Journal archives for January 2018

January 02, 2018

My heart of Stone

It is always a wonderful moment when you first catch sight of the iconic “Mannetjie” that gives Mannetjiesberg in the Kammanssie its name. It is a towering rocky pinnacle on the eastern side of the mountain that is part of an inselberg in the middle of the Klein Karoo. A thin veneer of soil coating the ancient rocks is home to myriads of plants and lots of rare endemics. Wandering around the camp on the second evening, , Peter picked up a large heart-shaped piece of sandstone. It wasn’t long before it was being referred to as ”Mannetjiesberg’s heart of stone”.

A couple of days before the Kammanassie trip, the temperature was hitting an unseasonal 40 degrees, defying the commonly-held belief that Summer only arrives in the Southern Cape after Christmas. I was terrified that the heat wave would put paid to our long-awaited trip to Mannetjiesberg. For anyone, temperatures of 40 degrees are not suitable for climbing mountains or botanical exploring. If you are from Wales and are used to a temperate climate, it would have been total madness. Already, Robbie and Ben of Fossil Plants had to curtail their trip to Marloth. After climbing 10 o'clock Peak, the heat forced them to retreat and cut short that trip. They are plant fanatics and growers and have a permit to collect seed from certain Proteaceae species. Repeated anxious searches of Yr.no produced good news on the whole, so Peter, Robbie, Ben and I set off in the Drifter at the unaccustomed departure time of 9.30 on Monday. The Drifter was loaded to the gunnels and we looked as if we were taking off on the original African safari. I am a fairly novice 4x4 driver, so there was an undercurrent of anxiety in the “looking forward” to 3 days in the mountains. Bill was in Cape Town attending a function where he was honoured as one of the “Western Cape Sports Legends”. He was confident that I would cope, although I wasn’t so sure.

Just as we reached the first steep bit, we came round a corner and there were 2 Cape Nature bakkies parked on the jeep track, where they were busy repairing the road. There was no way that I was going to reverse, so in some trepidation, I got out of the bakkie to start negotiating. In doing so, I nearly stood on one of the largest Puff Adders that I’ve ever seen. Obligingly he (or she) slithered away under the car and disappeared. I was delighted to see that the person in charge of the repair operations was Phillip Esau. We go back a very long way and Phillip has always been a huge help to us and given the Outramps lots of support on all our Kammanassie trips. I received a big hug and a very warm welcome. He had earlier given us permission for this expedition. It wasn’t long before the 2 bakkies were tucked into the corner and we were on our way to camp below the Mast Peak. As soon as we had set up camp, we went our separate ways – Robbie and Ben to retrace the jeep track on foot towards Mannetjiesberg, Peter ran up to the Mast Peak and then came down the ridge to the shelter, where he met me on the jeep track heading west. That evening we met again, did a “Heath Robinson” heating up of a delicious lasagne, had a couple of dops of wine and were early to bed in fairly freezing conditions caused by an icy southeaster.

On Tuesday morning we were off at first light, starting to walk at 6am, while tendrils of mist still curled in and out of the rocks on the ascent. The 3 guys climbed Mast Peak, then negotiated the ridge heading east and climbed Mannetjies, descended down the ridge and walked along the jeep track back to the camp. At a much slower pace I crutched my way up to the summit of Mast Peak, then headed west mainly downhill until I reached the jeep track. En route, I passed the shelter, which is perfectly usable - something to keep in mind for future occasions. After a quick lunch break, I made for the nek leading to the Perdevlakte, before turning round to head back to camp. I had a simply wonderful time, as did the 3 intrepids on their very ambitious expedition. A beautiful sunset rounded off a memorable couple of days.

We were on our way home fairly early the next morning. En route we made a brief sortie into Camferskloof and returned via the very dry Montagu Pass.

So what specials did we find? Here is a preliminary list with some plants still to be confirmed.
Protea rupicola – (Endangered) common on the higher reaches in all the rock crevices
Protea venusta – (Endangered) only 2 plants seen all day (worrying?)
Leucadendron singulare (Vulnerable)
Agathosma zwartbergense (Vulnerable)
Elegia altigena (Vulnerable
Bobartia paniculata (Rare)
Erica inordinata (Rare)
Cyclopia plicata – (Endangered) abundant in the area
Cyclopia alopecuroides – (Endangered) about 70 plants seen
Aspalathus congesta (Rare)tbc
Aspalathus patens (Rare) tbc
Aristea nana (Rare)
Syncarpha montana (Rare)
Mastersiella spathulata (LC)
Leucadendron rourkei (LC)
Liparia genistoides - (Endangered) tbc
Numerous Ericas have still to be id’d. Have sent the stukkies to Jen and will have the results ITFOT.

And now it only needs the final Reportback to be completed and sent out next week. It will feature the highs and lows of 2017. The Outramps will be taking a short sabbatical over Christmas.
Hamba Kahle
Groete en dankie
Di Turner
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 Grobbler, 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

Posted on January 02, 2018 11:22 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Over and Out for 2017

On Friday 8th the temperature was hovering around the 40’s. We almost cancelled our short walk to the Moordkuilsriver at Slakplaas, which was the venue for the end of year Outramps function. But we are not woesses, so off we went with King, who is Wendy’s huge Boerbull type hound. We made it to the river, but on the way back the heat started to take its toll. For King, it was one step too far and he became really distressed. So Sally fetched the Jimny and she, Peter and Wendy managed to load him into the back. This was no mean feat, as King weighs about 75kgs and is the size of a small pony. Back at the farm he soon recovered, wrapped in a wet towel with fans aimed to keep him cool.

