Journal archives for August 2018

August 13, 2018

A Good day at the Office

Here is the ALBUM 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 – Flanagans Rock - a Celebration with WAGS and Spioenkop.

Ray’s favourite poem
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
William Shakespeare

Flanagans Rock
Flanagans Rock was the WAGS destination on Wednesday on a bone-chilling, cold morning in early August. It is an attractive 3 hour thereandback hike in the northern Outeniquas, which is dominated by the sweeping walls of rock that slice down from Cradock Peak towering high above. It is a great favourite with local hiking clubs and also forms part of the formidable Cradock Peak Traverse.

Ten years ago, it was also a freezing cold day. The women were busy chatting, but Ray was getting colder and colder. So he decided to start back to the cars ahead of the rest of the party. He never arrived and despite extensive searches by hikers, the Mountain Club Search and Rescue squad and the police, he was never seen again. It is now thought that at the bottom of the Flanagans Rock hill, he turned right instead of left and got lost or fell into the overgrown Fynbos in the Kaaimans watershed below Heartbreak Hill.

So this Wednesday on the 10th anniversary of his disappearance, WAGS had a celebration of his life on Flanagans Rock, where the Family have erected a plaque in his memory. Sumptuous snacks and champagne were on offer for us to drink a toast to Ray. Marge read his favourite Sonnet 18 and a poem by George Barker. His daughter Sonia was there with his two grandchildren Findley and Iris making it an even more special occasion. Ray had a biting sense of humour and many of his sayings were shared on Wednesday. I chose this one.

A new hiker joined WAGS. She was in the late 60’s and looked her age. Despite warnings that we were doing a strenuous hike, she came along. She was obviously not fit enough for that particular hike, so the Group stopped early for breakfast to allow her to catch up. During the break, she introduced herself to Ray saying, “I’m (C-----y} and I’m new”. He returned a rather caustic rejoinder, “You don’t look very new to me”!

In the midst of all these bittersweet memories, the plants were not ignored. Indigofera sp. 19 (Rare) is alive and well and scattered sparsely along the length of the hike. Lobelia dichroma (Data Deficient) was feeling the drought, but hopefully the recent rain would have topped up its reserves. There wasn’t a whole lot in flower, but there’s always something in the Fynbos to Ooh and Ah about. Agathosma mundtiii, with its delightful, but vulgar common name (Jakkalspisbos) and Agathosma planifolia provided a white backdrop to the lovely pink and white blooms of Syncarpha paniculata.

It was a lovely day out in the Fynbos with very good friends remembering a very special man. Hamba Kahle Ray. We miss you!
Tanniedi

A Good day at the Office
There weren’t many takers for Spioenkop on Thursday. The field trip had been shifted back from Friday to Thursday, because of the heavy rain forecast by Yr.no for Friday. Between Bridge dates, Whale Trailers and an understandable reluctance to entrust themselves to the Buchu Bus after her Brenton shenanigans, only Nicky and I were there for the day. This made it possible for us to take the 4x4 Drifter, with prior permission to drive in the area from Heine Muller. The Spioenkop property is extensive and driving in some distance puts us more in reach of the far-flung boundaries.

I am not a very experienced 4x4 driver, so we were cautious and by and large, we stuck to the better tracks. The goodwill we’ve received from Heine, would have dissipated at the speed of Summer Lightning if we’d had to be towed out. We also kept an ear out for chain saws, so that we didn’t interfere or hamper felling or transport arrangements. We drove round the vlei and then pointed the Drifter in a northerly direction. Some distance along, we parked the car and got out and walked. Plant monitoring from a car is not the most successful system, although it does cover more ground.

The tracks we chose wound in and around some terrifying steep slopes that plunged vertically to the valleys some distance below. Peering over the edge every few meters, we had our eyes tuned in to Lobostemon belliformis (Critically Endangered), but we found no more plants on this occasion. The first crowd-stopper was a silvery-grey Aspalathus with a tenuous foothold on an almost vertical cliff wall some distance below. With zoom at its maximum and the crutches and sticks being used as tripods, we photographed and then examined our find. It was almost certainly the Endangered Aspalathus bowieana. The planting of the Pines will have no effect on this particular patch, as it is far too steep for Pines and afro-temperate is the prevailing veg type. Alien plants like Blackwood and Black Wattle are going to be the problem here and I don’t know how you could clear them on these vertical cliffs. The underlying geology in this area is sandstone.

Some distance further along on the cliff side, there was a short, flattish shelf with an outcrop of grey sandstone above the chasm below. Happily ensconced, Aspalathus bowieana and about 20 young Acmadenia alternifolia (Vulnerable) plants were going for the gap. By this time, “Our Cup runneth over” and we were in tearing high spirits. We meandered along peering over the sides and from a distance almost mistaking Schizostephium umbellatum for our precious Lobostemon. We were on a roll!

A flash of white on the upper sandy slopes caught our attention. Closer examination proved it to be a Nemesia, but not one that either Nicky or I had seen before (we think). The flowers were a lot bigger than most of the Nemesias we see and we did wonder if we had a new “rare”, but we weren’t expecting too much. Despite not finding more of the Lobostemon, we’d had a highly satisfying day. We hadn’t got stuck in the mud or sand and we’d added Selago burchelli (Vulnerable) to our rare list for the day. We were a bit disappointed not to find more Dioscorea burchellii (Vulnerable). It was when Nicky got back to her computer and books later on in the day that she came up with a possible id that changed the day from good to superb. It looks as if we may have found Nemesia elata (Vulnerable), which is a first for the Outramps. We are waiting for confirmation from Jan. This is what the Red List had to say,

“This species was only known from a single location since its discovery on the top of Montagu Pass. It was only recently described (2010) and further surveys of herbarium material and field surveys of the Outeniqua and Langeberg mountains confirmed at least six locations within an EOO of 351 km². This extremely rare habitat specialist can be locally common after fires, but is threatened by inappropriate fire management, alien invasive plants, as well as road and other infrastructure construction.”

