Journal archives for January 2020

January 21, 2020

Summer Holidays

Here we Go Again

Outramps CREW Diaries
Tuesday, 21st January 2020

"Of all the things that humanity remembered about itself in 2019, there was one that for millions of us felt like an entirely new truth: the living planet had a threshold beyond which it would refuse to support further extraction, combustion and abuse."
Kevin Bloom, Our Burning Planet/Greta Thunberg

Summer Holidays
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 month - The Railway Children, Geissorhizas for Evan, Kammanassie for Geissorhiza elsiae, Seed Collection with Solly and Naomi for MSB, End-of-Year Celebrations and Out an About in the Southern Cape

For names and captions of the photos used on this version of the Diaries - see the Album.

For earlier versions of the Outramps CREW Diaries
https://us17.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=be2accf3de565e1297257f79e&id=8113ba68c6

The Railway Children
It was in late November that we took a chance on finding a flowering Geissorhiza outeniquensis (Near Threatened). In a later article, Jen explains about Evan, the Ph.D student from USA and his need for specimens for DNA testing. We usually visit this particular site in very early January. We decided to park on the northern side of the Montagu Pass, go up to the nek, descend via the old Cradock Pass and come back along the railway line to the cars parked just above North Station. This included a sortie south of the Cradock Pass crossing to just before the long tunnel that precedes it.

The veld was looking gorgeous after some significant rain - the first in ages. (It has been remarkably absent since then, but it all changed this last weekend - Ed.). Standout plants were about 13 different Orchids, Wachendorfia thyrsiflora, Aristea bakeri and fields of Disa racemosa in the seeps. We were fortunate to find Geissorhiza outeniquensis in early flower and in late flower was Erica stylaris (Vulnerable). The slog along the railway line was very hot, but we did find a new population of the Geiss and lots of young seedlings of Leucadendron conicum (Near Threatened). The knowledge that there was no power van to catch us in one of the tunnels, or on one of the swaying bridges was reassuring, even if a little spice of danger was absent.

It was a very successful day on all fronts to end the 2019 official activities for the Outramps CREW Group. As you will see, there were a whole lot of other trips slotted in later for various reasons. The Outramps are gluttons for punishment. I missed all these, as Bill and I made the difficult and life-changing move from Strawberry Hill to Bishopslea in early December.
tanniedi

Kammanassie for Elsie's Geiss
Towards the end of November HAT Evie decided that unless we visited our distant Kammanassie Mountains speedily, we would be unable to find the promised samples of Geissorhiza elsiae (Rare). This endemic bulb is only known in the Kammanassie and normally flowers in October. Outramps had agreed to hunt for leaf specimens needed for DNA testing by Evan, a Ph.D researcher in the USA. Luckily, Nicky and Fred were able to join me, as well as my visiting sister Rosie. With Nicky in tow the specimen hunt was successful!

After leaving our vehicle at a safe corner, the 4 of us hunted all around the track up towards Mannetjiesberg for pink Geissorhiza flowers . We certainly found numerous bright pink flowers. They were Chironia melampyrifolia in flower instead! Pelargonium ovale was also covered in bright pink flowers. Nicky, who returned earlier set off with great determination. On the downhill, she did eventually manage to find some rather unrecognizable leaf samples, seeds and old bracts of spent flowering G. elsiae at one of her previous sites. Hooray!!

Later in the day at higher altitude, HAT Evie did spy a pink flower on a higher terrace - seen while having a “cool off bath’ in a little stream. Getting up close proved to be too difficult – a rather muddy and slippery uphill route next to a small waterfall. A rather vague photo does seem to indicate that it was also G. elsiae (Rare). No doubt our trip was well after this flower’s general flowering season – I had seen numerous bulbs during a trip in Oct 2015.

The 4 of us managed to spend 2 full days hiking and fossicking in these very precious, pristine mountains. The first day along the Mannetjiesberg track on the eastern Kammanassie mountains, while the second day took us up the track from Buffelsdrif into the Kleinrivier catchment area in the central Kammanassie.

