Thank you

Outramps CREW Diaries - 6th November 2018

Mopping up
Only heavy rain is going to put paid to the devastating fires that have raged over the greater Southern Cape for the last week or so. There have been 9 people killed, lots of damage to property and an exhausted band of firefighters have had very little rest over the last week. There have been mass evacuations and the whole operational centre has done a wonderful job under difficult circumstances. Local Fire Protection Units have given unstintingly of their time and there are many local heroes. To all of those, we say a huge big thank you!!

But we are NOT thanking those landowners, who have allowed their properties to become overgrown with alien plants like Black Wattle, Blackwood, Rooikrantz, Hakea, Pines and Bluegums. These plants have been a major cause of the uncontrollable fire spread. You saw what happened in the Knysna/Plett area in June 2017. It was inevitable that it would happen in George, sooner rather than later. And it did. Get rid of the rubbish as a matter of urgency, otherwise these fires will become an ongoing scenario, which will devour the Southern Cape. BE WARNED! At some stage, the insurance companies are going to recoup their costs from the landowners, whose properties are degraded with alien vegetation. After the 7th June 2017 Knysna fires, I said in a report, "If the alien vegetation, including all the pInes, is not cleared, George is going to have a fire that will make the Knysna fire look like a Sunday-school picnic". Currently 86 000 ha have been destroyed and counting. That is already 4x the size of the Knysna fire.

With an evacuation of Strawberry Hill, an injured husband who has broken 3 cervical vertebrae and his collarbone falling down stairs, swirling smoke and threats of fire, it has been a trying week. Let's all hope that the promised rain arrives in greater quantities than forecast.

Di Turner

From Andrew Sokolic – Water-Shedding Western Cape
This is by far the country’s biggest fire to have occurred in a populated area. We have more than 85 000 hectares that are burning. In last year’s Knysna fires, which were 4 times smaller than this fire, 22 000 hectares were destroyed.

He said the fire was at least 35km wide and had a front of more than 180km.

“It is a truly massive fire”.

Gerard Otto – Head of Disaster Management - Garden Route

Kromme Rivier
MCSA trip to Kromme Rivier 19 – 21 October 2018
Fred and I joined the Mountain Club on a visit to this beautiful farm situated about 25 km northeast of Willowmore between the Witteberg and Grootrivierberge. On Saturday, while most of the group headed for peaks, I wandered along the road seeing what I could find in the Groot Thicket. Aizoaceae and Crassulaceae were well represented, some over, some just coming into bud. Pentzia incana, the last few flowers on various Pteronia and Roepera bushes and scattered Cyanella lutea provided some colour.

I then headed up a slope into the Grootrivier Quartzite Fynbos that burnt in December last year. It was interesting to see that although it was dry, there was quite a bit of regrowth. Hermannia salviifolia var. oblonga (thanks to David Gwynne-Evans for ID) was the dominant plant species, here in Brenton-on-Sea Hermannia salviifolia var. salviifolia was one of the first to flower. Pachypodium succulentum, Dianthus bolusii, Polygala fruticosa, Pelargonium multicaule ssp. multicaule and Bulbine abyssinica were some of the plants in flower. I was just wondering about the absence of Orchids, when I found a single Bartholina etheliae in a crack in the rocks. On one of the rocky ridges there was also few very small, spotty brown Moraea in flower, very well camouflaged against the quartzites.

Before we left the farm on Sunday, I walked along the road in the other direction. The ground was very dry but there were signs of some plants that had taken the chance of some rain earlier in the year to grow, but were now just dry, unrecognizable sticks in the sand. Among those that I did find in flower were Polygala virgata, Roepera lichtensteiniana, Rosenia humilis, Felicia filifolia, Pteronia membranacea and some Crassulas.

As we were driving back towards Willomore a Southern Bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis ssp. Megalotis) ran across the road. There was a second one hiding in the grass, but I was lucky enough to snap my camera as it popped its head up to assess the situation. The picture is in the album.

The Witteberg quartzites have produced some stunning mountains. We hope to return to the area in the not too distant future. Although the place on iNat: https://www.inaturalist.org/places/kromme-rivier-72-ptn-0-willowmore has not got much in it as yet, I hope to rectify that soon.