Jan has just come back to us. He says, “It’s hard to tell with certainty if it is Nemesia elata or Nemesia fourcadei (even rarer). The latter is an annual plant, but I cannot tell from the pics, if it is a short-lived perennial or not. I checked it against Kim Steiner’s description of the two species and ‘the lack of invagination at the opening of the spur’ seems to indicate that it is rather Nemesia elata, so lots to be elated about.” Baie Dankie Jan.

So there is lots of exploration still to be done in the Ruigtevlei plantation areas, as we keep on turning up “newies” for the Outramps. Between plantations and development, the Pines are a much better choice. For a couple of years at least, the Fynbos will be able to regenerate its seed bank. If it was covered with houses the plants would have been doomed. We will also need to chat to Heine in the near future about protection of a few of the sites. We are hugely grateful for his help and support. Dankie Heine.
tanniedi

Forthcoming Field Trips
On Friday SIM will be doing a “Skrop in die Bos” on the Walker Bay properties at Buffalo Bay. The Western Heads Conservancy is assembling information on the conservation value of this site for a representation to the municipality, before they start considering changes to the development footprint. We would like to contribute our mite to that. LOT will be revisiting the Herbertsdale sites.
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.

Cola Conservancy - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/cola-conservancy
Dune Molerat Trail - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/dune-molerat-trails
Featherbed Nature Reserve - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/featherbed-nature-reserve
Gouriqua - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/gouriqua-private-nature-reserve
Heaven in the Langkloof - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/heaven-in-the-langkloof
Herolds Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-herolds-bay
Kammanassie - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-kammanassie-reserve
Langeberg Grootvadersbosch - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/grootvadersbosch-nature-reserve
Kranshoek - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-kranshoek-
Masons Rust - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/masons-rust-32-ptn-4-gezwinds-kraal-41-ptn-0
Mossel Bay Diosma Reserve - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/diosma-reserve
Mossel Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-14072
Mossel Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-19201
Mossel Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/st-blaize-trail
Natures Valley - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/nature-s-valley-south-cape-south-africa#page=2
Outeniquas Bobbejaanberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-bobbejanberg-in-the-outeniquas
Outeniquas Camferskloof - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-camferskloof
Outeniquas East - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-eastern-outeniquas-from-bergplaas-to-gouna
Outeniquas Flanagans Rock - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/flanagans-rock-rsa
Outeniquas Lange Berg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/lange-berg-112
Outeniquas Paardepoort East - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-east
Outeniquas Paardepoort West - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-west
Outeniquas Southern Traverse - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-outeniqua-southern-traverse
Rooiberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-rooiberg-reserve
Spioenkop - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/ruigtevlei-plantations
Strawberry Hill - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/strawberry-hill-7-passes-road-wilderness-south-africa
Swartberg Spitskop - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-spitskop-to-meiringspoort-swartberg
Uitzicht Portion 39 - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/uitzigt-216-portion-39
Uitzicht - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/uitzigt-216-ptn-65
Western Head - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/walker-s-point-215-portion-1-buffalo-bay
Western Head – https://www.inaturalist.org/places/walker-s-point-215-portion-2-buffalo-bay
Western Head - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/walker-s-point-215-portion-3-buffalo-bay
Western Head - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/western-head-knysna
White Heather - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/white-heather
Wilderness Brown Hooded Kingfisher Trail – https://www.inaturalist.org/places/brown-hooded-kingfisher-trail
Wilderness Kingfisher Trail - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/kingfisher-trails
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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
iNatFD – 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
OTL - Out To Lunch is used to describe the Buchu Bus when she's taking a break after she's behaved badly

Posted on August 13, 2018 04:38 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 0 comments | Leave a comment

To the Lighthouse

Here is the ALBUM. 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 – Leaky Dam Circuit via Pepsi Pools with MCSA, iNat course at NMU, St Blaize Trail with WAGS and Gourikwa Private Nature Reserve to monitor “The Beautiful One”.

iNaturalist Course
Dr Tony Rebelo came up from Cape Town last Monday to give an iNat course at NMU as part of Science Week. It was a collaborative effort between the University, Garden Route Botanical Gardens and CREW. It was hugely successful, great fun and a very good learning experience.

The scope of this interactive website for naturalists is enormous and we are just scratching the surface. At the click of the mouse, you can produce species lists and Field Guides and catalogue all the flora and fauna in your local neck of the woods. It is going to be such a valuable tool to measure the effects of man and climate change on the environment in the years to come. It is huge fun and provides an excellent forum for your photos. I am hoping that it will help my aged brain from disintegrating completely, although I had to ask Sally at the end of the session, ”What did I remember from the course”? She told me…………………….. At the age of (almost) 80, all this new technology is very challenging!

HAT Evie’s report for -Circuit/ Pepsi Pools, Leaky Dam, Tierkop Hut
On Sunday 29 July Hat Evie joined the South Cape MCSA on a circular hike starting and ending at NMU George campus. Initially passing through some indigenous and plantation forest to Pepsi Pools- thereafter good forest cleared path in evidence. Good views of pink flowers on Agathosma ovata - both as shrubs and trees, growing near the streams and forest edges, all the way up to the Dam. Some Agathosma planifolia on the upper side of the dam. Lovely pink Erica cubica coming into flower- while Erica triceps and Erica fuscescens are obvious all along the path. Erica lehmannii -seems to be scarce. Also, some Erica Intermedia subsp intermedia.

