Journal archives for June 2018

June 03, 2018

And then there were four

The Outramps have been working for the CREW programme since 2004, which is 14 years and counting. We always do one field trip a week and generally, we manage least two and sometimes three. In all that time, I can only remember throwing in the towel for bad weather on about 3 occasions. On Friday that tally reached four. The forecast on Thursday evening was iffy, but possible for Friday. By early Friday morning it had deteriorated, but we are NOT Woesses (See glossary) and having met at VAG, we set off for De Hoek in the Swartberg. We were armed with a letter of permission from KG and a cake to make the Gate-Aunties smile. About halfway to Oudtshoorn, we hit torrential rain and stopped to have a look at the various weather forecasts. Most of them confirmed what we were seeing. We considered making for Meiringspoort and the Great Karoo, but predictions said heavy rain there as well. So…………………..

We turned the Bus round and headed for Bobby and Ria’s Famous Pizza Place for hot coffee and Pizzas. There was some discussion about climbing up a ridge behind the restaurant, but by the time we had finished the grub, the rain had obscured the ridge completely. So it was “Home James and don’t spare the Horses”! But it’s “an ill Wind” and we are desperately hoping that Cape Town, Oudtshoorn, the Swartberg, the coastal plain and the Little and Great Karoo get good rains this weekend. To have a good Spring we need abundant Winter rains. They have been missing for years.

So by Saturday, I was really frustrated and suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Bill was away with the Mountain Club exploring Keeromsberg near Montagu and I was holding the fort at home. Sandwiched between some bad weather and rain, Saturday morning dawned crisp and clear. Groeneweide Forest is just north of Strawberry Hill and I set off on my own, to walk the trails that abound in the area. There isn’t much colour around about 2 weeks away from Midwinter, but there was plenty to enthral. I was keeping half an eye out for Dioscorea burchellii, but it proved elusive. The combination of rampant Pteridium aquilinum (Bracken) and Gleichenia polypodioides (Kystervaring) would have swallowed it up if it occurred there anyway. I had a wonderful morning in the Forest and Forest fringe Fynbos, with a short lunch stop on the cliffs above the Silver River.
tanniedi

Robinson Pass with LOT
LOT (Rusell, Gail, Anne, Sandra, Sally) made a return trip to the top of the Robinson Pass in order to collect more specimens of a couple of post-fire Oxalis, still hoping to locate the elusive O. ioeides. Some plants were quickly spotted but at least one had no sign of flowers. As usual it takes a peek through a hand-lens to reveal the fascinating finer points of the plants - see the album.

The area burned in January 2018 and still looks rather bleak. To brighten up the scene were many low-growing Psoralea, a few spindly yellow peas, blue Lobelia, exceptionally tall Tritoniopsis caffra, and some cheerful purple Mairia crenata daisies.

We continued a little way west along the Kouma Trail but a certain Aunty felt we would be better off, and certainly warmer, if we turned 180° and headed for the north-facing eastern route. She was instantly vindicated when we came across a small but bounteous Acmadenia tetragona, thereby earning our keep for the day. (Several more plants were found along the way). Erica glomiflora was attracting a large variety of insects; several other Erica species had us guessing.

The sound of our voices attracted a young ram, who suddenly appeared on the rocks above us and seemed in need of directions. As we were unable to provide any, he bounded off down the road and hopefully back to Mooihoek where he belongs. There was also much evidence of cattle along the route which seemed at odds with the notice on the fence proclaiming the area to be a delicate World Heritage site.
Sally

Old age is forcing us to sell Strawberry Hill so instead of joining WAGS on Wednesday, I cleaned house preparing for a photo shoot on Thursday with Tim Kirby of Sothebys. In an email to Marge I lamented my plight. This was her reply.
Ruitersbos with WAGS
You wouldn't have enjoyed it!!

We didn't find the path, the whole trail is gone.

They are felling pines on the slopes and have ripped up a lot of the roads with their machinery, also with the burns and the fynbos regeneration the paths were impossible to find. We tried bundu bashing down to the river, not crutch friendly. Then tried the road to the weir, dodging the
tractors etc, the weir is almost gone, with huge chunks of concrete lying down stream. We then tried to back track up the stream, no joy.

So, nothing daunted, we tried the forest loop, found the markers but not the path. The trail has been totally abandoned and left to revert to nature. We eventually ended up walking a big loop on the jeep track on the other side of the river.

