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Gallery: Eastern Cape, a place of natural wonders

first_imgCross the border into the Eastern Cape, whether along the N6 or N2, and an overwhelming calm takes over. Its green hills, dense forests and warm seas embrace the visitor, revealing all that is sacred and making you feel as if you have arrived home.The Eastern Cape’s landscape is varied and suits the taste of any tourist. You can ski the alpine slopes of Tiffindell, hike the forests of Tsitsikamma, lounge on any of its golden beaches and take in the savannah culture of the Karoo. (Images: Shamin Chibba, unless stated otherwise)Compiled by Shamin ChibbaIt’s September. It’s spring in South Africa – and Tourism Month, celebrated this year with the theme “Tourism for All”. To inspire your next road trip we bring you nine galleries, one for each province, showcasing our country’s remarkable beauty and diversity.A thriving tourism industry means South Africa is closer to achieving its National Development Plan goals of skills development and creating decent employment through inclusive economic growth.The Eastern Cape’s natural landscape is varied and caters for tourists of all kinds. One can ski the alpine slopes of Tiffindell, surf the Supertubes in Jeffrey’s Bay , hike the forest in Hogsback and explore the oddities in the savannah-like Karoo towns.The Eastern Cape is a storied part of South Africa, filled with people carving out a life in what is the country’s poorest province. Despite this, its people have a lot of heart and if you spend a little time with them, you will feel as if you have always belonged there.The East London beachfront hosts one of the country’s biggest New Years’ bashes each year. But between the parties, it is calm, with many East Londoners walking or running on the promenade at the end of the day.Kologha Forest in Stutterheim is the second largest natural forest in South Africa after the Knysna Forest. It can be explored by foot, mountain bike and even on horseback. For those looking to do a spot of fishing, the forest’s waterways are home to trout. Be on the lookout for the forest’s many inhabitants, which include bushpigs, bats, monkeys, duikers and numerous birds. (Image: SA-Venues.com)Built between 1860 and 1880, the Donkin Street terraced houses in Port Elizabeth are actually integrated as a single unit. The whole street was declared a national monument in 1967.Tiffindell Ski Resort, in the Southern Drakensberg, is South Africa’s only ski and snowboarding resort. Established in 1993, the resort has since become the country’s winter playground. It uses snow making and grooming machines to maintain the ski hill. (Image: Tiffindell Ski Resort)The Eco Shrine in the mystical village of Hogsback is a nod to the power of art, nature, science and the sacred. In the distance are the three ridges from which the Hogsback takes its name. Some speculate that Hogsback’s magical surrounds inspired JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Residents have run with the claim, with names like Camelot, Hobbiton, Rivendell, The Shire, Lothlorien and Middle Earth seen everywhere. When you visit, don’t forget to hike to the Madonna and Child waterfall. (Image: Flickr, South African Tourism)The Big Tree in Tsitsikamma is estimated to be between 600 and 800 years old, stands 36.6 metres tall and has a trunk circumference of nine metres.Found in the town of Storms River, the Big Tree is a yellowwood. This species, South Africa’s national tree, is endangered. Before yellowwoods were cut and logged almost to extinction, they dominated country’s landscape, particularly in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape. Today, there is just 10% of the yellowwood trees of 350 years ago.Hole in the Wall is a village south of Coffee Bay on the Wild Coast. In isiXhosa, the area is called esiKhaleni, which means ‘the place of sound’. Some say the name comes from the cracking sound made by waves slapping the rocks while others believe it comes from a legend about a young maiden who fell in love with one of the mythical ‘sea people’. (Image: Flickr, South African Tourism)Jeffrey’s Bay is South Africa’s number one surf spot, known as Supertubes. It attracts some of the best surfers in the world for the Billabong Surf Pro Championship, in July each year. (Image: Flickr, South African Tourism)The beachfront in East London is a great place for tourists to pick up arts and crafts.The N2 road runs along the Eastern Cape coast, linking Cape Town and Durban and beyond. It forms part of the Garden Route. The road cuts through some of the country’s diverse flora and fauna as well as picturesque Eastern Cape towns such as Port Alfred and Kenton-on-Sea.A man and his dog, a common sight at Nahoon Beach, East London.In Nieu Bethesda, The Owl House is a testament to the power of imagination. With its numerous sculptures of owls, bottle-skirted hostesses, mermaids, camels and pilgrims, The Owl House has become almost a required stop for visitors to the Karoo village. Depending on your outlook, the place is either weird or wonderful. (Image: Flickr, South African Tourism)Donkin Reserve in Port Elizabeth’s city centre was declared a public space in perpetuity by Sir Rufane Donkin. It has a lighthouse and stone pyramid monument upon which an inscription was placed by Donkin in honour of his late wife, Elizabeth, after whom the city was named.The Paul Sauer Bridge, better known as Storms River Bridge, has become symbolic for travellers along the Garden Route. It was the highest concrete arch in Africa at 120 metres above the river until the Bloukrans Bridge was built in 1984. The latter stands at 216 metres above the river. Both bridges are on the N2. (Image: Flickr, South African Tourism)In times long past, the home of elephants and, more recently, woodcutters, the village of Storms River attracts the curious tourist with its charm and special ambiance. With little lighting, silence and few people, it is perfect for anyone in search of a bit of solitude.Whatever your taste, you can find pristine beaches void of people or touristy resorts along the long Eastern Cape coast.The East London Golf Club, one of the oldest and best courses in the country, has hosted the South African Championships six times and the Africa Open Golf Challenge. Overlooking Nahoon Beach and Nature Reserve, it is considered a must-play course by golfers.The dolerite columns of the Valley of Desolation, just 14 kilometres from Graaff-Reinet, rise 120 metres from the valley floor. The nearby Camdeboo National Park, seen in the background, is known for its biodiversity, with more than 220 species of birdlife, 336 plants and 43 mammals. (Image: South African Tourism)last_img read more