The rest of us settled down to have our usual good party when we get together. Sumptuous food and drink was the order of the day, as we reflected on another excellent year. Many thanks to Sally and Pam for their hospitality in the magical surroundings at Slakplaas. They do it so well, that it has become an annual tradition.

Report by HAT Evie
Yes- a week of parties. South Cape MCSA and disco dancing on Sat night, in the Lapa at Sedgefield, followed by WAGS on Wednesday 6 Dec, and of course our own Outramps on Friday. Wonderful to have so many friends interested in hiking and the natural world around, to celebrate with. Our Wednesday hike before the party – was a short, very pleasant affair. A Sanparks trail in Wilderness, along the Duiwe River and known as the Brownhooded Kingfisher trail. I have not been along the trail for a while – what a pleasant forested river walk this is. Some relatively new clearing of shrubs and undergrowth of the trail – providing lovely vistas along the path – thank you to the Parks management and their team. This trail is well laid out with easy stepping stones across the river, and a short little summit ascent. Some Wachendorfia thyrsiflora in the river along the way, red Watsonias and Tritoniopsis along the banks with some Erica discolor and Asteraceae on the summit. Pretty fruits of Ochna arborea strewn along the path – rather like confetti. Evidence of some of the ringbarked gums – finally falling to the ground.
The party to follow was held in Evie’s Erica road- garden, and to keep us entertained a visiting musician from Peru – feathered outfit as well as panpipes.
Evie

Report for Krantzberg Saddle outing.
On Sun 10th Dec HAT Evie was lucky to have a particularly stimulating hike in the Outeniquas. Besides Peter and his parents who joined in - my 2 other walking companions were our visitors from the UK – known as ‘Fossil plants”. Robbie and Ben were great fun and the conversation flowed all day! Both Robbie and Ben have a dedicated interest in the Proteaceae family, and were visiting the Southern Cape to be able to view, and find fresh, seed of some of the Proteaceae family plants growing at higher altitudes. I learnt a whole lot about the Protea plants and the magic involved in their germination.

Our hiking route went from Saasveld, passing the Tierkop hut, and on upwards towards the saddle alongside Krantzberg Peak. On route new buds on Protea mundii; Mimetes pauciflorus (VU); Leucospermum glabrum (EN); some orchid flowers (mostly Disa cornuta); pretty pink Erica seriphiifolia and cubica , as well as numerous different Aristea sp. Thrilled to discover Erica stylaris (Vulnerable) in a new locality

Robbie was delighted to discover a whole field of Mimetes pauciflorus just below the saddle and a group of Erica georgica in the same area. Nearby possibly – a rare Erica- ?? Erica stylaris (VU). The view of this field of M.pauciflorus on the steep slope above the path - is obscured from the trail by errant Pine trees and the Kystervaring fern (Gleichenia polypodioides) – I have not noticed this large group previously . I guess by that time of day I am focusing ahead and thinking – “lunch on the saddle”. Which we enjoyed and found to our surprise our feet were dangling into the small “rock shelters” belonging to several Lobelia dichroma plants – a new location for Outramps.
Evie

2017 – the Year that was (highs and lows)

January
Launched LOT (Lowlands Outramps Team)
Drosanthemum edwardsiae (Data Deficient) a first for us – New Special
Agathosma ovalifolia (Rare) – Dave id’s it – New Special

February
Wimmerella hederacea (DDT) at Rust en Vrede – New Special

March
Sally’s famous Ant story - http://www.ispotnature.org/node/869711

April
Psoralea repens (Near Threatened) found by Jen at Cape St Francis – New Special
Gnaphalium declinatum (Near Threatened) – New Special
Indigofera harveyi ssp plurijuga (Recently Described) and not yet on the Red List – found by Sally – New Special
Erica setulosa (Rare) found by Dave in the Kammanssie – New Special

May
Fires at Leeukloof
Phylica keetii (Rare) found by Dave in its type locality at Windmeulnek – New Special
Controlled burn at Endlovana at Brenton
Sadly Jean and Oliver leave us to go back to Cape Town to the Silvermine Retirement Village

June
The Southern Cape is engulfed by fires that raged across the area with many homes and some lives lost.

July
Windmeulnek with Ismail and the Team
Erica outeniquae (Vulnerable) Evie finds it on Cradock Peak – New Special
Glottiphyllum carnosum (Endangered) New Special
Aloe longistyla (Data Deficient) Prix showed us where to find these. New Special
Delosperma calitzdorpense (Endangered) New Special + Priority Species
Drimia sp nova (Not yet described) – New Special
Crassula badspoortense (Rare)Found by Rusell near the Catlitzdorp Spa - New Special + Priority Species – TBC

August
Visit from Tony Rebelo
Glottiphyllum suave (Near Threatened) - New Special
Astroloba cremnophila (Data Deficient) found by Nicky and Di at Buffelspoort in the Klein Swartberg – New Special
Nivenia stenosiphon (Rare) found by Nicky and Di east of Buffelspoort - New Special
Arctotis sp. nova (Jan’s Daisy – Not yet described) found by Nicky at Buffelspoort -2nd known locality
Brunsvigia josephinae (Vulnerable) Found by LOT northwest of Mossel Bay – New Special
Cytinus capensis (Critically Endangered) Found by Prix – New special - new locality
Erica bauri ssp gouriquae (Endangered) found by the Team in a new locality
Clean-up of the Diosma Reserve with CREW and the Mossel Bay Municipality – spearheaded by Sandra
Rain, glorious rain – 50mm