Positives - the fynbos was beautiful, the views magnificent, we could see right up to the peaks with no plantation in the way, Nobody complained about the numerous attempts to penetrate the kystervaring, felled bits of tree, fynbos and mud. A proper WAGS adventure!

Negatives - the loss of another beautiful trail.
Marge

On Friday 8 Outramps are travelling down to Stanford for the annual CREW workshop. It will be wonderful to see old friends again, get an iNat refresher from Tony and hear all about the doings of the other CREW Groups. One of the highlights will be meeting Christopher Whitehouse, the Cliffortia man. We will also be visiting Phillipskop, which is his Reserve. Chris is hugely helpful to us on iNat with id’s and he put together the most marvelous key. So looking forward. Next week’s Reportback will probably be combined with the week after, as we will only get home at lunchtime on Monday.
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, Adriaan Grobler, Prix Burgoyne, Dr Kenneth Oberlander, Dr Pieter Winter, Dr David Gwynne-Evans and Mattmatt on iNat. Thank you all for your ongoing help and support.

Outramps Projects and Places on iNaturalist – You can browse through the observations or refer to the checklist which is in alphabetical order eg. Animals, birds etc.
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/diosma-reserve
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-14072
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-19201
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/kingfisher-trails
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/brown-hooded-kingfisher-trail
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/ruigtevlei-plantations
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/uitzigt-216-portion-39
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/heaven-in-the-langkloof
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/flanagans-rock-rsa
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-west
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-east
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-kammanassie-reserve
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-14072
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-spitskop-to-meiringspoort-swartberg
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-rooiberg-reserve
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/strawberry-hill-7-passes-road-wilderness-south-africa
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/nature-s-valley-south-cape-south-africa#page=2
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/white-heather
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/western-head-knysna

Abbreviations Glossary

MCSA – Mountain Club of South Africa
MSB - Millenium Seed Bank based at Kew in the UK
WIP – Work in Progress
HAT – High Altitude Team
LOT – Lowland Team
SIM – Somewhere in the Middle Team
WAGS – Wednesday Adventure Group
VB – Vlok Boekie “Plants of the Klein Karoo” and our Plant Bible
ITRTOL – Another thread “In The Rich Tapestry Of Life”(It describes a challenging situation, usually to do with the Buchu Bus)
ITFOT – In the fullness of time
WOESS – Fair Weather Hiker
FMC and JW – too vulgar to translate, but the equivalent is “Strike me Dead” - An expression of surprise and delight on finding a new “Rare”
Kambro – same as above
Fossick – A meter per minute, scratching around looking for rares
SIDB – Skrop in die Bos – Another name for a field trip, this one coined by Prix
BAFFING – Running round like a blue-arsed fly
SYT – Sweet Young Thing - Anyone under the age of 40
TOMB – Get a move on
Mayhem - Needless or willful damage or violence
SESKRYNG – “Sit en staan kry niks gedaan” ,with thanks to Brian
SOS – Skelms on Scramblers
FW – Idiot
BOB – Another name for the Buchu Bus when she’s misbehaving.
CRAFT – A symptom of Old Age
DDD - Metalasia tricolor (Damned Diabolical Daisy)
VP – Vrekplek – Retirement Village
Qàq – Self-explanatory Inuit word describing some of our local problems
Mr Fab – Our Fabaceae specialist, Brian Du Preez – originally Boy 1
Muisvoel -The Mathematician – Peter Thompson
Boy 2 – Kyle Underwood who works on Orchids and is still at school
Sharkie – Finn Rautenbach – Our latest SYT is a surfer in his spare time
Sicko – Someone who suffers from Car Sickness. With 4 in the Group, allocating seating in the Buchu Bus is tricky
VAG – Virgin Active Garage, which is our meeting place when we head north
MATMUE – Meet At The Mall Under E - Meeting place when we head West
WG – Waves Garage in Wilderness East. - Meeting place when we’re going east.
VU- Vulnerable
DDT – Data Deficient and Taxonomically ?
NT – Near Threatened
EN – Endangered
CR – Critically Endangered
PE – Presumed extinct
LC – Least Concern
TBC – To be Confirmed
TLC – Tender loving care
JMS – An expression of absolute disdain
FOMO – Fear of Missing Out
Milk – the fruit of the vine
Condensed Milk – Scotland’s finest export
Full Cream Milk or Fat Milk – Any product of Humulus lupulus eg. Milk Stout
Milk of the Gods – Rooibos and Brandy
Milk Shake - Sparkling Wine
NS – Species of conservation concern new to the Outramps
PS -Priority Species allocated to the Outramps by our CREW Cape Co-ordinator , Ismail Ebrahim
iNFD – iNaturalist for Dummies as compiled by Sally
Mizzle – Mist and drizzle combined. A regular feature of George in the ”good old days”.
FE – Fire Ephemeral – only appears immediately or after a couple of years after fire
Squirrel – aka President Ramaphosa
WOG – Wrath of God – eg. incurred when you put a young Pine tree on iNat as Leucadendron album
Skedonk - A banger - old, battered motor car more than 30 years old
Hoedown - redneck gathering, usually involves shouting catchy phrases like "yee-haw" and "the south will rise again"
VHF - Vat Hom Fluffie - our nickname for furry or woolly plants
Here are our SYT's (Sweet Young Things). They are all past and present members of the Outramps CREW Group and we are very proud of what they've achieved.

