Journal archives for March 2018

March 05, 2018

The "Glad" Week

(vaginatus and nigromontanus)
The Weather Gods were against us on Friday. The forecast had looked OK, but when we drove up and over the Swartberg Pass, the ascent of Waboomsberg became more and more unlikely. Swirling mist and rain driven by strong wind reduced the visibility to almost zero. On the northern side it was even worse, or better, dependent on your point of view. When we passed the Cork Oak on the Gamkaskloof Rd,(almost without seeing it), we decided to abandon our initial plan of hiking up to see Protea venusta (Endangered) in flower. Instead, we parked the Buchu Bus fairly high up on the southern side of the Pass and walked down. Visitors, Rosie and Buffy joined Bill and “put foot”, while Nicky, Evie and I took photographs and did site sheets along the way. Nicky was at a huge advantage with her waterproof camera, as the rain was heavy at times. And the day was made, when we found that the beautiful Gladiolus nigromontanus (Black Mountain Glad – Rare) was in full flower for about a stretch of 4kms. This is not a plant that we see very often, so a real treat.

Other rares seen on the day were Stirtonanthus tayloriana (Charlie’s Pea – Vulnerable), Leucadendron tinctum (Toffee-Apple Conebush – Near Threatened), Otholobium swartbergense (Rare) and an unknown yellow Pea. We also had a look at Protea venusta (Endangered) high up on the southern side. Surprisingly, it wasn’t flowering. The last time we went up to Waboomsberg, the plants there were in bud. The Stirtonanthus is only known from 2 localities, so always fun to see. Protea punctata, which occurs on the high inland mountains was in early flower and a delight to the eye. At about midday, Bill and I abandoned the rest and trudged up the Pass to fetch the Bus. Despite the weather, we had a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding day. It is our opinion, that the Otholobium should be downgraded to Least Concern. We have found it fairly profusely along the whole length of the central Swartberg, from the Pass to Meiringspoort on both the southern and northern sides.

There are a couple of pics on the Album of the two trips, but I am not going to describe the Fern Trail and the Kaaimans Gorge again. The water was cold in the Gorge, we got our feet wet on the Fern Trail, but the WAGS party afterwards was good enough to warm the cockles of my heart. So thank you all. On the LOT trip to Endlovana at Brenton, they found stacks of the stunning Gladiolus vaginatus (Vulnerable). With vaginatus and nigromontanus in one week, Nicky’s suggested title for the Reportback seemed inevitable. Below is her story about the LOT trip to Endlovana.
Di

Endlovana – Thursday 1st March 2018
On the 60th day of 2018 four Outramps and Buffy, my cousin taking a break from the Beast from the East, visited Endlovana, a property on Knysna’s Western Head. On the 8th of February LOT visited Villa Castollini and found a purple Selago which, on closer inspection by Prix and Christine, appeared to be Selago burchellii, a vulnerable species. The Red List of South African plants states that it is “known from six locations. It has lost at least 40% of its habitat to commercial forestry plantations and crop cultivation. Decline is continuing due to coastal development, crop cultivation and alien plant invasion”. We needed to collect herbarium specimens to confirm identification, so we visited another property where it is growing. There was a healthy population of this purple plant and the Knysna Sand Fynbos is making a good recovery after the control burn and Knysna wildfires that burnt the property last year, although, as with all other parts of Brenton, the aliens are making an alarming appearance.

We were happy to find healthy populations of Gnidia chrysophylla (NT), Gladiolus vaginatus (VU) and Oxalis pendulifolia (NT). There was no sign of Erica glumiflora (VU), but we are hopeful that given time this vulnerable Erica will re-establish a population on the dunes. Once again, the Pelargoniums put on a good display with Pelargonium caffrum, Pelargonium capitatum and Pelargonium dipetalum providing patches of colour. Although most of the flowers of some huge specimens of Brunsvigia orientalis are coming to an end, the pedicels of the candelabra heads are still stretching to disperse the seeds as far as possible.