On the higher steeper slopes above the dam - wonderful looking, numerous, strong plants of Mimetes pauciflorus (VU)- currently at their flowering peak. While a little higher up pretty trees of Leucospermum glabrum (EN) share space in amongst the Mimetes. All the hikers enjoyed taking numerous photos of the golden Mimetes and the pretty L. glabrum! Two yellow peas much in evidence above the dam- Liparia hirsuta and the second – still to be confirmed. A super hike in some of the best Fynbos of our area.
Evie

To the Lighthouse
The famous novel by Virginia Woolf “To the Lighthouse” was a critical success as soon as it was published and won Woolf the Prix Femina in 1928. Initial reviews and criticism focused on the novel's stylistic innovations, praising Woolf’s artistic refinement of the stream of consciousness narrative. There is very little in common between this famous novel and the St Blaize Trail, except that they are both dominated by a real lighthouse and that I couldn’t resist the title. Also, my grandson who is at Stellies doing Maths is on a mission to educate Tanniedi, at least as far as literature is concerned – he’s given up on the Maths. He insists that I read the whole collection of Virginia Woolf’s writings. I am ploughing through them with the odd sortie into something lighter to keep me sane. I rejected outright his suggestion of Fyodor Dostoevsky and Proust, having succumbed to Nabokov and Flaubert. However, Flaubert alienated me for life when all the characters in the short story died including the parrot.

As always, Bill and I started early and ahead of the main pack where the trail begins on the Dana Bay side. We were rather startled to encounter some light rain, which soon dissipated, but was the preface to a rather chilly wind for most of the day. I love the St Blaize Trail, but on this occasion it was not looking its best. There was very little in flower, probably because of the very dry Winter we are experiencing. The burnt patch shows little sign of regeneration and all the plants are taking strain. The only “rare” we saw all day was Freesia leichtlinii ssp alba (Near Threatened) and we only saw one in flower. Wags spotted a skewbald Dassie dressed in black, grey, brown and white, a colour combination which nobody has ever seen before. It has been posted on iNat, so that we can get some expert opinion on this strange colour variation.

The seep below the Mossel Bay Golf Estate is worsening. White slime now covers the whole slope above it. The disclaimer on the notice on the one side is fooling nobody. If it isn’t sewage, what is it? It is certainly not a natural seep, which is the impression they try to create. It’s a real blot on the landscape on this trail, which is highly frequented by tourists.

Bill and I made excellent time, completing the trail in 6 hours. This was despite Bill’s little rock-climbing sortie, which he couldn’t resist. At Pinnacle Point he went down the steps, along the beach and then scrambled up to the cliff path to join me. It was a very tricky scramble, particularly for an ancient of 84 with 5 joint replacements. But we were both satisfied - he got his adrenaline fix and I got an opportunity to take some photos and to do a site sheet, at the same time keeping an eye on his progress. Finally reaching the St Blaize Lighthouse, we trotted off for Fish and Chips at Delfinos – a good way to end a very pleasant day on the Southern Cape Coast.
Tanniedi

The Beautiful One
It was time for a repeat visit to Gourikwa on Friday. We wanted to show Helena Lobostemon belliformis(Critically Endangered) in full and riotous bloom and we were hoping for a glimpse of Erica baueri ssp. gouriquae (Critically Endangered). We were both relieved and delighted to find the “Beautiful One” in full bloom. Flowering times this year have been up the creek, no doubt due to the ongoing drought. Now, for the first time in years, we are feeling optimistic about the future of this stunning plant. Helena is full of plans to clear the Rooikrantz sympathetically. She will consult NMU and is planning to get various conservation agencies to do the clearing under good supervision. Just sending in a contractor is not the solution. If it isn’t carefully done, the Lobostemon will be damaged when the trees are felled. Also she will see that the access to the plant is made easier, but also not made obvious to any stray collectors. She will consult with some of the owners, who were visiting this weekend. I will sleep easier at night, if I know that this plant is safe for future generations. So “Baie dankie” Helena and the new owners of Gourikwa.

Our “Mad HATters, Dave and Evie discussed options with Helena and decided on the exploration of a perimeter firebreak and an investigation of any sandstone kopjes in the area. They were hoping to find more of the Lobostemon, but had no joy. SIM and LOT started their search for the Gouriquae Erica on the road verges, where we found it last year. As always, the place is teeming with rares, but of the Erica there was no sign. Considering that last year at the same time we had seen it whilst driving past and that it stands over 2m high, we were totally flummoxed. It looks as if it’s either not flowering this year, or is doing so right out of season. Very puzzling indeed!

But there was still plenty to enthall. Here are some of the Rares we saw.
Protea susannae – Near Threatened
Protea obtusifolia – Near Threatened
Carpobrotus muirii – Near Threatened
Cliffortia schlechteri – Near Threatened
Aulax umbellata – Near Threatened
Leucospermum praecox – Vulnerable
Metalasia luteola - Vulnerable
Gnidia chrysophylla – Near Threatened
Satyrium carneum – Near Threatened
Agathosma muirii – Vulnerable
Lachnaea axillaris – Near Threatened
Agathosma eriantha – Vulnerable
Cullumia carlinoides – Near Threatened
Leucadendron galpinii - Vulnerable
Euchaetis albertiniana – Endangered
Lobostemon belliformis – Critically Endangered
Erica dispar – Near Threatened
In the next few weeks, we will be posting them on iNat. Here is the link - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/gouriqua-private-nature-reserve#page=1
Tanniedi
Ps. Mike is pretty sure that he found some resprouting Lobostemon belliformis amongst the plants we saw - an interesting observation.