Vats - CREW Eastern Cape
Brian - Master at Stellies
Allistair and Patrick - Cape Nature
Lee-Anne - Masters at Tukkies
Finn - Curator of the Garden Route Botanical Gardens
Peter - Masters at Stellies
Verdi - West Coast Biosphere
Sandile - Botany Dept NMU PE
Rudi - EIA consultant
Thabang - Research Dept Sanparks Knysna

Posted on June 03, 2018 09:17 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 25, 2018

Ninety Minutes

Is all it takes. One of the advantages of living near George – from the coast you can reach the high inland mountains and everything in between in 90 minutes of driving or less. Considering the price of fuel, this is a very good thing. This week was a case in point, with trips to the Langkloof, Brenton on Sea, Camferskloof in the northern Outeniquas and the southern foothills of the mighty Swartberg. We are so lucky to live and work close to this kaleidoscope of different habitats and its wide variety of flora and fauna – although it wasn’t luck, but a choice we made.

Before sunrise on Wednesday, I parked on the Burnsleigh boundary and started up towards the nek in Camferskloof. It was freezing and the frost was thick on the ground, crunching under my boots as I walked. I thought my fingers were going to fall off and I soon had an ‘icecream” headache from the cold. This only disappeared about 2km up the track. It was a spectacular sunrise, flooding the mountain tops with orange light, which made for dramatic photos. Most of WAGS were walking from Sputnik down to Burnsleigh via the nek, presenting Marge with something of a transport problem. Parking the Buchu Bus at Burnsleigh was the solution to that. By the time I got up to the Nek, WAGs had just arrived and we walked back down to Burnsleigh together.

The veld is looking wonderful, despite the dry conditions. Leucadendron salignum (Common Sunshine Conebush) has taken on its lime-green/yellow plumage for the Winter, Protea neriifolia was in full pink and white flower and Allophyllus capensis was a bright burnt-orange in the Fynbos. Erica uberiflora (Taxi Heath) from pink to magenta was bright between the sparkling white flowers of Agathosma mundtii (Jaskkalspisbos). The path has been recently cleared, making it a delight to walk. So thank you Cape Nature. It was a truly “glad to be alive” day with friends in magnificent surroundings.

On Friday, SIM drove towards the Swartberg Pass to explore some of the southern foothills of the Swartberg. To get permission, I e-mailed Jan Vlok, who put me in touch with Wynand Loftus of Aurecon, who gave me Jeff Nel’s number. There was no reply. A little later he phoned back and he was in Washington D.C. in the USA. He was very pleased to give us permission and gave us his manager’s phone number. Jaco Venter manages the farm and was very welcoming. Although we had planned to walk up the jeep track, which goes to the top of the mountain, it starts on the farm next door. So instead, we decided to take the track up to the water tanks. When the track ended, we bundu-bashed up the ridge, until we came to a huge ding. From there we decided that retreat down the western side of the ridge was the best option. We had to cross two fences and were lucky to be able to do so. The first crossing was over, which we did quite easily and the second was under, which took slightly more huffing and puffing at the bottom of a donga.