Nicky

Westford Bridge
A Colour Kalaidoscope
Our destination last Friday was a refreshing change from post-burn monitoring and scratching around on degraded bits of land. Westford Bridge is a private Nature Reserve, admirably run on good environmental principles. A couple of homes and some of the land was burnt in the 7th June 2017 Knysna fires. However, because they had done some earlier planned burning of the Fynbos, there was plenty to see, wonder at and photograph. The views were spectacular and so were the plants.
.
Crowdstoppers
Protea cynaroides - stunning in pink and white
Aristea bakeri in pink, white and startling blue
Satyrium acuminatum white with maroon stems
Agathosma capensis from white, lilac through to deep purple
Watsonia pillansii in pale pink and orange
Podalyria myrtillifolia in white an pink
Leucospermum cuneiforme from pale yellow to deep orange
Ceratandra grandiflora painted yellow and red
Lobelia neglecta and tomentosa were pale and dark blue
Gnidia chysophylla - Near Threatened
Selago burchellii - Vulnerable
Westford Bridge https://www.inaturalist.org/places/westford-bridge-estate-knysna

Thank you so much to Westford Bridge for allowing us to access your beautiful Fynbos. We were very impressed with the alien clearing programme, which is made more difficult by the neighbour's total lack of care. The paths were great and a cool breeze kept us comfortable for most of the day. We ended the day with a cool one at Sedgefield Arms.

The atmosphere that day was smoky - a prelude to the horror that was to come. As I write this on Saturday 3rd, the fires are still raging across the Southern Cape, with no end in sight. Right now, it feels as if Strawberry Hill is totally surrounded by fire
Tanniedi with Mike, Sally, Nicky and Dave Kershaw

From Mike's perspective
We had an excellent day and were able to traverse all existing paths west of the forest. This meant we were able to experience the variation in the vegetation on different slopes and aspects. It was sometimes difficult to get moving as we discussed and photographed the interesting diversity your reserve has to offer. Fynbos is adapted to our weather vagaries and is thriving very well after the fire. The almost total lack of invasive species was commented on by all. Your reserve and the people responsible can be very proud of the dedication to maintaining an alien free fynbos.

Once we have collated info I will send out a brief report on our visit. We will also put our photos on iNaturalist so that all your residents can access them.

Thanks again for the opportunity to spend time at Westford Bridge.
Cheers
Mike
.............................................................................................................................
Potjies Pass
Visit to Pootjiesberg Pass
We set out wondering if we would find many things in flower as recent high temperatures had been a factor, but there had been a bit of rain and even with a little, the Little Karoo goes a long way to produce a floral spectacle.

We decided to go to the end of the pass and work our way back. On the lower slopes near Uniondale, comprised of friable shale, we found Pteronia hutchinsoniana (Rare) and Hereroa acuminata (LC) a new locality for this taxon for the Mesemb Mapping Project. Flowering in abundance was Polygala microlopha (LC), the very woody Chaenostoma revolutum (LC) together with Freesia corymbosa (LC).

What we have named as Lotononis elongata (EN) was found in an old quarry where recent dumping had taken place on the mid-slopes of the Pass. Further towards George we found the most un-watsonia-like Watsonia aletroides (NT) in full flower and at a few spots. It seems to like grassy Renosterveld.

We were blown away by how many things were in full flower.
Priscilla
...........................................................................................................................
STOP PRESS
Members of Outramps have organised a 1,2km botanical walk through the endangered Knysna Sand Fynbos at Ocean View on Thursday 15th November as part of VERGE (A group exhibition for IUCN red listed species on the Cape coast, Garden Route and Karoo, in South Africa). More details can be found at: artforspecies.org/workshops-talks .
.......................................................................................................................
Forthcoming Field Trips
The plan for Friday is a visit to the Robberg Corridor. The exact location is to be confirmed
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 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
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
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 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#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 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 Lange Berg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/lange-berg-112
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-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
Witteberg Kromme Rivier - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/kromme-rivier-72-ptn-0-willowmore

Outramps Projects on iNaturalist
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 - https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/vegetation-types-of-south-africa
.................................................................................................................
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
OTL - Out To Lunch is used to describe the Buchu Bus when she's taking a break after she's behaved badly

Our mailing address is:
di@strawberryhill.co.za

Posted by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi, November 06, 2018 09:05

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