Workshop 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They say that “Variety is the spice of Life”, so SIM are heading for the mountains on Friday. As you come down the southern side of the Swartberg Pass, there are some foothills towards the south, which I’ve been eyeing for years. There is a jeep track going to the top. We have never been there and we don’t know who owns it. Any suggestions? If not, we’ll just drive there and then try and get permission to walk up. There may be nothing of interest, but there could be lots. Failing permission, we will just climb up on the southern side of the Swartberg, where the burnt vegetation makes for relatively easy access.
Happy Midwinters Day
Hamba Kahle
Groete en dankie
Di Turner
Outramps CREW Group
Southern Cape

All id’s subject to confirmation by Doc Annelise and Jan Vlok, Steven Molteno, Dr Tony Rebelo, Nick Helme, Prof Charlie Stirton, Dr Robert Archer, Dr Robert McKenzie, Dr Ted Oliver, Dr Christopher Whitehouse, Adriaan Grobler, Prix Burgoyne, Dr Kenneth Oberlander, Dr Pieter Winter, Dr David Gwynne-Evans and Mattmatt on iNat. Thank you all for your ongoing help and support.

Outramps Projects and Places on iNaturalist – You can browse through the observations or refer to the checklist which is in alphabetical order eg. Animals, birds etc.

Abbreviations Glossary

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

Posted by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi, June 25, 2018 05:46


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