Soybean diseases to watch for

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest I’ve scouted a number of fields and driven by many acres in the past two weeks and the crop looks great.  A bit behind in some areas, but soybeans can compensate fairly well.  With that comes the question what do we need to watch out for next?Frogeye leaf spot– particularly in those fields where it was present at high levels last year and the field is in soybean this year.  I will assume that this practice was done due to the late planting date and not a continuous soybean practice.  In these fields there is a higher probability that frogeye leaf spot will start early.  If you do find spots, gray lesions with purple borders, look on the underside to see if there are whiskers (spores) on the bottom of the lesion.There is lots of noise about soybean rust this year.  This is the first year that levels are high in the very deep south:  Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana.  The good news is that the hot, dry weather forecast for most of this summer should keep it in check.  In the past, from the sentinel plot surveys we have noted that once a pustule is found (1/100 leaves) — that this gives a three week notice. Unlike our southern producers who have spore deposits every day, Ohio and northern states have to wait for a large wet weather event to bring the inoculum in.  It must then multiply in the field (9 to 10 days from inoculation to sporulation) and build-up with the field. To date no weather event has occurred and we will continue to monitor the situation especially for those late planted soybeans.3. Brown spot — where did it go?  I have been very surprised at how clean the lower leaves and unifoliates are this year, even in no-till fields. This is really an indication of how dry it was for the time period following planting in many areas of the state.  We will see how it looks next week after several rain events.last_img read more

Patna University must compete among 10 best public varsities to get ₹ 10,000 cr. central grant, says Modi

first_imgShatrughan, Yashwant, Lalu absentProminent alumni of the university, local BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha; former Union Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad were conspicuously absent from the function.However, while welcoming Mr. Modi to the university, Mr. Shatrughan Sinha tweeted on Saturday “…even I got an invitation, alas very late and with a very short notice…delayed by the more loyal than the King’s people involved in the affair”. So, though “Muhabbat Karne waale kam na honge…Teri mehfil mein lekin hum na honge’… my best wishes”, he tweeted again.However, other prominent alumni of the varsity, Union Ministers Ram Vilas Paswan, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ashwani Choubey and Upendra Kushwaha, were present on the dais with the Prime Minister, Governor Satya Pal Malik, Mr. Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi.In bad shapeEstablished on October 1, 1917, Patna University, was once known as the “Oxford of The East”. But with the passage of time, al its past glory diminished and today it suffers from lack of teachers, staff, infrastructure and fund. “Its in pathetic situation today”, Mr. Shatrughan Sinha had said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the Patna University (PU) should compete among the 10 best public universities of the country to get a grant of ₹ 10,000 crore from the central government and become a fully autonomous institution.The Prime Minister was speaking at the university’s centenary celebration function in Patna.Earlier, amid a thunderous applause of the students, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar urged Mr. Modi to grant central university status to the university .Mr. Modi said, “India is nowhere among top 500 universities of the world…my government has put up a challenge to 10 private and 10 public universities to fulfil some criterions fixed by the government to get ₹ 10,000 crore grant in five years and become a fully autonomous institution…Patna University too should take up the challenge and compete for it…it will go beyond its demand for a status of a central university. Patna University should also connect with its glorious list of alumna to regain its past glory…it happens everywhere.”Calls for innovationAddressing the gathering of students, former students, staff and teachers, the Prime Minister also laid emphasis on prioritising “innovation” in universities for the country’s development.“I appeal to the Patna University to be innovative for the problems of your surrounding and compete for start-ups…India has no dearth of talent as it has vast lot of young people”, he said.After the function, the Prime Minister left for Mokama, 100 km from Patna to launch several development projects worth of over ₹ 3,700 crore.PM @narendramodi visiting the Bihar Museum in Patna pic.twitter.com/QfvEKiPlWY— PIB India (@PIB_India) October 14, 2017last_img read more