I have added some pictures taken in 2016 to the album to show what the area was like before and after the fire.
After enjoying some delicious apples brought by Christine we headed home. I am sure we will visit the property again sometime in the 305 remaining days of this year. It is so interesting to see the regrowth after the fires. Thank you, Susan Campbell, for once again giving us permission to wander around on your beautiful property.
Nicky

LOT plan to collect Aspalathus seeds in the area west of Mossel Bay on Thursday. SIM will head to the Langkloof to explore the hills on the eastern side of the Eseljacht Road. An earlier trip to the western side, was hugely productive. There is also an outside chance that we may find a new locality for our beloved Mimetes chrysanthus (Vulnerable). And in national news, the hateful edifice of state capture is toppling at the speed of Summer Lightning. Well done Squirrel. 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 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”. Now seldom seen
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

Posted on March 05, 2018 04:28 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 12, 2018

Not tonight Josephine

This famous quote is attributed to Napoleon. But most historical researchers seem to question his ability to say no to Josephine. Napoleon Bonaparte was totally obsessed by this intriguing woman and could not resist her. But what on earth has this got to do with a couple of Outramps CREW Tannies (middle-aged to old) scouring the mountain north of Eseljacht for rare and endangered plants? On the very steep descent, we had to thread our way through bands of rock, with the occasional foefie slide down the vertical slabs, hanging on to bits of vegetation to slow the ride. We were still fairly high up, when we saw a couple of Brunsvigia looking plants further west on a narrow ledge. It was quite tricky to get there, but there was a huge reward when we did. Six plants standing about 80cm high had us speechless. Wrong habitat for orientalis, not big enough for B. striata, which we saw on the lower slopes - they had to be Brunsvigia josephinae (Vulnerable). LOT has previously seen this beauty west of Mossel Bay, but for Nicky, Sandra and Di it was a first and it made our day. The exposed bulbs are characteristic of this species and make for a certain id.

With permission from Dewald van Tonder of the farm Eseljacht, we arrived early to climb the mountain north of the farm. I got his directions slightly wrong, and went further east than indicated, but it all worked out brilliantly in the end. At the base, we found Aspalathus pedunculata (Rare). This was soon followed by Psoralea diturnerae (Endangered), which was scattered on the south-facing slope from an altitude of 640m to 890m near the top of the mountain. Also scattered more sparsely was Lotononis elongata (Endangered). The higher we got, the smaller these flowers became, so we will need to confirm this id. It was a stunning mountain to climb and well worth effort. The views from the summit to the Swartberg, Kammanassie and Outeniquas were spectacular. Broad sandy ledges ran east/west on the northern side just below the summit. There is regeneration here after a fire 2/3 (?) years ago, but more rain is needed to give the vegetation a hupstoot. The altitude was too low for any chance of Mimetes chrysanthus (Golden Pagoda – Vulnerable) and the indicator plants were absent. But we had a simply wonderful day. We have called our mountain Eselskop, as it is unnamed on the map.

Inelegantly negotiating a couple of fences on hands and knees did not dampen our enthusiasm at all, but added to our disreputable appearance.
We were filthy by the end of the day. Pushing through the blackened stems of burnt Proteaceae had us looking like the legendary chimney sweeps. We were also bruised and bleeding from various wounds inflicted by thorns and sharp branches. Which all ties in with our title, “Not tonight, Josephine”, or certainly not until a very good shower had removed most of the grime. There was burnt Hakea sericea (invasive) on the higher reaches and some burnt Pines. Attention will have to be given to clearing the seedlings in the foreseeable future. Many thanks to Dewald for the very warm welcome he gave us. We hope to return in the Spring.
Di

The Hunter Gatherers
A small LOT team (average height 5ft2") headed out on Thursday morning to the R327 (Herbertsdale Road) to collect seed of Aspalathus obtusifolia (Vulnerable), which we had identified in January when it was blooming in yellow profusion. As so often happens, the non-flowering plants become completely nondescript once flowering is over and we spent some time scouting for the bushes before locating the perfect site (safely off the road, on public land, with easily accessible plants). A decent amount of seed was bagged.

There was very little else worth mentioning, with the rather lovely exception of a single Gladiolus emiliae (NT) growing in the centre of a mowed track. After some thoughtful deliberation it was decided that the plant should be moved to a place of safety.
We were home in time for lunch.
Sally, Gail and Rusell

Fynbos Outeniqua Mountain hike on Sat 30 March
An Outramps marketing effort!

HAT Evie is guiding a Fynbos hike as part of the Garden Route Festival held over the Easter weekend. The hike is starting from NMU/Saasveld campus and continues up to Tierkop - the goal being the Peak at Tierkop at 781m. Although this has been marked as a strenuous walk- it probably should be called moderate. Gaining the actual peak does involve some scrambling over rocks. Trail distance – about 10 Km and an elevation of around 600m.