Forthcoming Field Trips
On Friday we are hoping to visit Spioenkop again. While Lobostemon belliformis (Critically Endangered) is still in flower, our chances of spotting it are more than doubled and we would like to increase the tally found to more than three. We would also like to continue our exploration of the north-east corner, keeping an eye out for Dioscorea burchellii (Vulnerable)
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.

Cola Conservancy - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/cola-conservancy
Dune Molerat Trail - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/dune-molerat-trails
Featherbed Nature Reserve - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/featherbed-nature-reserve
Gouriqua - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/gouriqua-private-nature-reserve
Heaven in the Langkloof - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/heaven-in-the-langkloof
Herolds Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-herolds-bay
Kammanassie - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-kammanassie-reserve
Langeberg Grootvadersbosch - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/grootvadersbosch-nature-reserve
Kranshoek - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-kranshoek-
Masons Rust - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/masons-rust-32-ptn-4-gezwinds-kraal-41-ptn-0
Mossel Bay Diosma Reserve - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/diosma-reserve
Mossel Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-14072
Mossel Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-19201
Mossel Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/st-blaize-trail
Natures Valley - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/nature-s-valley-south-cape-south-africa#page=2
Outeniquas Bobbejaanberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-bobbejanberg-in-the-outeniquas
Outeniquas Camferskloof - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-camferskloof
Outeniquas East - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-eastern-outeniquas-from-bergplaas-to-gouna
Outeniquas Flanagans Rock - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/flanagans-rock-rsa
Outeniquas Lange Berg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/lange-berg-112
Outeniquas Paardepoort East - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-east
Outeniquas Paardepoort West - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-west
Outeniquas Southern Traverse - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-outeniqua-southern-traverse
Rooiberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-rooiberg-reserve
Spioenkop - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/ruigtevlei-plantations
Strawberry Hill - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/strawberry-hill-7-passes-road-wilderness-south-africa
Swartberg Spitskop - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-spitskop-to-meiringspoort-swartberg
Uitzicht Portion 39 - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/uitzigt-216-portion-39
Uitzicht - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/uitzigt-216-ptn-65
Western Head - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/walker-s-point-215-portion-1-buffalo-bay
Western Head – https://www.inaturalist.org/places/walker-s-point-215-portion-2-buffalo-bay
Western Head - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/walker-s-point-215-portion-3-buffalo-bay
Western Head - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/western-head-knysna
White Heather - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/white-heather
Wilderness Brown Hooded Kingfisher Trail – https://www.inaturalist.org/places/brown-hooded-kingfisher-trail
Wilderness Kingfisher Trail - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/kingfisher-trails
.
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
iNatFD – 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
OTL - Out To Lunch is used to describe the Buchu Bus when she's taking a break after she's behaved badly

Posted on August 13, 2018 04:42 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 20, 2018

Winter vs Spring

Here is the ALBUM. 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 – Goukamma in early Spring, Swartberg Pass East, Attakwaskloof, Garden Route Dam Circuit with WAGS, Herbertsdale with LOT and Safraanrivier with SIM.

Goukamma is looking spectacular. The valleys are covered with a carpet of Dichisma ciliatum, Ursinia chrysanthemoides and Selago burchellii coloured in pale lime-green and bright yellow, with deep purple in between. The regeneration of the vegetation has taken a huge step forward, since we were last there. The greens were bright and sparkling, the sea was deep blue and Groenveli was a bright blue-green, living up to its name. A kaleidoscope of colours!

Bill and I celebrated the last Sunday before sailing starts again, with a walk to Goukamma last Sunday. Ignoring the “No Entry signs”, we walked the highways and byways and ended on the dune overlooking Groenvlei, Swartvlei, Vic Bay and the Outeniquas. The air was crisp and there had been recent rain. Freesia leichtlinii ssp alba (Near Threatened) and Selago burchellii (Vulnerable) were the only rares we saw all day. It was a wonderful day out.

I cannot imagine why Cape Nature is still closing this little reserve. Maybe they are waiting for signage or something? The danger of erosion is long past. But we will probably never know. Despite weekly reports on the state of the reserves, which are painstakingly written, with details on the plants seen and the state of the paths etc. there is never any reaction. This is not surprising, as the only people from Cape Nature who read the reports are Dr Annelise Vlok and KG when he knows that the report is about the Swartberg. Both AL and KG are hugely supportive and encouraging. As volunteers, we are so grateful for this. But for the rest, it does feel a bit like “A Voice crying in the Wilderness”. With chronic staff shortages, we are doing a lot of Cape Nature’s plant monitoring. It would be good if we knew that the information was being used by the Reserve Managers.
tanniedi

Swartberg
HAT visited the Swartberg recently, to hike along the Ridgeline path from the top of the Swartberg pass – going East. A wonderful high-level path with great views out- an interesting mix of ups and downs with views to both the north and south side of the Swartberg. Sadly, the vegetation is looking particularly grey and bleak. Little rain or snow this winter – so I am hoping that once the real spring arrives it will prove to be a more worthwhile outing.