Fifth body, a civilian, found near Shopian shootout site

first_imgFifth body of a civilian was found near the shootout site in Shopian on Monday morning, as the authorities imposed curfew-like restrictions in Shopian, Pulwama and Srinagar as a precautionary measure. “Another body has been found at a distance from the Sunday evening incident at Pahnoo Shopian,” said a Srinagar-based police spokesman.The police identified the deceased as Gowhar Ahmed Lone of Chitragam in Shopian. Lone, who was pursuing M.P.Ed at Nagpur University in Maharashtra, had four bullets on his body. The police said it has “initiated an investigation” into the incident.A total of five people, including a Lashkar-e-Taiba militant and four civilians, has been killed amid conflicting versions. The Army said a patrol came under fire around 8 p.m. and in the “retaliatory fire one militant and four of his accomplices in a car were killed.”The Army described the deceased as “over ground workers” of militants. However, the locals and the victim families claimed none of the “civilians” had any association with militants and were killed in “a cold blooded murder”.Shopian has remained tense this year as five civilians were killed in two separate firing incidents on January 10 and January 27. In both the incidents, locals accused the security forces of “indiscriminate fire”. The Army faces an FIR in the January 27 incident.Meanwhile, authorities imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar, Pulwama and Shopian. Internet services have been barred in parts of south Kashmir as sporadic protests broke out there.All train services have been suspended. Kashmir University has cancelled all examinations. The exams of prestigious Kashmir Administrative Services were also postponed. Separatists have called for a shutdown against the incident.last_img read more

Asian Games: Rowers scoop two silver as India pick up three medals

first_imgThe rowers provided an unexpected boost to India’s medal hunt in the 16th Asian Games with two silver medals but poor form continued to haunt the fancied shooters with Gagang Narang flopping yet again on the sixth day of competitions in Guangzhou on Thursday. MEDAL TALLYApart from the silver-winning feat of the rowers, shooter Vijay Kumar bagged a bronze medal and Paramjeet Samota assured himself of at least a bronze after punching his way into the semifinals of super heavyweight on yet another mediocre day for India’s large contingent.With the addition of two silvers and a bronze, India took their medals tally to one gold, seven silver and eight bronze but the failure to win the coveted gold has resulted in a continuous slide in the position on the table in the last few days.Tennis star Sania Mirza had a trouble-free day as she sailed into the pre-quarterfinals of the women’s singles with a straight-set demolition of Hong Kong’s Chan Wing Yau Venise while the racqueters got off to a good start with both men’s and women’s team progressing to the quarterfinals of the squash singles event.On the gloomier side, the Indian challenge in table tennis ended with Achanta Sharath Kamal and Anthony Amalraj bowing out in the pre quarterfinals of the men’s singles event. It was a similar story in men’s singles badminton with Arvind Bhatt crashing out out in the pre-quarterfinals.It was the men’s rowing four team of Anil Kumar, Saji Thomas, Ranjit Singh and Jenil Krishnan which began the silver collection as they completed the distance of 2000m in 6:16.79, behind China (6:06.40). Uzbekistan won bronze with a timing of 6:22.70.advertisementIn the men’s lightweight four event final, the Indian quartet of Lokesh Kumar, Manjeet Singh, Rajesh Kumar Yadav and Satish Joshi finished second with a timing of 6:13.32, behind Japan who clocked 6:10.14. Hong Kong won the bronze, clocking 6:14.84.After three barren days at the Aoti shooting range, Vijay Kumar notched up his second and India’s fifth medal in shooting by bagging a bronze in men’s 25m center fire pistol but Commonwealth Games hero Narang missed out on a bronze by a whisker in 50m rifle 3 positions.Vijay shot 583 (290+293) to finish third behind South Korea’s Park Byung Taek who scored 586 (290+296) and Liu Yadong of China who fired 585 (290+295).last_img read more