Some of the other plants seen :-
Protea eximia was making a good display; Protea punctata with flowers all over; numerous, sticky-stemmed, flowering Bobartia paniculata (Rare) were in full flower; Leucadendron album and Phylica meyeri ; after the fires 2 ¾ years ago there are numerous Psoralea sp. showing off in their pretty blues; we saw several Orichids including Disa lugens (Rare) ; Otholobium candicans and acuminatum; white Tritonia flabellifolia; and a few very strange, white Ericas. Nicky suspected they were deformed flowers on Erica glomiflora.

On our return along the Mannetjiesberg track, we met a car full of botanists! A good time to chat!! Amongst them was Ross Turner, who confirmed that the weird Erica sample probably had a genetic disorder (fasciation) of some type or other.
Evie


The Geissorhiza Hunt for Evan
November 2019

Having been asked by a Ph.D student, Evan from America to try and find certain Geissorhizas from our area and to obtain leaf material for DNA, 4 of us set off for Rust and Vrede and the Swartberg Pass. We were armed to the teeth with silica gel, zip-lock packets, GPS co ords from iNat and lots of hope.

Luckily we got to the Pass before the traffic jams started. We parked and proceeded to walk to the sites where Nicky and another had found a small Geissorhiza which Evan thinks is not G. nigromontana as posted. Just about to give up after a long search, Nicky spotted the plants. There was a small clump of them which most people would not even have noticed. We were thrilled and proceeded to collect our samples.

Then it was off to Rust and Vrede, with many photographic stops on the way. This was another kettle of fish altogether. A huge waterfall greeted us with many hanging green leaves wherever you looked and not a flower in sight. Luckily Nicky knew where she had found them before and we were able to collect leaves for Evan. The plants are in bud ,so we may have to return in January to see them flowering.

In the next few weeks we continued with the hunt. Evie remembered seeing G. inconspicua on the southern side of the Camferskloof Nek, so Sandra and Evie set off to find it. The plants were fortunately in full flower and prolific. Evie and Nicky then took themselves off to the Kammanassie to try to find G. elsiae and managed to find a plant in seed. (Article by HAT Evie) .

Lastly Di and I set off to have a look at the G. outeniquensis site on the railway line. Luckily for us the Geissorhizas were in glorious full flower. So happily we now had 4 specimens for Evan. All in all a very successful mission. (article by tanniedi).

In due course the specimens were posted off to Evan and he has received them. He is very grateful to the team for their help with his project. He promised to let us know the results in the fullness of time.
Jenny
Seed Collection with Naomi and Solly from MSB
Friday 13th with Santa’s Helpers
It was Friday 13th December and I had been waiting for nearly an hour at our meeting place at Margaret’s view point on the Brenton Road, trying to find out what had happened to Naomi Mdayi and Solly Modimola, who were in the area collecting seeds for the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership - MSBP South Africa. Thank goodness for cell phones, or we might never have connected, but when the two green-clad collectors emerged from the Kirstenbosch bakkie, I found that they had erroneously headed up Phantom Pass … after all it was Friday 13th!

Luckily that was the only mishap of the day. After scouring the road verge for interesting seeds to collect, they did the same at Mooi Uitzicht, Endlovana and Ocean View. Seed collecting is a time-consuming activity, but once again modern technology came in useful, so that they did not collect seed that had already been banked. Nearly ten hours later, with snacks on the move, we had visited all the properties, where they had been given permission to collect, many collecting forms had been completed, paper bags filled with seeds, photos taken and herbarium specimens safely stored away. Walking behind these two keen collectors, in their green overalls with bags of collections tossed over their shoulders I commented that they looked just like Santa’s helpers. The MSBP will be the recipient of their seasonal gifts.

It was very satisfying to spend a day with these enthusiastic youngsters who care so much for the environment. They keenly carried out their allocated task, working together with care, knowledge and all important humour. I hope they achieve their targets.

Thank you again, to Susan, Johan and Christa for giving us permission to wander across their properties and to collect seeds for the MSBP.
Nicky

Putting the Garden Route on the biodiversity map!
Diarize: 24-27 April 2020
City Nature Challenge 2020 on iNat

City Nature Challenge
Garden Route – City Nature Challenge (CNC202-GR) 24-27 April 2019
Is what?
It is four days of people running around like crazy – taking photographs like mad!
Of plants, fish, mushrooms, snakes, frogs, goggos, wildlife, fish, trees – in the veld, around towns, schools, in the mountains, at the beach, under water, in parks and gardens – everywhere!

