Paradise lost Print E-mail
News - Briewe
Monday, 27 July 2015 23:14
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Mark Ikking from Boschkop writes:
About five years ago we moved to a plot about 10 km east of Pretoria in the Donkerhoek / Boschkop area with a piece of the Pienaars river situated on it.

Beautiful trees lined the river, making you feel like you were in a secluded forest hundreds of miles away from civilization. It wasn't much of a river, being about 20 metres at its widest part and not very deep, but it was my little hide away.

Being a keen bass angler I jumped at the chance to see if there was anything in the river. To my surprise I managed to catch a few decent bass, well, for my ability anyway.

I used to slip away from the house early on a Saturday morning when my wife was still asleep and even if I did not catch anything it was still great catching a glimpse of the fish eagles flying past or the vervet monkeys frolicking in the trees or sometimes just sitting there until last light, watching the fireflies emerge and flicker across the water.

There was even a family of tame carp that you could try and entice with a few slivers of bread.
That is where I really came to realize the true meaning of bass fishing, being in nature.

Unfortunately, about a year ago, the neighbour across the river started an aggressive cull of the trees on his side until it looked like Delville wood after the bombings.

The river was dammed up with sandbags at the shallow part, opening a walkway from his side to ours; some trees were left to rot in the water where they fell.

Since then the fishing has gone downhill. I tried a few times since to catch anything but to no avail. Not even one bite. No more birds, no more monkeys to be seen.

I gave up and lost all interest. Last month I went back to try my luck one last time, only to find cigarette butts all over the place, papers, remnants of old fires and worst of all, used toilet paper where some idiot used to do his thing right were my favourite spot was.

All the small game are being poached out by locals, the rabbits are being hunted out just in the name of fun by plot owners wanting to give their dogs some excitement.

I used to love the sound of jackals at dusk but haven't heard the cry of a jackal in the last year or two.

They have now probably been exterminated for being "vermin".

My little piece of paradise is no more, but it leaves me wondering, why do people always have to stuff up something good for other people? Why damage nature only to suit you as human being?

All I know is that in a few years’ time nothing will be left but barren country side and sterile river in that area we used to call home.


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