The Mismatched Quartet

It was a mismatched quartet that arrived early on Thursday morning at the shed on Alwyn Henning’s farm in the Langkloof. But it happened to suit my plan for the day perfectly. Kyle and Dave Underwood are in training for the Knysna marathon and the Table Mountain Challenge, which is a grueling trail run. Their fitness is way above the average. In contrast, Bill and I are battling old age to keep climbing the mountains that we love so much. So Dave and Kyle went off to the west up a very bushed spur to see if they could find more populations of Mimetes chrysanthus (Vulnerable). They had a hugely successful day and covered a very big area. They found 2 more populations of chrysanthus - about 30 plants in each. Kyle is passionate about Orchids and it was he who spotted three Disa arida plants (Endangered) keeping the Golden Pagoda company. We have previously only found two plants on the Perdepoort chrysanthus site, but never on the southern side overlooking the Langkloof, so this discovery is hugely exciting. During the course of the day, they also came across two different Haworthias – the id’s still to be confirmed.

Bill and I moved at a more pedestrian pace on our way up to monitor the site found a couple of years ago. We saw about 30 plants. A lot of them look very dry and parched, presumably because of the poor rain they’ve had this past Summer. On the bright side, there was some evidence of new growth. Maybe the rain that has fallen in the last couple of weeks was their saving grace. We can only hope that the Winter rains are good. Another long dry period could put paid to their existence, as there is already significant dieback to be seen.

Near the bottom, there was lots of Aspalathus pedunculata (Rare) growing in the disturbed ground (previously renosterveld). En route to the top, we saw some Psoralea diturnerae (Endangered), but not growing in the profusion that we found further east. A worrying feature is the ubiquitous Hakea sericea. The burnt plants have dropped their seeds and there are some seedlings emerging. Bill and I dispatched those that were reasonably close to us. We did notice that both the Hakea and the indigenous Proteaceae seeds are regenerating very slowly. This can probably also be attributed to the poor rainfall experienced over the last couple of years. Other aliens present were Black Wattle (lower down) and Pines scattered all over, including the crest of the mountain. All four of us were filthy by the end of the day from battling through the blackened Proteaceae skeletons. It was a tiring, but highly successful field trip. Thank you Alwyn for giving us permission to access the ridge. We are hoping to return in the Spring. There is also some talk of returning to the ridge further to the west, so that we can complete a comprehensive map of the Mimetes chrysanthus population on the whole western heard of Perdepoort.

Moquini Coastal Estate
On Thursday a LOT team headed off to the 220ha Moquini Coastal Estate (Haematopus moquini) being the scientific name for the Black Oystercatcher, although the Estate's logo depicts this all-black bird with a white wing - a touch of artistic licence too far, proclaimed Wendy). We were hosted by longtime resident Caryn who guided us around the estate's labyrinth of paths. 69 plots have been laid out but thus far only 20-odd houses have been built, leaving a good chunk of ground for the wildlife.

Prix's plan was to revisit an important (and therefore unmentionable) plant found on an earlier scouting expedition. The plants were easily relocated and seemed in good shape. Lots of interesting leaves were seen poking through the ground (Iridaceae, Orchidaceae and various Drimia species) and a repeat visit in spring should be rather rewarding.

We wandered along the top of the steep cliffs of the river gorge on the property's western boundary and Prix noted the amazing number of Crassula species flourishing in this rocky and sandy environment - at least eight were ticked off. Various treasures were collected (porcupine quills, guineafowl feathers) and most of these ended up travelling in Prix's bolla (see album).

After our rather hot and humid perambulations we enjoyed cool drinks on Caryn's balcony. The sea views are unparalleled and we were fascinated by some dolphin antics (possibly of a sexy nature) just beyond the breakers.
Sally, Wendy, Gail, Rusell, Prix

One hears a lot spoken about the 4th industrial revolution, but what is it? They say, “We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before” With that in mind, the Outramps are giving their CREW diaries a new look from next week. The content will be much the same, but the appearance will be modernized. The dispatch date will also be changed, so that contributions from weekend activities can be included. It will probably be sent out sometime on Tuesday.

Included with this edition is a paper by Wilhelm de Beer and Brett Hurley of FABI on the “Polyphagous Shothole Borer Beetle” or Euwallacea fornicatus. The common name sounds like something from the Wild West, whilst the intriguing scientific name suggests that it might have been at home on the walls of Pompeii before it was engulfed by Vesuvius. Researchers are asking for the help of the public in gathering data re the spread of this most undesirable visitor from Southeast Asia. Thanks to Chris Gow for sending it to me. In the meantime, there’s an article in the George Herald and Ena McIntyre has also sent out a notification from the Botanical Society of South Africa alerting members to its presence..