An intense north westerly wind on the day made looking for plants on the ridge line, and their photography a tricky experience. So mostly, it was a case of “just keep going” and “grabbing a few stukkies’. Numerous plants of Berkheya cruciata appearing in some of the old burns- while among the rocks a few grey Berkheya francisci (Rare) seem to be surviving. Jenny Potgieter has identified some of the Erica’s- many thanks to Jen. Mostly only white Erica glomiflora, and Erica fimbriata seen, while other Erica’s were still in bud. However, on the south facing aspect amongst some old flowers -two rocky cliff-face Erica’s: Erica transparens and Erica costatisepala (Rare). The wind continued to buffet the hikers and as a result the day out on the ridge became shorter, and Albertberg will have to wait until next time.
Evie

GCBR meeting
The AGM went by in a flash, ably chaired by Willem Botha. It was certainly not the usual rather tedious affair, which makes an AGM something to avoid at all costs. I spoke about the work done by the Outramps CREW Group and it was very well received. I made a few very useful contacts. Charl Wade of the SC Fire Protection Unit had some plans to help with the clearing of the Acacia cyclops on the Lobostemon belliformis site. This was music to my ears and I will pursue it next week with the new owners.

Although fish are not really my thing, there was a very interesting presentation, Dynamics and economics of fish populations in the Goukou Estuary – Jean du Plessis (CapeNature). Mary Carr’s presentation on ‘Rethink Bags’ was inspiring and we are hoping that this initiative will go from strength to strength. In amongst all the huge problems in South Africa, there are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Does that give us just a little ray of hope?
It was well worth driving to Jongensfontein for this meeting. Jongensfontein was a first for me, but sadly not many of the locals supported the event. The GCBR has achieved incredible things with a handful of people. Now that funding is more freely available, lots more should be achieved. We look forward to a very bright future for this wonderful initiative. Thanks for giving me the opportunity of sharing the work that the Outramps do in the Southern Cape. tanniedi

Attakwaskloof
A second HAT outing – in the way of an exploratory trip for a future MCSA outing from the Moore’s farm to the West of the old Voortrekker Route – Attakqua’s Pass (or Attakwaskloof). An interesting day out – no path but as there were fires in the area about 2.5 years ago – the Fynbos not overly thick. Evidence of numerous new Protea plants coming up. Lobelia sp. were a very special sight – slopes of blue all over – however my camera says” no there were no blue flowers today”. Difficult to photograph!! Psoralea shrubs/trees in abundance and numerous Acmademia tetragona (Near Threatened). Ericas – some whites and pinks, an unusual pink glossy sticky Erica, and one small stand of Erica unicolor subsp mutica (Endangered). However, the special plants of the day - in full flower on all the rocky ridges were 2 different Agathosmas/ A mucronulata and A. blaerioides. Both Buchus previously seen on Fouriesberg and ID’d by Dave. Then along a steep rock face “a cliff hanger” peering out at me, while I peered back– I guess Lobelia dichroma (Data Deficient). Difficult to see, while my companions all said – Evie a closer encounter is not on!!”
Evie

A Meadow and Splashes of Gold
As always it is a treasure trove to explore Herbertsdale road. The bulbs were flowering and Rusell and I were greeted by Gladiolus floribundus, Babiana fourcadei, Watsonia laccata clad in orange, the dainty Gladiolus mutabilis, a white Disperis capensis (Moederkappie, Granny Bonnet). Two populations of Satyrium muticum (CR), though there were more leaves than flowers in the second group and Freesia leichtlinii ssp. leichtlinii (VU). Nearby was a dense stand of tall Protea neriifolia.

This is Hermannia land and in a post fire patch Hermannia angularis was prominent and flowering profusely. With eyes peeled for orchids we were suddenly surprised to be in the middle of a large stand of resprouting Cyclopias. It can only be Cyclopia intermedia, but this has to be confirmed.

A spectacular slope and meadow of Leucospermum cuneiforme was filled with busy bird chatter and here Brunvigia josephinae (VU) with its prominent display of leaves stopped us dead in our tracks. Just the perfect lunch stop. Tall restios, a stand of waist high Hermannia hysoppifolia and the very attractive Cliffortia strobilifera, sporting some galls, made us pause, but I found mý plant of the day next to a snowy display of a Struthiola - Erica glandulosa spp. glandulosa with its almost translucent peach coloured tubes! Much of the plant is covered in glandular hairs and for some reason it just made my ‘wielietjies pap’ – colloquial Afrikaans for an all in one of being of impressed, charmed and weak at the knees at the same time!

We passed a weird spot where there might have been a strange ritual. A hole in the ground was surrounded by the remains of a very big bird and the remainder of the leafy top of a Hypoxis. Still with noses down for orchids our path was now paved by several Romulea species, mostly the beautiful bright Romulea rosea var. rosea. Walking back we were looking for a Hermannia species I had only seen here before. And there it still was - only one plant with tiny yellow flowers and scrumply leaves. I also found a name for it - Hermannia microtesticulare, though it does not appear as such in Cape Plants or the redlist! However, my little plant has a name and Rusell and I had a glorious plant-filled day.
Sandra

Garden Route Dam Circular
This last Wednesday – a walk with WAGs at low altitude – around the Garden Route Dam and on to Pepsi pools. A pleasant morning out. Some Fynbos -dominant pink heath (? Erica sparsa and canaliculata ) – although most of this walk is through the bracken and old tracts of Wattle trees. There has been a good deal of clearing along the various jeep tracks in the area – so now much more accessible than previously. I was so glad that our leader Jan, knew his way – what with so many different options it would be easy to get lost. There were some enjoyable bits of indigenous forest in between, and Pepsi Pools was sparkling with its white foamy bubbles. Sadly, it was too cold to swim.
Evie

Baby,it’s cold outside
Spring may have been in the air at Goukamma a few days earlier, but it was Midwinter at Safraanrivier on Friday. We planned to explore some of the foothills on the northern side of the Robinson Pass. We came with no clear idea of exactly where and as we drove over Robinson Pass rain/sleet sped across the windscreen of Bloody Mary. (The Buchu Bus had been left at home to sulk, until her inner workings have been sorted, which was just as well. Once again she had refused to start and ended up at Roelf and Jack’s (her home from home) with a broken solenoid or some-such. Bill and Ena both say that I should talk more kindly to the BOB, so maybe that will be our next strategy.)

