Hier Kom die "Ou Groote"

And no, I am not referring to Kobus Wiese, the ex-Springbok lock and genial host of Super Rugby on Supersport. Despite having the horrific weekend Rugby on my mind, the weather forecast and the “Big Rain” for the coming week is currently looming larger in my thoughts. Heavy rain on a southeaster is indicative of a cut-off low, which is at all times unpredictable. It may just disappear (unlikely), but is more likely to bring exceptionally heavy rain to the Southern Cape. With very little post-fire plant regeneration on the steep slopes around George, Knysna and Plett, this could have devastating consequences. Floods and landslides are a distinct possibility. On Strawberry Hill, we are deepening the drainage lines on the driveway, clearing out the gutters and filling the baths with water. Our tenuous electricity supply is unlikely to withstand the onslaught that is forecast. “Batten down the hatches”!

On Thursday, Sally and I walked from Monate to Oubaai and back. We were trying to establish if Drosanthemum edwardsiae (Data Deficient) was also growing on the eastern side of Herolds Bay. The answer to that is an unequivocal, “No”. The final count on the western side was 430 adults and 73 juveniles. The veld to the east was looking good and there was lots in flower, including a number of Vygies, which we have yet to id. The only rare we found was a pale green version of Erica glandulosa ssp fourcadei (Vulnerable). I had some difficulty getting hold of entrance codes to Monate, but on our way out, we met Pieter Erasmus, who was very welcoming. He has also sent me the Plant List for Monate, which will help on other expeditions. This coastal walk is one of our regulars and we are busy building up a pictorial record of all the plants that grow there. When the transition from iSpot to iNaturalist is complete, I will send out new links to the projects. We are currently sitting with a foot in both camps. Here is the iSpot link from previous occasions. I am still trying to get permission to hunt for Drosanthemum edwardsiae on the stretch to the west of Herolds Bay from the cliff path to Maalgate river mouth. It’ll probably have to wait until next year, as 2017 hurtles to a close.
https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/southern-africa/view/project/743507/monate-to-oubaai/observations-gallery

On Friday, with permission from Carel van der Merwe of Sanparks, a much bigger party set off to explore the newly-opened track on Kagiesberg above Farleigh. HAT (Dave, Evie and Finn) took off up the steep track leading to the contour path. The views were exquisite, but the vegetation was disappointing, with huge tracts completely engulfed by Kystervaring (Gleichenia polypodioides). They found lots of Leucadendron conicum (Ruby Conebush – Near Threatened) and some patches of Mimetes pauciflorus (Flame Pagoda – Vulnerable). Nicky, Sandra and I took a lower track leading west and had better luck. Nicky was very excited to find a small population of Phylica keetii (Keets Flylicker – Rare). This is probably the original location of the type specimen and it was our target species for the day. Other than that, there was also lots of Leucadendron conicum on these lower slopes.

But our SIM day was not without adventure. The lure of a newly-cut path leading steeply down to the river was irresistible. There were patches of burn, which were probably due to lightning strikes during the pyrotechnics of last week. There was evidence that a team had been dousing the burning patches of kystervaring, but some were still smouldering. The track eventually became death-defyingly steep and we had to beat a retreat. Leopard crawling up on all fours through the thick underlay of Kystervaring and up almost vertical slopes was difficult with sticks and crutches that sank up to the hilt – never mind that a couple of knee replacements were under severe strain. We made it in the end. We are very worried about the aliens that abound in the area. Bluegums, Pines, Blackwood and Black Wattle are simply taking over the vegetation that hasn’t already been gobbled up by Gleichenia, which is out of control because of too infrequent fires. Sanparks needs to take urgent and comprehensive action, if this area is to be saved from a total Alien invasion.
Di

Robberg Peninsula
.. HAT Evie joined with the WAGS outing to hike around the Robberg peninsula at Plettenberg Bay. Always a pleasure to visit this well managed reserve, and enjoy the varied walking terrain encountered along the coastal footpath. There were numerous other day walkers out- and it is wonderful to note how many visitors (mostly foreign language speakers) make use of this facility run by Cape Nature. The peninsula was lucky to escape the June 2017 fires – not so the entrance /gate house of the reserve, which is currently being rebuilt.
Numerous splashes of spring colour along the way: -
yellow Ornithogalum dubium and Zygophylum morgsana; blue Jamesbrittenia microphylla; mauve flowers on the pretty feathery sea lavender (Limonium scabrum ) ; white Agathosma apiculata seemed to dominate on the rocky hillsides; red on the flowers of Gasteria brachyphylla; however no colour on Brunsvigia orientalis = ”leaf stage” only. …
Evie

Visit to Pledge Nature Reserve – Thursday 9th November 2017
Pledge Nature Reserve is currently closed to the public as large parts of it were burnt during the Knysna fires in June this year. The Pledge Nature Reserve Trust is working hard to do all the necessary repairs so that it can, once again, be opened to the public.