Field trips for this week - LOT will be visiting a private property at Brenton on Lake on Thursday 12th April. On Friday 13th (Lucky for Some), SIM will be going to Goudveld to see Dioscorea burchellii (Vulnerable). It was found in this location in late April last year by Johan Baard of Sanparks. A while back, we had a directive to hunt for it from Lize von Staden of the Red List at SANBI. Since then we have spent a lot of time looking for it with no success. Johan had the id from Compton Herbarium and once we’ve seen it, we should be able to find other plants. The photos at the end of the Reportback were taken by Johan on his phone. Dankie Johan for keeping us in the loop.
Hamba Kahle.

Groete en dankie
Di Turner
The Outramps CREW Group
Southern Cape

All id’s subject to confirmation by Doc Annelise and Jan Vlok, Steven Molteno Dr Tony Rebelo, Nick Helme, Prof Charlie Stirton, Dr Robert Archer, Dr Robert McKenzie, Dr Ted Oliver, Christopher Whitehouse, Derek Tribble, Adriaan Grobler, Prix Burgoyne, Dr Kenneth Oberlander, Dr Pieter Winter, Dr David Gwynne-Evans and Damion. Thank you all for your ongoing help and support. The South African community is busy migrating to iNaturalist and we will soon have projects etc. up and running. When they are ready, I will provide you with the links.

Abbreviations Glossary
MCSA – Mountain Club of South Africa
MSB - Millenium Seed Bank based at Kew in the UK
WIP – Work in Progress
HAT – High Altitude Team
LOT – Lowland Team
SIM – Somewhere in the Middle Team
WAGS – Wednesday Adventure Group
VB – Vlok Boekie “Plants of the Klein Karoo” and our Plant Bible
ITRTOL – Another thread “In The Rich Tapestry Of Life”(It describes a challenging situation, usually to do with the Buchu Bus)
ITFOT – In the fullness of time
WOESS – Fair Weather Hiker
FMC and JW – too vulgar to translate, but the equivalent is “Strike me Dead” An expression of surprise and delight on finding a new “Rare”
Kambro – same as above
Fossick – A meter per minute, scratching around looking for rares
SIDB – Skrop in die Bos – Another name for a field trip, this one coined by Prix
BAFFING – Running round like a blue-arsed fly
SYT – Sweet Young Thing - Anyone under the age of 40
TOMB – Get a move on
Mayhem - Needless or willful damage or violence
SESKRYNG – “Sit en staan kry niks gedaan” ,with thanks to Brian
SOS – Skelms on Scramblers
FW – Idiot
BOB – Another name for the Buchu Bus when she’s misbehaving.
CRAFT – A symptom of Old Age
DDD - Metalasia tricolor (Damned Diabolical Daisy)
VP – Vrekplek – Retirement Village
Qàq – Self-explanatory Inuit word describing some of our local problems
Mr Fab – Our Fabaceae specialist, Brian Du Preez – originally Boy 1
Muisvoel -The Mathematician – Peter Thompson
Boy 2 – Kyle Underwood who works on Orchids and is still at school
Sharkie – Finn Rautenbach – Our latest SYT is a surfer in his spare time
Sicko – Someone who suffers from Car Sickness. With 4 in the Group, allocating seating in the Buchu Bus is tricky
VAG – Virgin Active Garage, which is our meeting place when we head north
MATMUE – Meet At The Mall Under E - Meeting place when we head West
WG – Waves Garage in Wilderness East. - Meeting place when we’re going east.
VU- Vulnerable
DDT – Data Deficient and Taxonomically ?
NT – Near Threatened
EN – Endangered
CR – Critically Endangered
PE – Presumed extinct
LC – Least Concern
TBC – To be Confirmed
TLC – Tender loving care
JMS – An expression of absolute disdain
FOMO – Fear of Missing Out
Milk – the fruit of the vine
Condensed Milk – Scotland’s finest export
Full Cream Milk or Fat Milk – Any product of Humulus lupulus eg. Milk Stout
Milk of the Gods – Rooibos and Brandy
Milk Shake - Sparkling Wine
NS – Species of conservation concern new to the Outramps
PS -Priority Species allocated to the Outramps by our CREW Cape Co-ordinator , Ismail Ebrahim
iNFD – iNaturalist for Dummies as compiled by Sally
Mizzle – Mist and drizzle combined. A regular feature of George in the ”good old days”.

FE – Fire Ephemeral – only appears immediately or after a couple of years after fire
Squirrel – aka President Ramaphosa
WOG – Wrath of God – eg. incurred when you put a young Pine tree on iNat as Leucadendron album
Skedonk - A banger - old, battered motor car more than 30 years old

Dioscorea burchellii – our target plant for Friday 13th April

Posted by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi, April 09, 2018 04:17

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