We turned into the Paardebont road and drove until we found an open gate, with some signs of life. Kobus, who was the foreman on the farm, gave us a warm welcome, when we explained our mission to explore for plants. So we set out to climb up a kopje overlooking the farm. It was freezing, freezing cold, even with gloves, beanies and every bit of available clothing. There was an icy, biting wind that heralded the regular squalls of rain and sleet that swept over us en route to the Swartberg. It looked as if it was snowing on Gamkaberg and the Swartberg and we really hope that the falls were significant, so that the plants can have a hupstoot into Spring. At times it seemed as if there was a window of blue sky above us, with rain/sleet all around us.

The route up to the top of the foothill was varied. There was Renosterveld, Fynbos and a large area of burnt veld, with lots of interesting plants, despite the obviously dry conditions. Geology varied between shale, sandstone and silcrete. Babiana sambucina was in early bloom. There were lots of curlywhirly Albucas with early buds. Machairophyllum albidum carried a selection of spent capsules and new golden flowers. Lapeirousia plicata (I think) was a crowd-stopper, with lots of Oohs and Aahs. Post-fire, Pteronia hutchinsoniana was flowering and we must have seen about 50 plants in the area of 1500m x 50. Prior to 2018, we had only seen a couple of plants on the Rooiberg, but this year we have found a whole lot more localities, after the 2017 fires. Aloe lineata var. muirii was spectacular, as it combined with Aloe ferox to give definition to the scenery.

We had lunch just below the top of the ridge under an overhang, as another squall swept over us. We took a slightly different route down back to the cars, with the resolve to come back, as winter develops into spring. I will contact the owner of the farm, to discuss our way forward. So much to do – so little time!
Tanniedi

Forthcoming Field trips
Alien Invasive Plant clearing at Diosma Reserve
Carlo van Tonder of Cape Nature brokered official permission from the Mossel Bay Municipality to pursue a low impact alien invasive plant clearing regime at the Diosma Reserve. It will be a collaboration between Outramps CREW, Cape Nature interns and the Fransmanshoek Conservancy rangers. First day will be this coming Wednesday, 22nd of August. All willing and able bodies are welcome to help with careful handpulling of Acacia cyclops!

On Friday, SIM will be visiting the Walker Bay properties at Buffalo Bay to do some more exploration, before giving producing a report. Myles Mander and Chris Gow of the Western Head Conservancy will be joining us. From Myles, “As the Western Heads Conservancy, we are assembling information on the conservation value of this site for a representation to the municipality before they may start considering changes to the development footprint. Dave Edge is going to look at the butterflies and we wondered whether your team may have done any botanizing here in the past and possibly have a list of high value conservation plant species occurring in the area – or likely to occur.”
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.
Cola Conservancy - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/cola-conservancy
Dune Molerat Trail - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/dune-molerat-trails
Featherbed Nature Reserve - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/featherbed-nature-reserve
Gouriqua - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/gouriqua-private-nature-reserve
Heaven in the Langkloof - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/heaven-in-the-langkloof
Herolds Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-herolds-bay
Kammanassie - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-kammanassie-reserve
Langeberg Grootvadersbosch - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/grootvadersbosch-nature-reserve
Kranshoek - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-kranshoek-
Masons Rust - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/masons-rust-32-ptn-4-gezwinds-kraal-41-ptn-0
Mossel Bay Diosma Reserve - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/diosma-reserve
Mossel Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-14072
Mossel Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-19201
Mossel Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/st-blaize-trail
Natures Valley - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/nature-s-valley-south-cape-south-africa#page=2
Outeniquas Bobbejaanberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-bobbejanberg-in-the-outeniquas
Outeniquas Camferskloof - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-camferskloof
Outeniquas East - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-eastern-outeniquas-from-bergplaas-to-gouna
Outeniquas Flanagans Rock - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/flanagans-rock-rsa
Outeniquas Lange Berg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/lange-berg-112
Outeniquas Paardepoort East - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-east
Outeniquas Paardepoort West - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-west
Outeniquas Southern Traverse - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-outeniqua-southern-traverse
Rooiberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-rooiberg-reserve
Spioenkop - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/ruigtevlei-plantations
Strawberry Hill - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/strawberry-hill-7-passes-road-wilderness-south-africa
Swartberg Spitskop - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-spitskop-to-meiringspoort-swartberg
Uitzicht Portion 39 - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/uitzigt-216-portion-39
Uitzicht - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/uitzigt-216-ptn-65
Western Head - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/walker-s-point-215-portion-1-buffalo-bay
Western Head – https://www.inaturalist.org/places/walker-s-point-215-portion-2-buffalo-bay
Western Head - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/walker-s-point-215-portion-3-buffalo-bay
Western Head - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/western-head-knysna
White Heather - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/white-heather
Wilderness Brown Hooded Kingfisher Trail – https://www.inaturalist.org/places/brown-hooded-kingfisher-trail
Wilderness Kingfisher Trail - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/kingfisher-trails
.
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
iNatFD – 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
OTL - Out To Lunch is used to describe the Buchu Bus when she's taking a break after she's behaved badly

Posted on August 20, 2018 05:09 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 27, 2018

On the Wild Side

Here is the ALBUM 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 – Buffelskop Trail, Vensterberg, Whale Trail, Diosma Reserve Alien Clearing, Hermannia Heaven and STOP PRESS for some very interesting recent finds

On the Wild Side
We met Myles Manders at the Buffalo Bay parking lot on Friday morning. The waves on the Buffalo Bay beach were small and unthreatening. By the time we got back to the cars some 3 hours later, the surf was already edging towards 3m with the promise of 6m, as a vicious cold front moved up from Cape Town over the weekend. The beach at Walker Point was living up to its nickname “On the Wild Side”. The forecast for the western half of the country promised snow, bitterly cold conditions, gale-force winds and huge swells. There was a steady stream of surfboard-laden cars carrying experienced and adventurous surfers to J Bay and Bruce’s Beauties to take advantage of these wintery conditions. All the baths, buckets and sinks were full of water in anticipation of a power failure at Strawberry Hill. Strong winds and some rain make the perfect recipe for fallen trees over powerlines. It can take days to have them cleared.