The geology on the ridge was shale, although the app on Nicky’s phone kept on insisting that it was Cango limestone. The vegetation was renosterveld, with the odd fynbos component like Metalasia acuta. We were hoping to reach some Fynbos, but even at 992m, there was not much in evidence. Three years post-fire, the regeneration is slow. The ongoing low-rainfall scenario is not helping and it was a parched and dry landscape. There was very little in flower. In contrast, the views across to the Swartberg were a blue spectacular.

A silvery-grey Aspalathus, which slightly resembles A. pedunculata was all over the slopes. We think it will turn out to be the Critically Rare, Aspalathus karrooensis. We found five Pteronia hutchinsoniana (Rare) and a tiny Syringodea in colours from white to purple. This amazingly fragile little plant was growing through the inhospitable shale – unbelievable! We think it might be Syringodea longituba ssp. violaceae (Near Threatened) because of loss of habitat. Very few of the huge and iconic Aloe ferox have survived the fire three years ago and we saw no babies. We will be posting the pics on iNat in the coming weeks and will create a place, from which checklists and species lists can be generated. When it is up, we will add the URL to our list of places. We are hoping that good Winter rains will arrive in time to give us a beautiful Spring. So with permission, we will be back to do some more plant exploration in this very interesting and beautiful stretch of the Klein Karoo. Dankie almal.

P.S. We are highly indebted to Jaco. He noticed that I’d left the lights on in the Bus and turned them off. To the great relief of everyone, the BOB started easily. Jaco must have been the most relieved of all. The spectre of landing up with two middle-aged women and one ancient old crone on his hands receded into the distance.
Tanniedi

Barnard’s Farm in the Langkloof
LOT were all set to visit Oom Sakkie Barnard’s Farm (Palmiet Drift) at the junction of the George/Uniondale and Oudtshoorn roads on Thursday 14th.

We got there and got directions from Oom Sakkie (who farms fruit and sheep here) as to where we could go for a “skrop-in-die-bos”. It had burned the previous season and we set out. A meter a minute must have been fast in comparison, but in this way we can examine all the interesting stuff.

We found Pelargonium ochroleucum (DDT) which was very cryptic as it was not in flower and we only recognized it because the Garden Route Botanical Garden has a few growing there. There were numerous Oxalis plants growing in the area and though none were flowering, we collected in order to get them flowering in the garden. One of these will be posted on iNat so that Kenneth can cast his eye upon it. The bulbils are dark brown (almost black) and are clearly ridged.

Further along, we came upon a few plants of Pteronia hutchinsoniana (Rare). Euphorbia silenifolia (LC) was in full flower as was Drosanthemum gracillimum(LC). Haworthia arachnoidea var. aranea (Not evaluated) was jammed into the rock crevices looking half-dead as the rainfall has been rather low this season. However the most interesting plant was a small Oxalis with hairy leaf-margins but not in flower. We are waiting to hear from Kenneth Oberlander re the id.

Just as we pulled out there were a few drops of rain – hopefully a taste of more to come to this scenic spot.
Priscilla

It’s going to be a busy week – so what’s new? Megan Taplin of Sanparks heads the Knysna section of the Garden Route National Park. The Kranshoek Trail between Plett and Knysna was badly damaged in the June 2017 fires and Sanparks has been busy fixing it, hopefully in time for the Oyster Festival. Megan has asked us to walk the trail and monitor the post-burn vegetation regeneration on Wednesday 27th. That will make it possible for the trail-fixers to put any necessary finishing touches to the track on Friday 29th. It is not one of our regular field trip days, so we have asked WAGS to join us to inspect the trail. I will look at the vegetation en route. With luck, the protests around Nekkies to the east of Knysna will have subsided and we’ll be able to get through. I will send Megan a trail report on Thursday and a veg report will come out the following Monday in our usual newsletter.

On Friday SIM and LOT are planning to visit the Gourikwa area. With luck, the magnificent Leucospermum praecox (Vulnerable) will be in full flower. The place is teeming with rare and endangered endemics.
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, Dr Christopher Whitehouse, Adriaan Grobler, Prix Burgoyne, Dr Kenneth Oberlander, Dr Pieter Winter, Dr David Gwynne-Evans and Mattmatt on iNat. Thank you all for your ongoing help and support.