September
Machairophyllum brevifolium (Vulnerable) rediscovered at Mons Ruber
Trichodiadema burgeri (Vulnerable) found by Sandra at De Rust – New Special
Arangieskop with the HAT
Post-burn Monitoring at Fynbos Estate in the Robberg Corridor
Outramps go live on SFM Streek Radio with Fred Orban on “Kus tot Kruin”
Bobartia tubulosa (Near Threatened) Seen by Jean in the Western Cape - New Special
Wachendorfia brachyandra (Vulnerable) Seen by Jean in the Western Cape – New Special
Lotononis prostrata (Near Threatened) Seen by Jean in the Western Cape – New Special

October
Haworthia truncata (Vulnerable) a new locality for the Outramps at Calitzdorp
Ornithogalum sardienii (Critically Endangered) found by Sally at Calitzdorp – New Special
Erica georgica found by the Team at Kleinplaat – new locality
Lotononis filiformis (Endangered) new locality at Fouriesberg
Argyrolobium rarum at Fouriesberg – New Special
Erica unicolor ssp mutica (Endangered) found by Evie and Brian at Fouriesberg - new locality
Aspalathus glabrescens (Endangered) at Fouriesberg – new locality
Haworthia arachnoidea var. arania (Not evaluated) at Fouriesberg – New Special
Indigofera sp 14 (Not evaluated) at Fouriesberg – New locality
Post-burn monitoring with Ismail and the CREW at Goukamma and the Eden Municipality property in the Robberg Corridor
SANBI decides to drop iSpot after lots of problems and go with iNat
A note from Dr David Hughes – a follow-up of Sally’s Ant Story “We sequenced the fungi you sent and it is a really interesting finding. They are a group of fungi called Entomphthora which are evolutionarily very distant from what we studied. About 500 million years apart. What is cool is that your ants were manipulated so this is an undefended evolutionary event where a fungus manipulates ants to bite. We do know that this group of fungi do this to ants in Northern Europe (attached)” .
Sally wins the Observation of the day on iNaturalist with her magnificent photo of Crassula pyramidalis, after only 1 week of posting on iNat. And follows that up with the Observation of the week - https://www.inaturalist.org/blog/12486-observation-of-the-week-11-4-17

November
Peter is notified that he had achieved the highest mark in the science faculty for his 3 year stint as an undergraduate. Two of our young will be doing Masters at Stellenbosch in 2018 – Brian in Botany (Revision of the Polhillia genus) and Peter in Mathematics (Artificial Intelligence)
Prof Charlie Stirton and Prof Muthama Muasya visit us and Charlie discovers a brand new tree-like Agathosma at Kleinplaat
Post-burn monitoring at Endlovana and the Brenton Dunes by Nicky and Fred
Post-burn monitoring at Pledge Nature Reserve by Gail, Rusell and Nicky
Dioscorea mundii (Near Threatened) Found at Pledge -New Special
Phylica keetii (Rare) found at Kagiesberg in the original locality by Nicky
Meeting with Mossel Bay Municipality at Diosma Reserve to plot the way forward, organised by Sandra. Fencing of the Reserve has begun.
64mm of rain
Otholobium heterosepalum (Rare) found on Cloete’s Pass by Dave – New Locality
Meeting with Sandra Taljaard and Jessica Hayes of Sanparks to plot the way forward for our research project.
SCLI Post-Burn Seminar – Nicky, Sandra and Di give a presentation on plant regeneration in the Southern Cape
The Premier comes to Town – Helen Zille makes a very good impression on the SCLI delegates
Guided Walk at Cola Beach Conservancy presented by Nicky and Sandra
Rhynchosia bolusii (No Red List record) found at Waboomsberg, which is the type locality and last seen here in the 1950’s - New Special

December
End of Year Party at Pam and Sally’s Slakplaas
Erica stylaris (Vulnerable) found by Evie on the Krantzberg hike – a new locality
A memorable trip to Mannetjiesberg in the Kammanassie with Peter and Robbie and Ben of Fossil Plants
Sally reports that we have done 39 collections this year for the Millenium Seed Bank.

---------------------------------------------------
Brian’s List for 2017-12-16 Formidable Indeed!!!