On Thursday Gail and I visited the reserve to see what had come up after the burn. On arrival we were confronted with locked gates, but after a call to Mervyn Crous, the Reserve manager, we were kindly allowed to enter the reserve. As we made our way along the paths we were pleased to see all the restoration work that has already taken place. There were heaps of burnt vegetation that had already been cleared, new wooden bridges made the crossing of the stream easier and trees donated by various schools were already replacing those burnt in the fire. An unexpected shower of rain dampened our clothes, but not our spirits.

We were surprised by the amount of colour around. Dietes bicolor, Moraea bellendenii, Zantedeschia aethiopica, Crinums and Aristea ecklonii were growing along the water course. There were large patches of Oxalis incarnata in the Albany thicket, while Bobartia aphylla, Gerbera serrata, Wachendorfia paniculata, Oxalis pendulifolia (NT), Cyanella lutea, Ornithogalum dubium and Watsonias coloured the blackened fynbos section. A row of Disa bracteata lined a section of the path and beautiful strings of Cyphia digitata twined up blackened stumps. A fire-damaged Encephalartos plant has produced heads of bright orange seeds encased in yellow cones and patches of Drosera cistiflora buds awaited the sun. We were very happy to find a healthy population of Dioscorea mundii (NT) climbing up the burnt remnants of other plants.

As with the other burnt areas we have visited, there were large areas greened by alien seedlings. The removal of these plants will be an ongoing challenge for a long time to come. Thank you for the opportunity to visit the reserve and we look forward to future visits and seeing the progress of the ongoing restoration.
Nicky

STOP PRESS We have just heard wonderful news from Prof Charlie Stirton. He writes, ” The exciting news is that the tree-like Agathosma we found at Bergplaas is a new species according to Terry Trinder-Smith who has never seen anything like it. Prix must get this into cultivation in the gardens. It is a horticultural winner”.

Today, we are meeting Warren Manuel at the Diosma Reserve just west of Mossel Bay. Warren is the Environmental Officer at the MB Municipality and is taking a huge interest in preserving this small reserve, which is the home of Diosma aristata (Critically Endangered). This initiative is spearheaded by Carlo van Tonder of Cape Nature and Sandra Falanga of Outramps CREW. We were also hoping to meet our CREW Cape Co-ordinator Ismail Ebrahim at the Reserve, but with the forecast at hand, it has been decided to postpone his trip to do post-burn monitoring. It will be impossible to get any work done in those weather conditions.

On Thursday, we will be visiting the Cloetes Pass area. Our target plants are Prismatocarpus cliffortioides (Endangered), Paranomus longicaulis (Vulnerable) and Wiborgiella fasciculata (Critically Endangered) and one of our target species). Hopefully, the rain will have cleared by then. On Friday, I am meeting with Jessica Hayes and Sandra Taljaardt of Sanparks to discuss the Outramps CREW Research Project in the Wilderness National Park. We are hoping to do a local field trip in the Wilderness area after the meeting.
Hamba Kahle
Groete en dankie
Di Turner
Outramps CREW Group
Southern Cape

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 or the Computer Helpline – Peter Thompson
Boy 2 – Kyle Underwood who works on Orchids and is still at school
Sharkie – Finn Rautenbach – Our latest SYT is a surfer in his spare time
Sicko – Someone who suffers from Car Sickness. With 4 in the Group, allocating seating in the Buchu Bus is tricky
VAG – Virgin Active Garage, which is our meeting place when we head north
MATMUE – Meet At The Mall Under E - Meeting place when we head West
WG – Waves Garage in Wilderness East. - Meeting place when we’re going east.
VU- Vulnerable
DDT – Data Deficient and Taxonomically ?
NT – Near Threatened
EN – Endangered
CR – Critically Endangered
PE – Presumed extinct
LC – Least Concern
TBC – To be Confirmed
TLC – Tender loving care
JMS – An expression of absolute disdain
FOMO – Fear of Missing Out
Milk – the fruit of the vine
Condensed Milk – Scotland’s finest export
Full Cream Milk or Fat Milk – Any product of Humulus lupulus eg. Milk Stout
Milk of the Gods – Rooibos and Brandy
Milk Shake - Sparkling Wine
NS – Species of conservation concern new to the Outramps
PS -Priority Species allocated to the Outramps by our CREW Cape Co-ordinator , Ismail Ebrahim
iNFD – iNaturalist for Dummies as compiled by Sally

Posted by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi, November 14, 2017 14:52

Comments

No comments yet.

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments

Gracias al apoyo de:

¿Quiere apoyarnos? Pregúntenos cómo escribiendo a snib.guatemala@gmail.com