Buffels in the High Hex

Buffels in the High Hex
(and on the Coast)

Outramps CREW Diaries
Tuesday
20th August 2019


“She naturally loved solitary places, vast views, and to feel herself for ever…alone.”
Virginia Woolf, ‘Orlando’.

Language can never ‘pin down’ slavery, genocide, war. Nor should it yearn for the arrogance to be able to do so. Its force, its felicity is in its reach toward the ineffable.”
Toni Morrison

‏In South Africa every August 9th is National Women's Day. It is a public holiday commemorating the famous 1956 march of 20,000 women on the Union Buildings in Pretoria. The quotes this week are taken from the writings of two of the foremost woman authors. These women came from vastly different backgrounds and lived at different times. Virginia Woolf was part of the Bloomsbury set in the early 1900's and Toni Morrison died recently at the age of 88. An Afro-American, she won the Nobel prize for Literature.

ALBUM Tuesday 20th August 2019 https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNaaGbobMGS5d54xtkedntdkwemzBMy3OGE9azqCg1G-4DN0PzVmA7Bukpl5kVtSg?key=cEVIRUUyZzRiX0p2OGczTVlmRVFneWwtTS13N2Fn

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 today – Waboomskraal Noord, Heliophilas with Dr Pieter Winter, Buffelshoek Peak Hex River, Buffelsfontein at Albertinia, Out and 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

Waboomskraal Noord
It was a bit of a runaround to find the owner of the farm, which has an enticing ridge leading up from Waboomskraal to Doringrivier. Finally we spoke to Anton Kleyn, who was very friendly and gave us permission. We explored a section of this ridge about 10 years ago and didn't get very far. This time it was relatively easy going, as the veld was younger. We broke into 4 small parties and between us, scoured the length of it from Waboomskraal to Doringriver. Dave reached the top of the peak and the rest of us were somewhere in between littered across the slopes..

And what a haul of rares we had.
Lotononis filiformis (Endangered)
Rafnia vlokii (Vulnerable)
Acmadenia maculata (Near Threatened)
Pteronia hutchinsoniana (Rare)
Hermannia sp. nova (denudoides)
Aspalathus pedunculata (Rare)

The prize for the beauty of the day went to Heliophila glauca. It was very different to the 1m high plant that grows on Rooiberg and caused much discussion. Various postings of this stunning plant on iNat elicited a response from Dr Pieter Winter from Compton Herbarium. This discussion is featured a little lower down. Pieter is a great help and always vets our id's of the Genus Heliophila. We are enormously grateful to him for his expert assistance.

Typically we ended the day at Bobby and Ria's Famous Pizza Place, which was irresistibly tempting on the way home.. A huge thank you to Anton for permission to access the ridge. We are hoping to return a little later in the year

tanniedi

Buffelshoek Peak in the Hex
The Hex never disappoints, especially when you get to ascend to over 2000m. Werner and I joined the largest MCSA meet we've ever been on (28 people) to tackle one of the Hex's classics — Buffelshoek Peak (2059m). On the Saturday we climbed up Bertsberg, where Werner felled many pines with his new hand saw. Along the way, he found a stunning population of Sorocephalus lanatus, which we discovered has the smell of burnt electrical wires, not unlike the Marsh Rose! We also spotted Erica glauca var. glauca, which was notably different to the Erica glauca var. elegans which we had seen a couple of weeks before in the Du Toitskloof mountains.

On Sunday we had a cold scramble up Buffelshoek Peak, which was still covered in sheets of snow and ice. To our amazement, we found feline footprints in the ice, which will hopefully be identified soon. Interesting plants along the way included Protea pityphylla (unfortunately not in flower) and Protea witzenbergiana. The rest of the finds can be found with the iNat tag 2019-08-(03-04) Buffelshoek Peak.

Peter

Buffelsfontein at Albertinia
The Buffels must have been profuse in the "good old days". I can visualise them at Buffelsfontein near Albertinia, but over 2000m on Buffelshoek Peak is stretching it a bit. Coincidentally, our HAT from Stellenbosch visited Buffelshoek Peak and we explored Buffelsfontein near Albertinia in the same period. With buffalos around every corner, life must have been pretty exciting.

And life still is, but for different reasons. Mike promised us spectacular Fynbos and that is exactly what we got. Peter (young farmer) met us at Albertinia and took us to the farm. Driving the BMW on the farm road had some interesting moments, but we got there with only the odd sump-removing thump or two. Once again we broke into several parties, with Dave taking the high road as always. Between us, we did a pretty good job of covering as much of the property as we could see.

Our first excitement was when Jen found Erica platycalyx (Endangered) and it proved to be the find of the day. She has been hunting for this Erica for about 20 years, so she was absolutely thrilled. Leucospermum praecox (Near Threatened) and Protea susannae (Near Threatened) were all over the place. Leucadendron galpinii (Vulnerable) was ubiquitous. Heralding the onset of Spring, Freesia leichtlinii subsp. alba (Near Threatened) was shiny-white in amongst the stunning dark-blue of Aristea pusilla and a Babiana (something), which has yet to be id'd. There were a few Cullumia carlinoides (Near Threatened) past their best.