To quote the Website details:-
“This is a hike in the Outeniqua mountains with an introduction to some of the Fynbos plants of the area. A chance to enjoy, the unique scenery of the Outeniqua mountains, to participate in some good uphill walking to the Tierkop Peak, from which we have a wonderful view of both Cradock and George Peaks. Along the way we will have a chance to look at some of the Fynbos plants, with time allowed for photography. The Hike is partly along a jeep track as well as a narrow mountain footpath. No children under 8 years. “

Anyone interested – do join up. A donation fee is required! There are numerous other hikes on offer (Outramps Marge will be doing “the Doring Rivier Circuit”) - a wonderful opportunity for us locals and our visitors to enjoy some of the varied hikes on offer in the Garden route – some on private land not normally accessible.
Please spread the word. Visit www.walkingfestival.co.za

It is the annual WAGS excursion to Natures Valley this week. Robberg on Tuesday, Salt River on Wednesday and a mystery hike (replacing Kranshoek – closed for repairs) on Thursday. A very exciting line-up, although there is currently heavy rain forecast for Thursday. We will have to wait and see. On Friday we will make our annual pilgrimage to Camferskloof to monitor Disa arida (Jan’s Arid Disa – Endangered). The Outramps are not about to die of boredom.
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”. Now seldom seen
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

Posted on March 12, 2018 08:57 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 2 comments | Leave a comment

March 19, 2018

Ach Mein Gott!

Said Peter, “Here comes Jan with the Jagermeister”! But I am jumping the gun. The WAGS annual Nature’s Valley trip took place last week. We have been going there every year since 2003, making it Number 15 for me. It was to prove one of the most memorable occasions for a number of reasons. We started off with Robberg. The Kranshoek Trail was closed due to fire-damage and erosion. It was a beautiful day with a significant south-westerly keeping the temperature down. Bill and I made our usual early start in order to keep ahead of the pack, while Stewart kept passing us at a run and doing the route twice. The Darters were lined up at the Point, the Candelabras were in full flower and a very festive picnic with the rest of WAGS, set the seal on a marvellous hike, before we drove to our much beloved Pondok in Nature’s Valley.

At the crack of dawn on Wednesday, Bill went off to the east to explore the highways and byways. I walked west from the shop to do the long Salt River Hike, secure in the knowledge that there was a large party following me a little later in the morning. We reversed the hike, so that we did the coastal route first and crossed the estuary at low tide. It was a cool and cloudy day and the conditions were perfect. I was pleased to find Erica glandulosa ssp fourcadei (Vulnerable) on the grassy swathes above the Keurpad. Marge has a broken finger after the Whiskey Creek Canoe Trail a few weeks ago and opted to do the Lookout route down to the Salt River with a couple of WAGSites. En route, they met up with Brittany Arendse and the interns of Nature’s Valley Trust gathering data on the local birds. Here is her story.

The aliens have landed - WAGS Bird experience - On our annual trip to in Natures Valley, a few of us were hiking the Salt River circuit, when we came upon a delightful group of young people from the Natures Valley Trust, engaged in collecting ongoing data on local birds. The mist nets were set up along a stretch of the path and we were treated to a demonstration of how the birds were handled, measured and released.
The birds are gently removed from the mist nets, (the trick is to know which side they flew in from) then taken to the table, where various recordings are made of eg. weight, body length, wing size, beak length, and whether there is a brood patch indicating that the bird has a nest with eggs nearby. A numbered ring is carefully attached to a leg, or if it has been caught before, a record is made of the number.

I was given the privilege of releasing a dusky flycatcher. Other birds we saw up close were an endemic Orange breasted sunbird, Anthobaphes violacea, a double collared sunbird, either lesser or greater Cinnyris chalybeus or afer and an immature Tambourine dove Turter tympanistria. (ID to be confirmed) And to add to the delights there was a very healthy Cyrtanthus elatus next to the path. The rest of the party met up with them at the local shop and they joined us for a braai at Pondok that evening. Altogether a very special experience.
Marge

The Outramps first met Brittany, when she was a CREW intern with Ismail in Cape Town. We loved her then and nothing has changed. I have included an archive photo in the Album, taken by Sandra, when we did Doringrivier with Verdi and CREW from Cape Town a couple of years ago in 2014. We so enjoyed seeing Brittany again and meeting up with the other interns. They were a line-up that would have done justice to the League of Nations. Not sure of the name spellings, but here they are.
Bruno- Belgium
Claire – UK
Hayley – Canada
Liesel – South Africa
Jamic – Switzerland
Louise – France
It was after a sumptuous meal later in the evening that Jan brought out the Jagermeister, evoking Peter’s comment of “Ach Mein Gott”! In the course of a long life, I have learnt the hard way that it is time to go to bed when the liqueurs come out. And I did. Next morning we woke up to driving rain, so opted to return home instead of doing the planned walk from Forest Hall. A wonderful few days with very good friends.