New species (Most still TBC):
Oxalis sp. nova - Roggeveld
Othonna sp. nova - Infanta
Phylica sp. nova - Infanta
Lotononis sp. nova - Buffeljagsrivier
Aspalathus sp. nova - Drie Kuilen NR
Psoralea sp. nova - McGregor
Argyrolobium sp. nova - Roggeveld
Centella sp. nova - Fouriesberg
Oxalis capillaris subsp/var. nova - Malgas
* Aspalathus sp. nova (2013) - Towerkop - Charlie has finally confirmed this one and left me to describe it.
* Psoralea sp. nova (2016) - Piketberg - Just been confirmed and described by Charlie
* Otholobium sp. nova (2016) - Piketberg - Charlie believes this is also new

New specials
Apalathus cordicarpa (EX)
Aspalathus compacta (CR PE)
Psoralea peratica (Piketberg 2016) (CR PE)
Anisodontea dissecta (CR)
Euchaetis longicornis (CR)
Erica physantha (CR)
Polhillia obsoleta (CR)
Polhillia brevicalyx (CR)
Bulbinella calcicola (CR)
Babiana secunda (CR)
Sorocephalus imbricatus (CR)
Diastella parile (CR)
Wiborgiella bowieana (CR)
Secale strictum subsp. africanum (CR)

Polhillia involucrata (EN)
Phylica greyii (EN)
Wiborgiella dahlgrenii (EN)
Romulea saldanhensis (EN)
Leucospermum parile (EN)
Gladiolus vandermerwei (EN)
Lotononis villosa (EN)
Aspalathus smithii (EN)
Drosanthemum quadratum (EN)
Notobubon striatum (EN)
Brownanthus fraternus (EN)
Aspalathus joubertiana (EN)
Notobubon pungens (EN)
Aspalathus rosea (EN)
Protea cryophila (EN)
Liparia striata (EN)
Aspalathus grobleri (EN)
Aspalathus wurmbeana (EN)
Lotononis exstipulata (EN)
Aspalathus burchelliana (EN)
Drosanthemum lavisii (EN)
Moraea debilis (EN)
Lotononis gracilifolia (EN)
Lotononis viborgioides (EN)

Oxalis cf aridicola (VU) or sp. nova
Euchaetis schlechteri (VU)
Acrodon deminutus (VU)
Diosma passerinoides (VU)
Aspalathus millefolia (VU)
Aspalathus campestris (VU)
Drosanthemum striatum (VU)
Gladiolus abbreviatus (VU)
Hesperantha fibrosa (VU)
Amphithalea pagaea (VU)
Haworthiopsis venosa (VU)
Argyrolobium velutinum (VU)
Aspalathus lotoides subsp. lagopus (VU)
Aspalathus recurva (VU)
Oscularia vredenburgensis (VU)
Osteospermum calcicola (VU)
Sparaxis calcicola (VU)
Leucospermum hypophyllocarpodendron subsp. canaliculatum (VU)
Protea burchellii (VU)
Aspalathus pallescens (VU)
Euphorbia pseudoglobosa (VU)
Polhillia canescens (VU)
Aspalathus barbigera (VU)
Aspalathus microlithica (VU)
Aspalathus euston-brownii (VU)
Erica venustiflora subsp. glandulosa (VU)
Othonna ciliata (VU)
Perdicium capense (VU)
Aspalathus taylori (VU)
Anaxeton hirsutum (VU)
Askidiosperma insigna (VU)
Lobostemon capitatus (VU)
Aspalathus pycnantha (VU)
Eriospermum bowieanum (VU)
Amphithalea spinosa (VU)
Aspalathus lactea subsp. breviloba (VU)
Syringodea longituba subsp. violacea (VU)
Amphithalea alba (VU)
Gladiolus carmineus (VU)
Aspalathus pinguis subsp. australis (VU)
Aspalathus prostrata (VU)
Aspalathus sanguinea subsp. sanguinea (VU)
Ixia parva (VU)

Gladiolus teretifolius (NT)
Notobubon collinum (NT)
Ixia maculata (NT)
Zaluzianskya parviflora (NT)
Aspalathus desertorum (NT)
Aspalathus linearifolia (NT)
Serruria triternata (NT)
Protea effusa (NT)
Wiborgiella sessilifolia (NT)

Aspalathus leptocoma (Rare)
Cyclopia glabra (Rare)
Acmadenia matroosbergensis (Rare)
Esterhuysenia alpina (Rare)
Agathosma phillipsii (Rare)
Acrosanthes parviflora (Rare)
Aspalathus rostrata (Rare)

Haworthia groenewaldii (DDT)
Gnidia parviflora (DDT)
Haworthia variegata (DDT)

Otholobium sp. nova - De Hoop (NE)
Otholobium rupicolum (NE)
Indigofera burchellii (NE)

During the course of 2018, I will be handing over the reins to some of the younger members of the Outramps. This will free me to go off and do lots of rough camping and overnighters to new places and to continue hunting for rares. It is also more than time that fresh ideas were introduced into the Group.

That brings a busy 2017 to a close for the Outramps. We have a few trips planned over the festive season, but those will be featured in the first Reportback in 2018 somewhere in mid January. We are hoping that the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as the new President of the ANC, will alter the downward trajectory of our beloved country. He has our best wishes for the difficult times that lie ahead. Our very best wishes to all of you for a happy Festive season and a wonderful New Year.
PS. This is late because my wretched computer decided to take a sabbatical and is only now working (sort of). If it isn’t one thing, then it’s another, (as they say in the classics)
Over and Out
Hamba Kahle
Groete en dankie
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 Grobbler, 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

Posted on January 02, 2018 11:25 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 3 comments | Leave a comment

January 15, 2018

2018 Here we Come

Bill started 2018 with a night spent in ICU with an atrial flutter, while competing at the New Year Regatta at George Lakes Yacht Club. He was soon stabilised and put on Beta Blockers to slow the heart rate. On Wednesday, Pepsi Pools was the WAGS destination. My suggestion that “Maybe the Fern Trail would be a better option, until the heart settles down,” was dismissed with contempt. In addition, he decided that a new rock-painting discovery by Working for Water could be explored en route. We found the approximate area, which was covered in dense head-high Fynbos and this is where I stuck in my heels and refused to budge off the track. Luckily for our relationship, we found that our newly-opened track led into the steep path down to Pepsi Pools, where the WAGS group soon joined us. It was a hot day and it was on the way back that Beta-Blocker Bill started to take strain. We had numerous stops and he was exhausted by the time we reached the car. It is unlikely that he will persist with the Beta Blockers, which effectively reduce fitness by about 30%. At 83 years old, this is something one can ill afford. The physician is going to have to come up with another solution.