Four days of frenzy, recording the biodiversity on the Garden Route. Then followed by a week to upload the photos, videos, sound bites and camera trap images onto iNaturalist. During all of this, a bunch of (very nice) nerdy and (also) normal, nice people are to identify the observations.
It is a competition!
The Garden Route District Municipal biodiversity versus that of global cities. Òr maybe just the Garden Route versus Cape Town (last year’s winner)!
We can have: The Most Observations – the Most Species – the Most Observers!
Have you registered on iNaturalist yet? Hurry, hurry….
Watch this space!!
Sandra
www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2020-garden-route-district-municipality


Out and About in the Southern Cape
Puffie at Dune Molerat
We saw a monstrously huge Puffie on Dune Molerat. I passed it about 30 minutes before WAGs and it was still lying in a shady spot when they passed by. In all the years, this is only the second specimen we have seen there. The first one was in 1996 and Jenny almost stood on it.

Willem Botha of the GCBR
We were very sorry to hear of the sudden passing of Willem Botha who was the very able Chairman of the GCBR. He will be sadly missed. All our sympathy goes to his family.

End of Year Celebrations
The last weeks of November and early December were very festive with end-of year celebrations with WAGS, MCSA and Outramps CREW. This last party was in the Botanical Gardens at the newly-opened restaurant "The Botanist". An excellent time was had by all.

Doringrivier East
We went Orchid Hunting in Doringrivier in late November. It was either too dry or too long post-fire, because it was an abortive trip. Our main targets were Eulophia platypetala (Vulnerable),Ceratandra atrata and grandiflora and there was no sign of any of them. If only we would get significant rain, the veld and flowers would be a whole lot better.

A new Leader for Outramps CREW
Jenny Potgieter takes over the reins of the Outramps CREW Group for 2020. In her youth, Jen was the Theatre Matron at Greys Hospital in Pietermaritsburg. That experience in handling a large organisation filled with prima-donna surgeons will stand her in good stead for the future. She has been a member of the Outramps during both Protea Atlas and CREW since 1996, so she comes with a wealth of experience. She is already discovering that it is a very "busy" job, which I'm sure she'll do very well. It was definitely more than time for the 81 year old matriarch to bow out. All our best wishes go with her. I will continue doing a monthly edition of the Diaries and will help Jen with the organising of the SIM field trips.
Hamba Kahle
Groete en dankie
Di Turner
Outramps CREW Group
Southern Cape
South Africa

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, Malthinus and Mattmatt on iNat. Thank you all for your ongoing help and support.