Back in more familiar territory on Friday, a small party turned up for the northern ridge in Camferskloof. We were there to monitor Disa arida (Jan’s Arid Disa – Vulnerable). It was overcast with a light mizzly rain in patches in the morning, partially clearing in the afternoon. We were disappointed to find only 3 Disas – maybe we were a bit early after the long dry Summer on the northern side of the Outeniquas? Oxalis pendulifolia (Near Threatened) was also a bit thin on the ground, but there was still plenty of other stuff to keep us enthralled. Psoralea diturnerae (Endangered) was all over the place post-fire, a small yellow pea needs to be confirmed and Serruria fasciflora (Near Threatened) was growing on the flats, close to fields of the attractive Erica solandri. The last occasion we saw Rafnia vlokii (Jans Widowpea – Vulnerable) was on one of Tony Rebelo’s visits in Spring last year. Then the plants were looking, sick, dry and desssicated. In contrast, this time they were lush and resprouting all over the place.

But the find of the day was undoubtedly Aspalathus glabrescens (Endangered) on the eastern side of the Pine plantation. We have previously found it scattered sparsely close to the river, but this time it was growing on both sides of the road and coming up like grass after the fire. Stakes have been planted all over the area where they grow. Are they planning to plant Pines on top of this Endangered species? Surely not……..! If so, they need to change their minds very smartly. Pines have no place at all in the Camferskloof Valley. It is teeming with rare endemics and escapee Pines are joining the unwanted Hakea sericea and Wattle. These aliens are presenting a huge and increasing threat. This was Christine’s last trip with the Outramps. She and her husband Malcolm are leaving South African shores to settle in France. We wish them all the best in their new adventure.

The weather is set fair, so we will try Waboomsberg and with luck, we will find Protea venusta (Endangered) in flower one more time. Maybe this time the weather gods will play ball, or at least read Yr.no. Currently, the forecast is talking about a maximum temperature of 22 degrees with a very light wind of 2ms/sec. at the top of the Swartberg Pass. Here’s Hoping!
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”. Now seldom seen
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

Posted on March 19, 2018 05:48 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 26, 2018

The Skedonks

“A banger (old, battered motor car more than 30 years old)” and no, we are not talking about the Buchu Bus. In fact, she was in the unusual position of being able to look down her nose at some vehicles that were decidedly more ancient and decrepit than she was. This doesn’t happen often. It was on our expedition to climb Waboomsberg and Outolberg in the Swartberg to see Protea venusta in flower, that we met up with a glorious cavalcade of old cars on their way back from Die Hel. They were highly decorated, had roof racks fully laden and noisily made their way through the spectacular scenery of the Gamkaskloof Road and the Swartberg Pass. They were taking part in a rally and one of the checkpoints was under the old Cork Oak, which survived the Swartberg fires. You could hear them coming from a distance, with a combination of loud Afrikaans country music and noisy engines. They were a heart-warming sight.

Presumably the people who drive these cars are good mechanics and have a passion for their colourful vehicles. On our return down the Swartberg Pass, we came across two, one of which had blown up its radiator. With the help of some beer, they were cheerfully waiting for a replacement. This was a grim reminder of a similar episode some years ago, when the Buchu Bus took center stage. She overheated, exploded green slime all over the windscreen and had to be towed all the way down the Pass, through Oudtshoorn and to Roelf and Jack’s in George and there was no beer. Not an episode the Outramps will ever forget! And while we are talking about skedonks, we finally met Kobus of Kobus se Gat, who like the cars is a very colourful character more than 30 years old.

We were on the late side for Protea venusta (Endangered) and most of the flowers were over. An earlier trip had to be aborted because of foul weather. This time the weather was perfect and we had a simply wonderful day. The highlights were finding some flowers on Protea montana (Vulnerable), some beautiful coloured cones on Leucadendron dregei (Endangered) and a few scattered Geissorhiza fourcadei plants sheltering under the rocks. Sally was also able to collect some seeds from Berkheya francisci (Rare) for the Millenium Seed Bank. Greg and Cheryl Devine joined us for the day and they and Evie of HAT climbed to the summit of Waboomsberg. Sally and I explored Outolberg (my name) which is slightly lower and to the north of Waboomsberg. We were delighted to find a couple of young Liparia racemosa (Rare) plants and Cliffortia aculeata (Rare) growing in a watercourse lower down, as we went cross-country up to Breakfast Rock. Surprisingly, we didn’t see Otholobium swartbergense (Rare) or the single-leaf Indigofera (Rare) that grows around here. There was plenty of Rafnia rostrata ssp pluriflora (Rare), but there was also some dieback in this population.