I was preoccupied with Bill, but Ann noticed and photographed some of the trees that have recently undergone bark-stripping to and from Pepsi Pools. Collectors for the traditional medicine trade are the likely offenders. The authorities are going to have to sit up and take notice, if this practice isn’t to spiral completely out of control. One of the trees was almost ring-barked. There is also an increasing number of the Aussie Invader Fern (Sphaeropteris cooperi) establishing in the forests above the dam

Start-Up Meeting 2018
On Friday, we had our start-up meeting for 2018 at Strawberry Hill. There was an excellent and enthusiastic turnout, which bodes well for an excellent year ahead. Some interesting points that came out of the meeting
• In 2017 we travelled 8020kms on field trips and that is not the real total. It’s probably more like 12 000kms, as not all are documented.
• We now have 3 groups - Lowlands Team (LOT) Somewhere in the middle Team (SIM) and High Altitude Team (HAT) plus Millenium Seedbank and Herbarium Collections. If we are to work at maximum capacity we need to explore some funding options for the future.
• Southern Cape Herbarium has requested that we increase our collection of Herbarium specimens, so that the Herbarium can be representative of all the plants in the Southern Cape.
• Bio-control monitoring on field trips to be activated.
• We were pleased to welcome back Ann Symons with her knowledge of Restios and Trees.
• The Facebook option to be explored with Ismail and CREW
• Cataloguing the plants of the Southern Cape on iNaturalist is one of our primary goals
• Tony Rebelo will be asked to give an iNaturalist course in February
• During 2018, I will be handing over my admin functions. I still intend to play an active role in the work of the Group, but it is time for younger people with new ideas to take over the running. I am confident that this will give the Outramps CREW Group the impetus to reach new levels. Pam Eloff has volunteered to make a data base of all the stuff that I know, like paths, contacts etc, so that this info doesn’t die with me. I am feeling very positive about a well-managed succession policy, which will also give me more time to concentrate on the Overnighters which are my passion.

Before the meeting, we had a lovely walk around the Fern Trail, with swims for some. A sumptuous meal followed the meeting. Some bright spark was heard to say, “If we run out of money, the Outramps can always go into catering”. No chance!!
Di

Activities During the Outramps 2017 Break
On Friday 22nd December, Sally came to Brenton-on-Sea to see what seeds could be found in the post-burn fynbos. We wandered around slowly trying to give names to seeding plants and then finding enough of the seeds to make a collection worthwhile. Sally collected a few packets of seed, but we were too early, amongst others, for Lebeckia gracilis (Endangered) and Aspalathus hispida subsp. albiflora. I was thrilled to find 6 plants of Nanobubon hypogaeum (EN) about to flower, over six months after the area was burnt in the wildfires.
On Saturday 23rd Gail, Rusell, Prix and I went to the northern side of the Montagu Pass to see if we could find Disa schlechteriana (VU). We were warmly welcomed by Rod Pringle who suggested we park our car in front of his house, but the road to the house looked a bit more than Rusell’s car could manage so we decided against it. We only found a single D. schlechteriana plant but the population of Eulophia platypetala (VU) growing in the cracks of the rocks was looking very healthy. We also did site sheets for Psoralea diturnerae (EN) and Serruria fasciflora (NT). Disa hians was looking beautiful in an array of colours along the path.
We stopped at the Barnard’s fruit stall on the way home and by the time we left there, with boxes of apricots, peaches, plums piled high on our laps, anyone might have thought we were setting up our own shop, but it was just stocking up for the Festive season.
On Friday 29th December Rusell, Sandra and I returned to the northern side of Montagu pass to follow a path we saw the previous Saturday. It led us to another section of the railway line, along which we walked for a few km. We found another healthy population of Serruria fasciflora (NT) and were excited to find a small population of Otholobium racemosum (Rare) growing in one of the railway cuts. There were only a few flowers open, but the plants looked ready to take on 2018.
Once again, we stocked up with fruit before heading home.
Nicky
HAT Evie’s outing to Vensterberg
Directly after Christmas as my final mountain outing for the year I went up Vensterberg. A party of 3 – Tony, Alleyn (our son visiting from London) and myself. This mountain is situated to the East of the Outeniqua pass (N12). The mountain’s name refers to a window like opening in the boulders of the peak -looking through the window –“a direct view or ?/slide to Mossel Bay”. We accessed the Peak from the north side- parking at the Sputnik.
To our surprise today a well-used path all the way up the ridge line and on to the peak. Normally this hike requires a fair amount of getting scratched, and having to circumvent the thick growth of Fynbos along a very ill-defined trail. Higher up as we closed in on the peak – we found the answers. We met a group of trail runners. Apparently during Dec besides George peak, this was one of the ‘Hot” trail runs in the area. I have never met people on Vensterberg previously – and it is wonderful to see fit young people enjoying the outdoors, as well as having fun with the extra technical scope of this- a more difficult running trail.