Outramps Projects and Places on iNaturalist – You can browse through the observations or refer to the checklist which is in alphabetical order eg. Animals, birds etc.
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/diosma-reserve
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-14072
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-19201
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/kingfisher-trails
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/brown-hooded-kingfisher-trail
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/ruigtevlei-plantations
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/uitzigt-216-portion-39
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/heaven-in-the-langkloof
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/flanagans-rock-rsa
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-west
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-east
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-kammanassie-reserve
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-14072
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-spitskop-to-meiringspoort-swartberg
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-rooiberg-reserve
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/strawberry-hill-7-passes-road-wilderness-south-africa
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/nature-s-valley-south-cape-south-africa#page=2
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/white-heather

Posted on June 25, 2018 05:43 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Workshop 2018

Stephen Cousins
It is with great sadness that we have just heard of the sudden death of Stephen Cousins in a road accident. He had been visiting Haarwegskloof. Stephen was the Champion of the Swartland CREW Group and was well known for his work on the genus Erepsia. His Swartland Botanics Facebook page was very popular with the plant community. He was in excellent form at the recent CREW Workshop, where we were making plans to hold the 2019 Workshop in Riebeeck Kasteel where Stephen lived. He was in the process of completing his PH.D. The world will be a poorer place without you Stephen and we will miss you.
Outramps CREW Group
The photo above is Codonorhiza fastigiata (Vulnerable) and it was copied from the Swartland Botanics Facebook page.

We have 2 Albums this week
CREW WORKSHOP 2018
Dune Molerat and Spioenkop
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. Featured this week – Workshop, Fernkloof, Dune Molerat, Spioenkop and Barnard’s farm. Also a very interesting spider titbit from Sally
Workshop 2018
The journey down to Wortelgat at Stanford for the 2018 CREW Workshop was uneventful This is always something of a relief when travelling in the Buchu Bus, who is prone to excessive bouts of temperament when she feels herself badly used. Wortelgat was a bit like coming home, when we received a huge welcome from the Cooking-Ladies, who provided us with 3 excellent meals a day. This was helped by the presentation of a cake, which had been destined for the Gate-Aunties at De Hoek in the Swartberg. Because of the torrential rain that Friday, we simply froze the cake and took it to Wortelgat instead.

We were a little late for the iNat course in Stanford, but it didn’t seem to be a problem for Tony. I do have to say, “If that was a beginner course, then I shudder to think what an advanced course will be like”. It was both enjoyable and instructive and I hope that I can remember what I learnt.

When we got back to Wortelgat, our young were there to welcome us, with a host of other old friends. In addition to Peter and Brian we seem to have acquired a few more youngsters from Stellies. Oliver, Donna and Joelene are all keen to start contributing data to the CREW programme via the Outramps systems. They will be welcomed with open arms, as they’re fabulous youngsters and they radically change the demographics of the Group. They are also a huge investment for the future. We were delighted to see Jean again. We have so missed her since her move to CT. After settling in, there were 3 excellent talks. Amongst others, Brian gave us an overview of his year and his spectacular finds. We are so proud of The Boy / Mr Fab. He has already plotted the way forward to a PH.D, where he will be taking over the Indigoferas from Dr Brian Schrire of Kew. Peter is doing a Masters dealing with artificial intelligence. He has decided to work on the recognition of Proteas. As Maths is a closed book to me, I can only say that he hopes to develop an app – you add a pic of a Protea to iNat or whatever and the computer will give you the id - too clever by half.

Ismail’s summing –up says it all
“The vegetation themed talks on Friday evening were excellent and set the scene for an engaging workshop. The Cliffortia talk was fantastic, many thanks Christopher. The information was pitched at the right level and you have really opened our eyes to the interesting Cliffortia genus. We promise that we will treat them kindly (although sometimes they don’t play nice………I have the scratches to prove itJ).

Thanks to Marge for the quiz, it was really entertaining and I think it might have the making of a very interesting reality show especially if the “sacred milk” is added to the equation. The group presentations were outstanding this year. Thank you to all the group champions who prepared presentations. The restoration session was one of my favourites of the weekend. I think this work is really valuable and I look forward to building on the work we have been involved in thus far.