On Wednesday WAGS went to Tierkop. I started early and turned back at the Divide between the path and the jeep Track. The rain was torrential and I was soused and pretty cold on the journey down. The rain abated later and the rest of WAGS made it to the Hut. Even in the driving rain, the fynbos was magnificent. Interestingly and unusually, we met runners and hikers along the way. This was because it was Human Rights Day and a Public Holiday.

The Yellowing forest canopy north of Strawberry Hill
I asked Mike Cameron what he thought of this phenomenon. I had suggested that it might be new growth on Afrocarpus falcatus. His reply,
“If this is a unique patch of forest with a consocies of Afrocarpus such as found at the "bos van reuse" in Natures Valley, I could maybe go with Afrocarpus new growth.
However:
If it is just a normal patch of forest I very much doubt it. Sitting at home at a computer is not the way to get the right answer, BUT, my guess is flowering Olea Capensis ssp. macrocarpa.
Reasons:
Ironwoods are the most common species (+- 40%).
Both yellowwoods together make up about 20% of which P. latifolius is by far in the majority.
Ironwoods are mast fruiting species (have massive flowering events at set intervals of a few years with very poor shows in between). Yellowwoods also mast fruit (cones not flowers) so less of a show.
It's right in the middle of ironwood flowering season.
The other species that flowers similarly is Nuxia but it’s normally in winter and is generally more prominent along forest edges.
Conclusion:
Agree 100% with Tony Rebelo. Ground truthing is essential to determine exactly what is happening.”
Mike Cameron
PS. As it was unlikely that the decrepits were going to make it to the top of the canopy, we took a drive to where the canopy lies below the road. And yes, Olea capensis ssp macrocarpa is in full flower and is causing that yellow look to the forest. Thanks Mike.

Fransmanshoek with LOT – World Water Day
What better way to celebrate World Water Day than to be surrounded by an ocean surface alive with movement as is the case at the picturesque Fransmanshoek conservancy? LOT aunties were greeted by clumps of stunted confetti bushes (Coleonema album or aasbossie) scattered amongst the lichen stained rocks as we headed of on the coastal track towards Kanon.
We saw the usual coastal species such as Chirona baccifera (aambeibossie, Christmas berry) covered in berries with the odd flower on, Rhoicissus digitata (bobbejaanballe), Zygophyllum/Roepera morgsana (skilpadbos), Searsia crenata (duinekraaibessie, dune crowberry), Azima tetracantha (speldedoring, needle bush), Cussonia thyrsiflora (kuskiepersol, nooiensboom, coastal kiepersol). For the most the vegetation looked dismal with patches of dried out dead shrublets.
As we followed the path inland the dunes to the west are heavily invaded by Acacia cyclops (rooipitjie, rooikrans). About the only splash of colour came from a couple of bright red flowers on Schotia afra var. afra (Karooboerboon, Karoo boer-bean) as we got back to the cars.
The presence of plastic on the coastal stretch marred the pleasure of the scenery and we soon ran out of packing space and carrying capacity to deal with the litter.
Plastic is everybody’s business and those who do not realise the massive threat this is must certainly come from a different planet. The survey report of the Giant Pacific Garbage Patch was published this week. (https://youtu.be/VxMATP5oRx4). The problem is all pervading and needs to be addressed on all fronts. Recycling is not the quick fix answer and we need to be ruthless in changing habits and not accepting plastic into our lives. Google Zero Waste Home principles for a different take on waste.
I left Gail, Nicky, Rusell and Priscilla to carry on in their search for specials, to head back to Mossel Bay.
My day ended with a celebration of World Water Day at the Bartholomeu Dias Museum. Iconic marine biologists Prof George and Margo Branch’s presentation gave an overview of changes to the new edition of their book Living Shores. The previous edition was published in 1981. This edition is a must for coastal dwellers. I relented and enjoyed exploring my worthwhile acquisition.
Sandra Falanga
From Gail - LOT are off to go and see a private property at Dana Bay on Thursday 29th March. Prix has been invited to look at it and we are included. Meet at 9 am at Dana Bay. The Owner will be coming with us and she says, “no pictures or specimens taken please”. All welcome.
SIM will be visiting our beloved Mimetes chrysanthus (Vulnerable) on the south-western side of the western head of Perdepoort on Friday 30th. The stunning Golden Pagoda should be in full flower. We will visit the original population that we found on the top of the western head, a week or so later. Also on the Outramps Agenda this coming weekend – Marge will be leading a hike to Doringrivier and Evie will be doing a flower walk to Tierkop as part of the Easter Walking Fest.

The Outramps wish you all a very happy, peaceful and safe Easter.
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”. Now seldom seen
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

Posted on March 26, 2018 04:28 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 0 comments | Leave a comment