A hot day- plenty of sun – some of the best Fynbos around – wonderful views and some interesting rocky scrambles along the way. Very thick plant coverage throughout. Apart from the odd red Tritoniopsis caffra not much evidence of flowering bulbs.

Flowering Ericas- bright emerald green on E. viridiflora ; pinks on E. seriphifolia, E.steinbergiana andE.cubica, and a group of possibly E.georgica (? LC ) - which could prove to be a new location for Outramps. Red E. unicolor possibly georgensis (rare) - scattered along the trail and on the peak (also to be confirmed): a small group of white E.lehmannii on the higher ridge below the peak, and not to be outdone, pale yellow on one of the Erica intermedia sp.(LC)

Mimetes pauciflorus(VU) much in evidence near the higher ridge and on the south facing aspects; Leucadendron conicum (NT) in 2/3 clumps along the ridgeline; while Agathosma ovata hugs several of the boulders, and is very dominant on the final ridge. Numerous blue flowers on Psoralea sp. are noticeable on the entire length of the trail – an unusual looking white flowered Psoralea with white felted hairs growing at high altitude, as well as a trailing Psoralea will need positive ID’s. Pretty Podalyria buxifolia in flower all over. One lonely Lobelia dichroma (DDT) in amongst the rocks / lower reaches.

A wonderful day out- a slight hitch for HAT Evie near the end of the hike- so for now - a break!! at low altitude for a while. (The hitch was a broken wrist – ed)
Evie

The LOT trip for Thurs 18th will be to the Herbertsdale Road. On Friday 19th SIM are planning our usual January walk along the railway line above Montagu pass to visit Erica stylaris and Geissorhiza outeniquensis. Currently there is some rain forecast for both days, so we may have to do some day-shifting. We look forward to an exciting, action-packed 2018.
Hamba Kahle
Groete en dankie
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 Grobbler, 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 misbehaves.
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

Posted on January 15, 2018 13:35 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 24, 2018

The Railway Children

We were shrouded in mist on our annual pilgrimage to Geissorhiza outeniquensis (Near Threatened) along the Railway Line on the southern side of the Montagu Pass. Because of heavy rain forecast for Friday (it actually came true this time), we had to do some day-shifting from Friday to Thursday. The mist was thick and fortuitous, as temperatures to the north climbed to a sizzling 40 degrees. As we emerged from the first tunnel, someone suggested “Gorillas in the Mist” as a title for the Reportback. It was rejected on the basis of political correctness, although on this occasion, the joke was on 2 white Tannies from the Outramps Group. However, “Better safe than Sorry” and we opted for the Railway Children instead. We come from an era, where we frequently referred to our kids as monkeys and used to spank them occasionally, so we need to be careful.

The walk along the Railway Line is enlivened by wonderful scenery, stunning Fynbos and to add some spice - a tiny hint of danger. There are two tunnels ( one is long and goes round a corner) and there’s a bridge that wobbles when the Power Van comes past. Timing is everything. Last year we were caught on the bridge and we were not keen to repeat the experience. Sharing the long tunnel with the Power Van hasn’t happened yet and I hope it never does. It would be hugely scary. Even a head torch doesn’t make any difference to the almost total absence of light in part of the long tunnel. One is constantly a little on edge, listening for the distinctive hooter of the Van, which sometimes comes hurtling around a corner, with little or no warning.

For various reasons, we were late for the Geissorhiza this year. But this beautiful Irid decided to indulge us and we found a couple of plants still flowering to reward our efforts. We think the threat to the Geissorhiza should be raised to Vulnerable at the very least. Erica stylaris (Vulnerable) was well and truly over, but distinctive enough to give us a definite id. Erica unicolor ssp georgensis (Rare) was scattered along the length of the railway line. There are numerous kloofs coming down from the mountain and these were filled with Brachylaena neriifolia (Waterwitels), Cunonia capensis (Rooiels) and Leucadendron conicum (Near Threatened). The gorgeous little Disa sagittalis is surviving the drought and Nicky spotted Disa tripetaloides above a flowering Geissorhiza. Worrying, is a sharp increase in the invasive Acacia decurrens and Agapanthus praecox, which is a garden escapee from an old railway house. Action is needed!! We also noticed that the SOS (Skelms on Scramblers) are still busy tearing up the sensitive peat soil on the Cradock Pass Trail.
Di

And 4x4’s were busy at the Diosma Reserve at Mossel Bay. Here is Sandra’s report.
Mossel Bay News
Diosma Reserve
The presence of more than one 4x4 vehicle in the Diosma Reserve was reported by an indignant neighbour the Saturday before Christmas. Presumed to be holiday visitors. When the vulnerability of the site was explained to them, once they abandoned their capers, the retort was: “But there are ramps and tracks for us” ! The municipality was notified.

