammals of Southern AfricaStuarts se Veldgids tot Soogdiere van Suider-AfrikaMoira de Swardt has written a piece on the revised and expanded edition of Chris and Mathilde Stuart’s Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa.

De Swardt says the guide is “quite delightful”, and perfect for a trip to the Kruger National Park, or for an armchair enthusiast to dip into.

In fact, it helped her identify the animal in a friend’s photo on Facebook:

This morning I found a photograph of a little mouse on Facebook posted by Kate Gericke in Kgalagadi Sightings. She was asking for identification. I used this book to make the identification – desert pygmy mouse.

I love it when a field guide is actually sufficiently user friendly for me to use. If I can use it then anyone (literate) can use it. I am definitely not a boffin in these matters.

Book details

» read article

Presenting Stuarts’ Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa by Chris and Mathilde Stuart

Stuarts se Veldgids tot Soogdiere van Suider-AfrikaStuarts' Field Guide to Mammals of Southern AfricaStuarts’ Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa by Chris and Mathilde Stuart will be published by Struik Nature this month:

Greater southern Africa has a wealth of mammal species, almost 400 – all of which are covered in this fully updated, comprehensive field guide. Now expanded to include species found in Angola, Zambia and Malawi, it has also been extensively revised to include: the most recent research and taxonomy; revised distribution maps and new images; colour coded grouping of families; spoor and size icons; skull photographs, grouped for easy comparison; detailed descriptions of each species, offering insight into key identification characters, typical behaviour, preferred habitat, food choice, reproduction and longevity.

This book is also available in Afrikaans as Stuarts se Veldgids tot Soogdiere van Suider-Afrika.

About the authors

Chris and Mathilde Stuart are the highly regarded authors of a range of books on African mammals, wildlife and conservation, as well as scientific papers and popular articles. Much of their time is spent travelling the world, searching for wild mammals and promoting their conservation.

Book details

» read article