Outramps Places on iNaturalist – You can browse through the observations or refer to the checklist which is in alphabetical order eg. Animals, birds etc.
Area of Interest to the Southern Cape Herbarium - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/southern-cape-aoi
Ballots Heights - : https://www.inaturalist.org/places/ballots-heights
Baviaanskloof - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/bo-kloof-guest-farm-baviaanskloof
Buffelsfontein- https://www.inaturalist.org/places/buffelsfontein-435-portion-2-albertinia
Cola Conservancy - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/cola-conservancy
De Mond - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/de-mond-nature-reserve
Dune Molerat Trail - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/dune-molerat-trail
Eco-reflections - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/reflections-eco-reserve#page=1
Featherbed Nature Reserve - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/featherbed-nature-reserve
Gamkaberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/gamkaberg
Gerickes Punt - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/gerickes-punt#/places/gerickes-punt
Great Brak River Conservancy put on by Stuart Thomson - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/great-brak-river-conservancy
Gouriqua - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/gouriqua-private-nature-reserve
Gouritzmond - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/the-gouritsmond-commonage
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
Klein Swartberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/klein-swartberg
Knysna - Westford Bridge https://www.inaturalist.org/places/westford-bridge-estate-knysna
Kouga Mountains Kliphuis - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-kouga-mountains
Kouga Wildernis - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/kouga-wildernis
Kranshoek - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-kranshoek-
Langeberg Grootvadersbosch - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/grootvadersbosch-nature-reserve
Masons Rust - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/masons-rust-32-ptn-4-gezwinds-kraal-41-ptn-0
Mons Ruber and surrounds - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/mons-ruber-and-surrounds
Mossel Bay District - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/mossel-bay-district
Mossel Bay Aalwyndal - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/aalwyndal
Mossel Bay Diosma Reserve - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/diosma-reserve
Mossel Bay - :https://www.inaturalist.org/places/hartenbos-heuwels
Mossel Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-14072
Mossel Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-19201
Mossel Bay St Blaize Trail - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/st-blaize-trail
Natures Valley - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/nature-s-valley-south-cape-south-africa
Outeniquas Bobbejaanberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-bobbejanberg-in-the-outeniquas
Outeniquas Camferskloof - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-camferskloof
Outeniquas, Collinshoek and the Big Tree - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outenoquas-collinshoek-and-the-big-tree
Outeniquas - Cradock and George Peak Trail - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/cradock-peak-trail
Outeniquas Doringrivier East - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-doringrivier-east-in-the-outeniquas
Outeniquas East - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-eastern-outeniquas-from-bergplaas-to-gouna
Outeniquas Eseljagt - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/ezeljagt-eseljagt-and-surrounds
Outeniquas Eseljagtpoort - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/ezeljagts-poort-72-ptn-0-eseljagt-poort
Outeniquas Flanagans Rock - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/flanagans-rock-rsa
Outeniquas Goudveld -
https://www.inaturalist.org/places/goudveld-garden-route-national-park
Outeniquas Jonkersberg Bowl - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-jonkersberg-in-the-outeniquas
Outeniquas Langeberg https://www.inaturalist.org/places/lange-berg-112
Outeniquas Montagu Pass North - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-montagu-pass-north
Outeniquas North Station -https://www.inaturalist.org/places/north-station-on-the-montagu-pass
Outeniquas Paardekop - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/paardekop-13
Outeniquas Paardepoort East - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-east
Outeniquas Paardepoort West - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-wes
Outeniquas Pizza Ridge - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-pizza-ridge
Outeniquas Southern Traverse - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-outeniqua-southern-traverse
Outeniquas Waboomskraal Noord - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/waboomskraal-noord.
Robberg Corridor - : https://www.inaturalist.org/places/robberg-coastal-corridor-roodefontein-440-ptn-42
Robberg Corridor - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/robberg-coastal-corridor-krans-hoek-432-ptn-5
Robberg Corridor - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/robberg-coastal-corridor-e8267c6b-9263-4a87-a721-a24619be6dc8
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 Bloupunt - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-bloupunt-swartberg
Swartberg Rust en Vrede - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/rust-en-vrede-25-ptn-2-and-spitzkop-11-ptn-0
Swartberg Spitskop - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-spitskop-to-meiringspoort-swartberg
Swartberg, Swartberg Pass to Bothashoek high and low - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/swartberg-pass-to-bothashoek-jeep-track-and-crag-route
Swartberg Waboomsberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/waboomsberg-in-the-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
Witteberg Kromme Rivier - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/kromme-rivier-72-ptn-0-willowmore

Outramps CREW Stellenbosch HAT node
Jonkershoek created by Vynbos - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/jonkershoek-cv
Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/mont-rochelle-nature-reserve
Papegaaiberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/papegaaiberg

Outramps Projects on iNaturalist
Outramps CREW Group - all postings
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/outramps-crew-group
Ballots Heights - https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=143599
Ericas of the Southern Cape - https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/ericas-of-the-southern-cape
Fungi of the Southern Cape - https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/fungi-of-the-southern-cape
Geraniaceae of the Southern Cape - https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/geraniaceae-of-the-southern-cape-of-south-africa
Lianes and Creepers in the Southern Cape and Little Karoo - https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/lianes-and-creepers-of-the-southern-cape-and-little-karoo
Veg Types of South Africa (Tony Rebelo)- https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/vegetation-types-of-south-africa
Flowers of the High Drakensberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/flowers-of-the-high-kzn-drakensberg

Outramps CREW Group - iNaturalist stats
63,779 observations
8755 species
20 Observers
113,633 id's
(Updated Monthly)

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 and is now the Curator of the Garden Route Botanical Garden
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
SA - Stay Attractive is Google's translation of "Mooi Bly"
OTL - Out To Lunch is used to describe the Buchu Bus when she's taking a break after she's behaved badly
DFKIAA - A very funny video in Afrikaans is doing the rounds. It refers to the recent power outages.
Walkie Talkies - Botanical walks that include more talking than walking

Posted on January 21, 2020 06:35 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi | 0 comments | Leave a comment