Erf 19201
A provincial hospital was planned for this site and the appeal lodged against this during 2017 was unsuccessful. However, now it seems that the hospital has gone out the window and that low cost housing is on the cards. Meanwhile Nicky has logged another redlisted plant for the site. Holothrix pilosa (Near Threatened), bringing the tally of red list plants for Erf19201 to ten together with: Carpobrotus muirii (Near Threatened), Haworthia cloracantha var. denticulifera (worthy of red list status as Vulnerable according to Jan Vlok), Gladiolus vaginatus (Vulnerable), Athanasia quenquedentata (Vulnerable), Erica dispar (Near Threatened), Leucadendenron galpinii (Vulnerable), Thesium fragile (Data Deficient - Taxonomically Problematic), Euchaetis albertiniana (Endangered), Gnidia chrysophylla Near Threatened.
Sandra

iNat success
Featured at the beginning of our Album this week are two of Sally’s photos. Crassula pyramidalis won the Obs of the week and Mr Stihl and the Rhinoceros Beetle took the coveted Obs of the Month award for December on iNaturalist. This is a huge achievement, considering that she was competing against the rest of the world. Congratulations Sally - very rarified air!!

Ruitersbos Fires
On Sunday 7th January Pam and I (and the dogs, don't tell anyone!) had a lovely stroll along the Kouma Trail at the top of the Robinson Pass on a perfect morning. We especially enjoyed the sight of the big red Cyrtanthus elatus dotted all over the slopes and I made a note to plan a seed collection.

On Tuesday 9th a fire started up in a kloof west of the R328 - we hear that clearing contractors were the cause - and rapidly spread west and into the plantations east of Bonniedale. Despite much manpower and good air support, the fire then turned and headed for the Ruitersbos area. The Robinson Pass was closed overnight on the 13th as very old fynbos took flame in quite a spectacular fashion - see the video I took late on the Friday night. https://youtu.be/1K-mX3Xb_1Y The fire wiped out everything west of the road and firefighters later encouraged a complete burn of the area below Ruitersberg.

The weather cooperated and the fire teams were extremely pleased that their various back burns worked so well, preventing any damage to property. As of the 17th the fire continues to burn in the mountains between Ruitersberg and Engelseberg, with the plan being to stop it spreading beyond the Moordkuil valley
The Kouma Trail is a sad site but I'm looking forward to the next year of post-burn monitoring.
Sally

Herbertsdale Road
It turned out to be an overcast day, so not too good for photos, but great for people, on our Lowlands trip. This area is very dry, but there have been no more burns. Tritoniopsis antholyza was scattered over the whole area. Phylica imberlis var. eriophoros was also flowering and seeding. There was an Aspalathus flowering. We sent a photo to Brian to ID, and he has confirmed Aspalathus obtusifolia (Vulnerable)

The other find of the day was Holothrix pilosa (Near Threatened) - not seen by the group before. Two pretty Pelargoniums were in flower. P. carneum was one of them, the other is awaiting an id. We had obviously just missed a mass display of a Wurmbea and Sally was able to make a large seed collection from the now dry plants. Also collected were seeds from Senecio crenata and a couple of miserable-looking Acrodon bellidiflorus. A good time was had by all.
Gail

On Friday, SIM will be joining LOT on a field trip to Eseljacht in the Langkloof. It is virgin ground as far as the Outramps are concerned, so looking forward. Hopefully the temperature doesn’t skyrocket into the 40’s. That is an ever-present threat at this time of the year. As I write this report, our mizzle has reached just over 47mm and it is still mizzling. You can almost hear the plants gulping up the precious water.
Hamba Kahle
Groete en dankie
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 Grobbler, 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”. Now seldom seen

Posted on January 24, 2018 12:05 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 1 comments | Leave a comment

January 30, 2018

Eseljacht

Here are the PHOTOS For captions or info click on i on the top right-hand side. A good way to go - the Slideshow is found at the top of the page on the rt hand side by clicking on the 3 dots.

www.inaturalist.org is the interactive website for all your pics of flowers, birds, mammals, fungi, reptiles and sea creatures. By posting your observations, you contribute to providing data for research and a record for future generations. You also have a wonderful forum for your photos. And it’s all a great deal of fun. Why not try it?

Stop Press – Dr Tony Rebelo will the giving an iNaturalist course from 15th/ 17th February in George/Mossel Bay. Details below. No cost, but a R20 contribution to petrol costs will be welcomed. If you are interested, please email me di@strawberryhill.co.za

From Tony
SANBI is relocating its Citizen Science Virtual Museum to iNaturalist. Most old iSpot users have already migrated.

Our aims are.
1. Introduce the philosophy of the site. How it is designed and works. This centres around:
The layout:
• Observations
• Species
• Places
• Projects
• People
How it works:
• What makes an observation.
• Species and the dictionary and links
• Extracting and showcasing your data

The differences between iSpot and iNature and how to think iNature.

2. How to use iNature:

Practical coursework:

• How to upload an observation
• How to add CREW data
• How to edit observations, including bulk edits
• How to custom access data and updates, and use your dashboard
• How to manage your account

3. Have some more fun (time permitting):
• Creating Places and species lists
• Creating Projects and managing data
• Anything you find interesting and would like to explore in more detail.

Please bring to the course!
o Between 10 and 20 pictures suitable for uploading to iNaturalist: of 5 to 15 different organisms. Plants, animals or fungi – not people, pets or places.
o Please sign up before you come to the course: www.inaturalist.org - make sure that you are properly registered. Bring along your user-name and your password – and preferably an email address that you can access at SANBI (not one tied to your home line).
Yourself, with lots of questions

Eseljacht – Another boring old burnt hill?
Do you think they really used to hunt donkeys in the unlamented “good old days”? Or were the donkeys actually zebras? Some bright spark out there will undoubtedly have the answer. Fortunately, hunting is going out of fashion except in Trumpian America. Eseljacht is a farm on the northern side of the Langkloof in the northern foothills of the Outeniquas. When we parked the Buchu Bus and looked west, we saw “another boring old burnt hill” ahead of us. Some hill!!