We were at Buffalo Bay, because Myles Mander had sent us a request. It involved one of the Walker Bay properties, which is due for a lease renewal by the Knysna Municipality.
“As the Western Heads Conservancy, we are assembling information on the conservation value of this site for a representation to the Municipality, before they start considering changes to the development footprint. Dave Edge is going to look at the Butterflies and we wondered whether your team has done any botanising here in the past. Do you have a list of high value conservation plant species occurring in the area – or likely to occur?”

After some initial confusion as to the meeting place, we set off on the Buffelskop Trail. It’s absolute ages since I’ve done it and it was thoroughly enjoyable. There were signs of recent activity along the trail and it is well-maintained. Only the last bit close to Buffalo Bay Beach needs some work. The vegetation was a mixture of coastal forest with Milkwoods (Sideroxylon inerme) predominating and some Fynbos. There was lots of the highly poisonous, but beautiful Akocanthera oppositifolia (Boesmansgifboom) and it was in early flower with the occasional fruit. Clausena anisata (Perdepis) was common and with Mike’s help, I should be able to id this in the future. In the forest section, we found Dioscorea mundii (Vulnerable). When we reached the Fynbos, there was plenty of Erica glandulosa ssp fourcadei (Vulnerable) and Satyrium princeps (Vulnerable). Later on in the year, we expect to see Erica glumiflora (Vulnerable) Erica chloroloma (Vulnerable) and Gladiolus vaginatus (Vulnerable). Other Orchids seen were Eulophia speciosa and Bonatea speciosa (Green Wood Orchid). All these species are under grave threat because of ongoing coastal development.

Bill and I returned on Saturday to walk the trail again. Worth mentioning is the number of tourists using the trail. We met a whole lot of American visitors who were very much enjoying it. This area needs conserving – not only because of the Endangered plants, but also as a tourist attraction near the ever popular Buffalo Bay Beach. Thanks Myles and the Western Heads Conservancy for giving CREW the opportunity to contribute to its preservation.
tanniedi

Vensterberg
Evie’s HAT Report
Evie returned to Vensterberg this previous Sunday. A South Cape MCSA meet which involved climbing from the Outeniqua Pass up through the Fynbos to Vensterberg. This hike has become popular – a good path now exists- I guess it is popular since one starts the Peak trail at a height of about 800m, and as a result it is quick peak climb - about 2.5hours (in cooler windy weather!). It is a fairly steep ascent, which involves some rock scrambling at the peak. Just below the peak are the” windows” between the rock faces, with views down to Mosselbay, which are always unique.

The thick Fynbos was looking good and not as dry as on my previous visit at the end of December. However currently there seems to be less species in flower. Mimetes cucullatus in the lower reaches – getting ready to flower- while the Mimetes pauciflorus (VU) on the high south facing ridgeline – showing off in stunning deep orange. Leucadendron conicum (NT)-also showing off in red. A good show of Erica coccinea on the peak, a new location for Erica priori (flowers over) and along the ridgeline Erica copiosa and Erica triceps were seen. Possibly an unusual new Erica on the peak – a sample is in Jenny’s very capable hands! Sadly, none of the numerous Psoraleas were in flower, while the different Restio sp. are very much in evidence. Agathosma ovata in full flower (leaves in all sorts of sizes!) was all along the hike.
Evie

Alien Clearing at Diosma Reserve
Wielding treepoppers, loppers, secateurs, herbicide applicators plus Alien Buster Resolve some alien invasive plant clearing (Acacia cyclops, Acacia saligna and Schinus terebinthifolia) was done in the Diosma Reserve. The conditions were just perfect.
Thank you to Cape Nature’s Natalie, Charlene, Prof and AnneLise; ranger Kei from Fransmanshoek Conservancy and Outramps Gail, Rusell, Ann and Sally who brought Morris. Another thank you from Mossel Bay’s Municipal Manager, plus a YAY as AnneLise says that Jan says, “The Primatocarpus sp. in the reserve is different”. Another newbie, maybe? Sandra
The Whale Trail
The family Underwood embarked on the Whale Trail from 9 to 13th August. The weather started out chilly on the first day ascending the Potberg and soon turned to driving rain and freezing wind. We sheltered near the top behind some rocks and waited the worst out - luckily the rain stayed away for the next four days after this rough start.

