Full Moon Rising

We’ve had leaden skies since Wednesday and finally on Sunday the sun decided to shine. We were also privileged to catch a glimpse of the Easter full Moon. The clouds have hung heavy with rain, drizzle and mist, which is par for the course for an Easter weekend. Luckily for the Walking Fest, there were clear skies with some sun on Sunday. Because of the weather conditions, we didn’t make it to see Mimetes chrysanthus on Friday. The conditions for “no path” walking in thick mist were not suitable. With luck, we will make it this Friday instead. The long-term forecast is talking about cloudy, drizzly weather for the rest of the week, so once again, George is earning its nickname of Cold And Wet - CAW.

Bill and I did a walk along the Fern Trail on Friday, the Kat River Circuit on Saturday and one of the Groeneweide Circuits on Sunday. We managed some close-ups of Ironwood flowers on the Fern Trail and at Groeneweide. There is now no doubt that the yellow Forest canopy is a result of a mast fruiting event of Olea capensis ssp macrocarpa (Ironwood). According to Mike Cameron, “ Mast fruiting is a massive flowering event at set intervals of a few years, with very poor shows in between”. On Sunday, we decided to confirm the Ironwood flowering event in Groeneweide. I have never seen anything like it. Spent blooms were softly drifting down to the ground like gently falling rain from a canopy that was heavy with flowers. At times we were walking on a white carpet of tiny white blooms.

The Kat River Circuit is full of aliens. Lined up in the dock, the suspects were Blackwood, Black Wattle, Pampas Grass, Bluegums, Solanum pseudocapsicum, Solanum mauritianum and the ubiquitous Aussie invader Tree Fern. This fern is doing rather better in our country than the Australian Cricket Team. Despite the aliens, the Kat River is a very pleasant 2 hour walk. We need to do some exploring in order to lengthen it a bit. I think that this would be relatively easy to do.


Evie has had a pretty busy week. Here are her 2 reports
“HAT Evie joined the Wednesday WAGS hike - Pass to Pass. This hike is in the Outeniquas and starts from the Sputnik. I am always misled by this trail – in that both the start and end are on roughly the same height around 760m – thus I always imagine it is going to be easy. It’s the in-between bits that count, as 2 streams (for a there and back = 4 streams) need to be crossed! Quick slippery downhill and good aerobic workout on the ups. Great fun. Misty day to start. A good path and super Fynbos- Erica unicolor subsp georgica (Rare) saying summer is over; Erica densifolia still bright in sticky pink and green; Erica uberiflora also fading. White was the colour of the day- Erica triceps in bud; Agathosma planifolia plentiful all over the mountain; Phylica curvifolia, Struthiola myrsinites, Protea aurea – to name some of the whites.

To add to the “yellow” forest canopy discussion. Di made me aware of this – and on the previous Sunday my companions and I had a more careful look and discussion at one of the peep holes in the Groeneweide forest. They must be flowers?? - plenty of white buds along the trail. However, forest canopy trees – are not easy to get specimens from!! Thanks Mike for your input – agree they are probably Olea capensis ssp macrocarpa.

HAT Evie was somehow or other – not sure how! - roped into doing a Fynbos Hike for the Garden Route Walking Festival. Now in its 3rd year – this has proved to be a very successful way in which we can show case our superb hikes. The organizer of the event Galeo is both hugely positive, and passionate, when it comes to the walking opportunities of our Garden route. He has put the South Cape Garden Route on the Easter map for visitors and locals alike. A vast array of both different and entertaining walks is on offer over the 4 days of the Easter weekend.

The Tierkop Fynbos has just been looking at its absolute best for the past 6 weeks- so this seemed a good choice. After a week in which the bookings escalated from 5 to 15 – on the day 7 arrived. Maybe the heavy cloud put some hikers off. At least it did not rain – we had a wonderful long morning out – looking at the various colours, novelties and striking differences of the Fynbos. I had a few avid photographers in the group and by the end of the day they were able to recognize some of the subtle differences of “Heather”!! A big delight was finding the one and only “King Protea” in flower – while there was disappointment on the Mimetes pauciflorus(VU) - no flowers at the moment! Some good sightings of stunning Erica densifolia - it is however starting to fade quite rapidly.

We climbed the Tierkop Peak – and on our return to the hut – found our space had been invaded. The Knysna Oakhill School “Odyssey” Grade 10 boys had arrived. Today they walked from Herold- via heartbreak hill to Tierkop and on to Saasveld. What a buoyant group – all loving the outdoors, the mud and the sweat. It is a fantastic adventure the school organizes on an annual basis. I understand- it is “A journey of roughly 400 kilometres, travelling on horseback, canoeing, cycling and hiking through some of the most rugged and picturesque terrain in the South Cape”. A huge plus to the teachers who are prepared to organize an adventure of this size.”


A postscript on last week’s LOT Fransmanshoek trip comes from Priscilla
“From Fransmanshoek we proceeded to check on the population of Erica viscosissima (VU) from near Gouritz Mouth. Along the way we were treated to a very elegant Secretary Bird looking for a meal.

While driving there, we were looking for two spots of limestone vegetation next to the road that contain large plants of Agathosma geniculata (Near Threatened). We found them flourishing and these are two new localities for LOT for this species. There was an Aspalathus growing at both spots to be identified by Mr Fab later. All around the limestone locality furthest east, a fire had raged. We asked a lady walking along the road on her way to Gouritz Mouth (she must have thought us crazy), when the fire had occurred. We found out that it had burned one month earlier, lit by kids that had got out of control (the fire and the kids). The limestone community however had been untouched due to a low biomass not being able to sustain the fire. Thus we can report that the locality where we found Erica viscosissima has been burned and we will monitor its return.

On our drive back, our hawk-eyes (Rusell) spotted a clump of flowering Haemanthus sanguineus and of course we had to stop for a photo-shoot.
All in all, a very interesting side-trip.”

LOT’s Thursday outing is a repeat of last week which was washed out - a visit to private property at Dana Bay. SIM will be targeting Mimetes chrysanthus (which is flowering). With the long-term weather forecast looking very “mizzly”, we are going to struggle to reach it. So we will have to wait and see and go for the day that looks the most promising.
Hamba Kahle
Groete en dankie
Di Turner
The Outramps CREW Group
Southern Cape

All id’s subject to confirmation by Doc Annelise and Jan Vlok, Steven Molteno Dr Tony Rebelo, Nick Helme, Prof Charlie Stirton, Dr Robert Archer, Dr Robert McKenzie, Dr Ted Oliver, Christopher Whitehouse, Derek Tribble, Adriaan Grobler, Prix Burgoyne, Dr Kenneth Oberlander, Dr Pieter Winter, Dr David Gwynne-Evans and Damion. Thank you all for your ongoing help and support. The South African community is busy migrating to iNaturalist and we will soon have projects etc. up and running. When they are ready, I will provide you with the links.

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

FE – Fire Ephemeral – only appears immediately or after a couple of years after fire
Squirrel – aka President Ramaphosa
WOG – Wrath of God – eg. incurred when you put a young Pine tree on iNat as Leucadendron album
Skedonk - A banger - old, battered motor car more than 30 years old

Posted by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi, April 02, 2018 13:24


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