Many thanks to Phillipskop Private Nature Reserve and Fynbos Trust (Lucerne Farm) for allowing us to access the area for field trips, we thoroughly enjoyed the veld. Finally I must thank the supportive team at CREW - without those vital cogs, the CREW machine would not work, so thank you for all your help and support. For those volunteers that could not make it to the workshop we really missed you and hope to see you soon.”
Ismail

And so the seal was set on a wonderful weekend and the best workshop ever. Yes, I know that I say this every year, but they really do seem to get better and better each year. The field trips were fantastic and despite the forecast of “Hell and Gorblimey” weather we hardly got wet at all. After being rattled along the very rutted and corrugated entry road to Wortelgat, the only outburst we had from the BOB all weekend was relatively minor. When we got back from the Lucerne field trip, she point blank refused to open the big side door. The sardined inhabitants had to climb over the seats and exit via one of the front doors. By her standards, that was a very mild tantrum.
tanniedi

A Burchell High Five
I am obsessed with finding more Dioscorea burchellii (Burchell’s Yam - Vulnerable). WAGS were doing Pepsi Pools and Bill wasn’t able to join me early and that walk is not safe alone. So I went and walked Dune Molerat in the hope of finding our Yam. There wasn’t a sign of it. I am rapidly finding all the places where it doesn’t grow and Giant Kingfisher is added to the list. A strong bergwind forced a change of plan for WAGS on Wednesday and we aborted Camferskloof and headed for the more sheltered Wilderness and the Giant Kingfisher. Even there, some of the gusts were quite unnerving and white horses and spray were scudding down the Touw River at a rate of knots.

Jonathan, there is a forest of Bugweed in the wetland to the north of the dune and just south of the river on Dune Molerat. It is busy colonising the whole place. The Boardwalk to the east through the Phragmites australis needs attention. There are a couple of planks loose and broken. On Giant Kingfisher, in the river opposite the gabions, you have Blackwood, Black Wattle, Bugweed and a significant invasion of Cyathea cooperi ( Aussie invader fern). There are some massive plants and I shudder to think of the spore that is being released by this prolific spore-bearer. We would be happy to spend a day with alien clearers, if that would make life easier for you. Just let me know.

On the cusp of Midwinters Day, Nicky and I went back to the Ruigtevlei plantations and Spioenkop to continue our search for Burchell’s Yam. Many thanks to Heine Muller for giving us permission for further exploration of the area. Our long-term goal was to reach and circle the wetland called Karelsvlei. Shortly after dumping the Bus, we saw a steep and damp south-facing slope that looked a potential habitat. About 100m along the track, my eye caught a glimpse of a plant on the top of a sheer slope. “Could it possibly be?” As my eyes travelled down, I saw something closer and shouted to Nicky. And at about the same time, she spotted a plant further back. At no stage is Dioscorea burchellii in your face - in fact, you almost need a trained eye to see it at all. There were five plants and one further down. About a further 1km along one of the tracks heading east, we found another five, so eleven in all. High Fives for Burchell! And that was that for the day, although we kept our eyes peeled on the southern slopes, as we walked towards the vlei.

This proved to be a very worthwhile destination. It was filled with a high grass, which we still need to id and around the edges there was some Saw Grass (Mariscus congestus ssp jamaicense). We were fascinated by the ruined house, which was surrounded by huge trees and a very large orange tree full of fruit. The views were utterly spectacular and far-reaching, with most of the burnt pines already harvested. As with all the burnt areas around Knysna, the aliens are proliferating and are likely to become a huge headache for management in the plantation area. We saw about eleven Selago burchellii (Vulnerable) and site sheets have been done. Another High Five for Burchell! It was a wonderful day out in stunning surroundings, with lots of excitement and some decent exercise in an area that is totally new to us. Our hike was just under 12km. We are hoping to return soon, so that we can explore the northeast corner of this magnificent stretch of Knysna Sand Fynbos, which is a threatened vegetation type. Baie dankie Heine for giving us the opportunity.
Tanniedi

They say that “Variety is the spice of Life”, so SIM are heading for the mountains on Friday. As you come down the southern side of the Swartberg Pass, there are some foothills towards the south, which I’ve been eyeing for years. There is a jeep track going to the top. We have never been there and we don’t know who owns it. Any suggestions? If not, we’ll just drive there and then try and get permission to walk up. There may be nothing of interest, but there could be lots. Failing permission, we will just climb up on the southern side of the Swartberg, where the burnt vegetation makes for relatively easy access.
Happy Midwinters Day
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, Dr Christopher Whitehouse, Adriaan Grobler, Prix Burgoyne, Dr Kenneth Oberlander, Dr Pieter Winter, Dr David Gwynne-Evans and Mattmatt on iNat. Thank you all for your ongoing help and support.

