This old Cape ash growing in the Walker Bay area shows prominent leaf scars on thickset branchlets, some of which are clearly visible, being leafless. These are features of the southern variant of Ekebergia capensis that resembles Harpephyllum caffrum, but lacks the watery secretion from the base of a detached leaf.
Leafy branches are home to many species that have not (yet) descended from the trees. Not everything that sleeps or breeds in a tree can build a home, let alone a distinctive one unique to its species.
The polygamous male Cape weaver builds nests like these for all-comer females, the number depending on personal bravery and appetite. Once family, the females will line the insides of their donated, minimally mobile homes with grass flowers to satisfy personal needs regarding a homely finish.
This tree grows close to water, but not over it as is common. These nests swing in the wind, high above the living area of an old farmhouse, the chosen setting and masterful grass architecture accepted by the females of a small community; and who knows how many males are involved.
Cape weavers may accept hospitality from town people as well, building in numbers over lawns and patios, regaling their landlords vociferously on abstruse birdsong stories in season (Van Wyk and Van Wyk, 1997; Maclean, 1993).