The fynbos on Potberg and the limestone plateau near the coast was spectacular with early season families in full flower. I was soon hours behind everyone else photographing and collecting specimens. Too much to see, so the focus was on Rutacea, Phylica and Muraltia. [Muraltias still to tackle]. It was a fantastic walk, full of rare plants and hundreds of whales including a couple of white (brindle) babies.
Dave

Specimens on the Whale Trail identified to date:
Agathosma robusta VU
Agathosma riversdalensis VU
Agathosma muirii VU
Agathosma imbricata
Agathosma collina NT
Agathosma serpyllacea
Euchaetis laevigata VU
Euchaetis diosmoides NT
Adenandra gummifera
Adenandra obtusata
Adenandra rotundifolia
Coleonema album
Diosma echinulata
Diosma hirsuta
Acmadenia heterophylla
Acmadenia densifolia NT
Phylica humilis
Phylica nigrita NT
Phylica ericoides ericoides
Phylica axillaris maritima
Trichocephalus stipularis

A Heart for Hermannias Hermannias charm the socks off most plant lovers. No wonder that Dr Davis Gwynne-Evans arrived barefoot at our shabby-not-chic Mossel Bay coffee rendez-vous. Quickly we were immersed in his amazing fat file of Hermannias. He confirmed some identifications for me and explained groups which could do with some taxonomic work, mostly splitting, such as the red flowered ones in the flammula/flammea group and even within Hermannia angularis - the one species I thought I had spot on! This genus seems distinctive and yet is deceptive. One thing is for sure in Hermannias – flower colour matters.
At Safraanrivier, two days before, Nicky and I recorded a yellowy-orange Hermannia in Fynbos and also in the inhospitable, rocky, rough jeeptrack which passes through thicket. Ta-daaa… a new species! David has already written up a description for this species. To honour its colour and locality he named it Hermannia croceus. He is still waiting for additional input from us to finalise this and then we do hope it will be published.
A very strange Hermannia posted on iNaturalist by Dave Kershaw caught my attention recently. It was recorded at Barrington, north of Sedgefield in the post Knysna fire environment. Dave Kershaw’s Barrington Hermannia - https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/15021196.

During our fieldtrip lunch last week there was a chance mention to Rusell that we need the Hermannia man and as I said the name David Gwynne-Evans, it was just perfect plant telepathy. Rusell had heard that he was passing through the Garden Route this weekend. Off went an email with iNat links and a batch of queries to the Hermannia man. A fun weekend followed filled with the Hermannia doctor’s botanical traveloque in extended WhatsApp voice messages to me before we had even met.

It turns out that Dave Kershaw’s Barrington plant could be David’s Mystery Hermannia. He first encountered it in the glasshouse collection of horticulturist Monique McQuillan at Kirstenboch. His immediate thought was that it is an absurd looking plant which does not even look like a Hermannia. Later he recalled that he had had a similar sentiment about an absurd-looking Hermannia once before. It was time to page through his expansive file.
And there he found a match for the Mystery glasshouse plant – a description in an obscure journal from 1875, illustrated with a black and white plate. The locality was vague and Monique and her contacts had no idea where their glasshouse plant came from -until Dave Kershaw’s iNat post of the Barrington plant. Could Dave Kershaw’s Barrington Hermannia be a rediscovery of the 1875 plant? Only closer examination of the actual plant would resolve the mystery. We need to find it in flower. Certainly something for the Outramps to pursue, boots and all!
He was delighted to know we found the redlisted Hermannia muirii (Vulnerable) earlier this year. In fact so were Gail and I! David says he has been trying to find it for a decade and a half! It was all over at Klipfontein in the Stilbaai district and pretty much looked like a post-fire ephemeral. H muirii - https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/9975839

David confirmed that the plant seen with yellow flowers at Cloetesberg by me in 2014 and at Perdepoort, 2016 by Dave Underwood is a new species. I am quite sure Marge posted it as well, but for the life of me cannot find her observation on iNat!
Sandra, Cloete's Berg - https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/10978321
Dave Underwood, Perdepoort - https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/11204482

Sally’s pretty pink Hermannia could be a species nova too. Although there are many similar looking plants across the country, it does not fit neatly into any of the known species. Sally Adam, Perdepoort - https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/11233938

A couple of years ago David did beautiful high resolution scans of three Hermannia species in the Diosma Reserve. There is the Hermannia salviifolia lookalike which he sets apart as Hermannia aff. mucronulata and Hermannia aff. flammula. So before tearing off to Stilbaai we did a quick whoosh through the Diosma Reserve to revisit whatever reappeared of the two ‘affinis’ plants after last year’s fire. He noted the big variation in the Hermannia decumbens plants and we wondered about its relation to the more easterly Hermannia lochnessii.

Hermannias occur across Southern Africa, in all kinds of habitats. They are important as a food plant for animals. To say that I was delighted to know that they are still ranked high with an expert is an understatement. He is even prepared to do ID’s off WhatsApp photographs for us and we are lining up a Hermannia course (most likely October) here on the Garden Route.

I know he champions the preservation of road verge vegetation. But what really touched me and what I’ll remember of this man who did his doctorate on the very charming Hermannias is the way the knelt down in the Diosma Reserve to interact with and photograph the plants. This man’s heart beats green. Thank you David.
Sandra

STOP Press from Sally
At Safraanrivier on Friday we saw many plants of a hairy Oxalis - although no flowers were found I hoped that the leaves might be distinctive enough for an ID. Kenneth came through as always and proclaimed it to be O. attaquana (rare), a range-restricted high altitude habitat specialist known from the Outeniqua and Attakwas ranges.

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Our neighbours occasionally ask us to watch over their place when they're away - I used the opportunity to recce a hill which had burned in the fire of April 2017. There was not much of interest except for a stand of feathery grey-green Aspalathus. I returned to the spot in flowering season and the smallish yellow flowers confirm the plants to be Aspalathus bowieana (EN). The fire was obviously much to their liking!

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Forthcoming Field Trips
LOT will be visiting the Ruitersbos area in the vicinity of Eight Bells on Thursday. On Friday, SIM will do their annual pilgrimage to Mons Ruber and the De Rust Kopje, which abounds in rares.
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.

Posted on August 27, 2018 08:54 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 2 comments | Leave a comment