Outramps Projects and Places on iNaturalist – You can browse through the observations or refer to the checklist which is in alphabetical order eg. Animals, birds etc.
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/diosma-reserve
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-14072
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-19201
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/kingfisher-trails
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/brown-hooded-kingfisher-trail
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/ruigtevlei-plantations
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/uitzigt-216-portion-39
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/heaven-in-the-langkloof
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/flanagans-rock-rsa
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-west
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-east
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-kammanassie-reserve
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-14072
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-spitskop-to-meiringspoort-swartberg
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-rooiberg-reserve
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/strawberry-hill-7-passes-road-wilderness-south-africa
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/nature-s-valley-south-cape-south-africa#page=2
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/white-heather
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/western-head-knysna

Abbreviations Glossary

MCSA – Mountain Club of South Africa
MSB - Millenium Seed Bank based at Kew in the UK
WIP – Work in Progress
HAT – High Altitude Team
LOT – Lowland Team
SIM – Somewhere in the Middle Team
WAGS – Wednesday Adventure Group
VB – Vlok Boekie “Plants of the Klein Karoo” and our Plant Bible
ITRTOL – Another thread “In The Rich Tapestry Of Life”(It describes a challenging situation, usually to do with the Buchu Bus)
ITFOT – In the fullness of time
WOESS – Fair Weather Hiker
FMC and JW – too vulgar to translate, but the equivalent is “Strike me Dead” - An expression of surprise and delight on finding a new “Rare”
Kambro – same as above
Fossick – A meter per minute, scratching around looking for rares
SIDB – Skrop in die Bos – Another name for a field trip, this one coined by Prix
BAFFING – Running round like a blue-arsed fly
SYT – Sweet Young Thing - Anyone under the age of 40
TOMB – Get a move on
Mayhem - Needless or willful damage or violence
SESKRYNG – “Sit en staan kry niks gedaan” ,with thanks to Brian
SOS – Skelms on Scramblers
FW – Idiot
BOB – Another name for the Buchu Bus when she’s misbehaving.
CRAFT – A symptom of Old Age
DDD - Metalasia tricolor (Damned Diabolical Daisy)
VP – Vrekplek – Retirement Village
Qàq – Self-explanatory Inuit word describing some of our local problems
Mr Fab – Our Fabaceae specialist, Brian Du Preez – originally Boy 1
Muisvoel -The Mathematician – Peter Thompson
Boy 2 – Kyle Underwood who works on Orchids and is still at school
Sharkie – Finn Rautenbach – Our latest SYT is a surfer in his spare time
Sicko – Someone who suffers from Car Sickness. With 4 in the Group, allocating seating in the Buchu Bus is tricky
VAG – Virgin Active Garage, which is our meeting place when we head north
MATMUE – Meet At The Mall Under E - Meeting place when we head West
WG – Waves Garage in Wilderness East. - Meeting place when we’re going east.
VU- Vulnerable
DDT – Data Deficient and Taxonomically ?
NT – Near Threatened
EN – Endangered
CR – Critically Endangered
PE – Presumed extinct
LC – Least Concern
TBC – To be Confirmed
TLC – Tender loving care
JMS – An expression of absolute disdain
FOMO – Fear of Missing Out
Milk – the fruit of the vine
Condensed Milk – Scotland’s finest export
Full Cream Milk or Fat Milk – Any product of Humulus lupulus eg. Milk Stout
Milk of the Gods – Rooibos and Brandy
Milk Shake - Sparkling Wine
NS – Species of conservation concern new to the Outramps
PS -Priority Species allocated to the Outramps by our CREW Cape Co-ordinator , Ismail Ebrahim
iNFD – iNaturalist for Dummies as compiled by Sally
Mizzle – Mist and drizzle combined. A regular feature of George in the ”good old days”.
FE – Fire Ephemeral – only appears immediately or after a couple of years after fire
Squirrel – aka President Ramaphosa
WOG – Wrath of God – eg. incurred when you put a young Pine tree on iNat as Leucadendron album
Skedonk - A banger - old, battered motor car more than 30 years old
Hoedown - redneck gathering, usually involves shouting catchy phrases like "yee-haw" and "the south will rise again"
VHF - Vat Hom Fluffie - our nickname for furry or woolly plants

Posted on June 25, 2018 05:46 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 0 comments | Leave a comment