As we tumbled out of the Bus, there was Aspalathus pedunculata (Rare) right there in clumps, as an appetiser of what was to come. It was hot and the temperature was rising fast, as we set off up a track that petered out pretty soon. LOT proceeded to do their usual fossicking, while Sally, Mike and I trudged up the hill. It wasn’t long before there was some excitement. Macledium spinosum was in glorious flower and Sally was able to gather some seeds of Machairophyllum albidum for MSB. Then Mike spotted some dry leaves with a flower rising from them. Our first thought was Haworthia, but the bulb presented almost incontrovertible evidence of Drimia. At this stage, we have no idea what species it is, although I see that Nicky thinks it is D. ciliaris. Boophone disticha in full flower was heart-stoppingly beautiful. We see a lot of this highly poisonous bulb, but very rarely in flower, so a real thriller. We only saw one all day. That has probably got to do with the fact that January and February are not conducive to exploring the hot northern slopes of the Outeniquas.

The rising temperature was ominous, but before long, a cool southeaster travelling over the mountains from the sea made for near perfect walking conditions. The next crowd-stopper was a Fabaceae, with a yellow flower and tri-foliate leaves. Argyrolobium was the thought and maybe it’s one of those ephemerals that only appears after fire and then disappears. We will consult Brian for help with this id. As we got a little higher, Psoralea diturnerae (Endangered) appeared on the southeast-facing ridge. It was in flower. We are finding it on a lot of the northern foothills, so maybe the threat status needs to be downgraded from Endangered. It is loving the lack of competition in the burn environment.

We walked north across the top of the ridge and were able to descend along a ridge some distance further north. As we started the descent,
I spotted Agathosma sp nova (arida), or so I thought. As I sat down next to it to start the site sheet, I looked more closely. “Hang on a second – something’s wrong”. My Agathosma turned out to be Phylica lachneaeoides!!! But probably our find of the day was a Pteronia. We are thinking that it is Pteronia hutchinsoniana (Rare), which is another fire ephemeral and this is only the third time we’ve seen it. Once was on the Rooiberg jeep track, the second on a trip with Jan and Annelsie Vlok to the southern side of Gamkaberg and now at Eseljacht. Thank you Prix for an inspired choice of field trip for the week. It was a real winner.
Di

Meanwhile how were the fossickers getting on?
Eseljag … LOT’s outing
After the group photograph was taken, the party divided into two, one group headed for the hills while the other, including me, fossicked closer to The Bus.

An hour after we started, we were still within spitting distance of our transport! We did wonder what the others would think! We were however, finding lots of treasures and collecting seed (a time-consuming activity). Although past its flowering prime, Macledium spinosum still looked beautiful and there were enough plants to collect lots of seed using tweezers, without threatening the population! There were Pelargoniums for Gail, Haworthias for Rusell, Aizoaceae for Prix and lots of little things for me to try to photograph. With dragon flies overhead and Agamas peering at us over rocks, we slowly made our way up the slope. After a break for lunch, Gail and Rusell headed back to the car while Prix and I continued upwards to do more exploring. We all enjoyed seeing flowers of plants we normally only see in leaf such as Eriospermum capense subsp. capense (LC), Boophone disticha (LC) and lots of Drimia ciliaris. While admiring a healthy population of Machairophyllum albidum (LC), I spotted some rather tired leaves, I think, Eulophia platypetala (VU) – a very exciting find.

All too soon it was time to head back to the bus, we could see we would not be the first to get there but Rusell had a lovely surprise for us all … some ice-cold watermelon!
Nicky

What an exciting start to the year! Lovely day – fantastic company – crisp and cold watermelon back at the Bus from Rusell and stacks of lovely fresh fruit straight off the trees from the Barnard farmstall. What more could one ask? Well, we didn’t ask, but…… we all got a present of a brand new Outramps Buff from Sally. Sally is taking over the co-ordinator functions for the Group from me and already we can see some exciting new ideas making their appearance. It is wonderful to know that my beloved Outramps will be in such good hands in the future.

Lize and Rudi von Staden will be visiting our area next week. Lize is the power behind the Red List of Threatened plants. We are one of the few biodiverse countries that has assessed its entire flora in terms of threats. This has been compiled into the Red List http://redlist.sanbi.org
Our CREW data is used to keep this updated. We need to do some post-burn monitoring at Goukamma on Thursday and Rudi and Lize will be joining us. Dependent on how much rain falls before then, we will do either the boat thing from the offices or the roller-coaster above Groenvlei. With heavy rains forecast, it might be difficult to cross the Goukamma River in a boat later in the week, so the decision of where we go will have to be made on the day. We are so looking forward to seeing Lize and Rudi again. There will be no LOT trip this week.

And in the meantime the “Winds of Change” are blowing across my beloved country, as “Squirrel” works his miracles. Hope springs!
Hamba Kahle
Groete en dankie
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 Grobbler, 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”. Now seldom seen
FE – Fire Ephemeral – only appears immediately or after a couple of years after fire

Posted on January 30, 2018 09:37 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 0 comments | Leave a comment