Down on the sandy flats, we were gobsmacked when we stumbled on Chamelaucium uncinatum (Geralton Wax), which has been planted on the farm. They were probably grown for the cut-flower market. There were both deep-pink and white blooms on different shrubs and they were spectacularly beautiful. We did wonder how much of a danger there is that these Western Australian invaders could colonise the area?

Erica platycalyx may have been the find of the day, but the plant which caused the most discussion was a single Protea scolymocephala (Vulnerable), midway up one of the hills. I didn't recognise it as one of our local Proteas, but Jen came up with the name. It is a sand plain species, tending to occur along drainage lines and adjacent seepage areas from Gifberg to Hermanus. Could it have been planted down on the sandy flats and migrated up to the hill? It remains a mystery.

Mike promised us something special and it was. Thanks to Mike and Peter, who made it possible. It will be just one of the many places to which we hope to return.

tanniedi

Heliophila Discussion with Pieter Winter
This discussion took place on iNat. Dr Pieter Winter from Compton Herbarium id'd this particular observation found in Waboomskraal Noord by knysna_wildflowers aka Dave Underwood from the Outramps CREW Group.

knysna_wildflowers commented on the id.
Hi Pieter - tx. We have previously seen glauca on Rooiberg and it was large - more than a metre tall. This is a shrublet 200 - 300mm...?

pieterwinter commented
It was previously recognized as H. glauca var.purpurascens DC. I agree it looks quite different from the plants in the northern section of the Little Karoo. My interpretation of the taxonomic history is that Sonder in 1846 had to decide what to do with an entity named H. sarcophylla from the Langkloof. He could either make it yet another variety of H. glauca, or treat everything as one variable species, since he didn't consider it distinct enough to warrant species status. So he chose to sink it, and along with that, all the previous varieties as well.

So if we know more about how distinct the Langkloof plants are, and where the Uitenhage plants fit (the type specimen was from there), it may well be worth reinstating some of these entities or even raising some varieties to species level.

pieterwinter commented
My sense is that all the plants along the coastal mountains from Garcia's Pass to Stormberg may group with your George short plants, and may be distinct enough to warrant re-investigation. We would probably need other characters than only plant height, unless someone reassesses height in the other parts of the total species range (Anysberg to Uitenhage). This grouping would be contrary to how var. purpurascens was defined, since the latter's type is from near Uniondale. So the first question is then how tall are the plants near Uniondale?

pieterwinter commented
see https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/11172297
I think you may have been on the same trip? Would you say this is the same as those from the George area?

knysna_wildflowers commented
Hi @pieterwinter
Thanks for your detailed reply. I checked my records and unfortunately don't have photos for the Heliophila of https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/11172297
I did have a look at the previous glauca reports and I see why you would call the conspecific = flowers and sepals very similar
Leaves maybe not so much though......?

knysna_wildflowers commented
I can do a collection if required - no probs........

pieterwinter commented

The leaves of the white-flowered Rooiberg and Gamka plants seem papillate, but those from other areas e.g. Witteberg to Klein Swartberg may again prove intermediate. Any Heliophila material is always welcome, as it will help fill the gaps in our understanding. Thanks for the offer.

Out and About in the Southern Cape
Bosduif Loop x 2
WAGS chose Giant Kingfisher for the hike 2 weeks ago. The boardwalk with crutches is a no-no for me in Winter because they slip, so instead Bill and I did the Bosduif Loop twice and finished at the same time as WAGS. The forest is dreadfully dry and still there is no rain on the horizon...........

Dune Molerat
This was our last Sunday hike before the start of the sailing season and the place is looking lovely, but also reflects the long-standing drought. Despite the dry conditions, early Spring is the season when all the "lovelies" start to appear..

Beervlei to the River
Marge (WAGS) had a bit of a "gedoente" to get a permit, but finally it arrived. As usual, Bill and I started before sunrise, did 15km there and back and finished at the same time as some of the WAGS hikers. As is usual, we joined up at a pub afterwards. On this occasion, it was in Hoekwil and was attractively called Skotteljons.

A highlight of the hike was seeing the flowers of Ochna arborea (Cape Plane) close-up for the first time. These gorgeous flowers were a first for me. The tree had fallen down across the path, so that we could see and wonder at the flowers at close range. They are usually high up in the forest canopy and hidden from prying eyes.

On the negative side, the forest was distressingly dry and the leaves crackled underfoot. If we don't get significant rain soon, there is an accident waiting to happen, as the threat of fire looms over us. Very worrying!

tanniedi

Field Trips
We are off to Kouga Wildernis for our August Overnighter this coming weekend. With eight of us going, we are looking forward to great company, gesellige evenings and spectacular scenery. Plants that are different and unusual for us will also add a little spice. The following Friday, we need to hunt for Erica baueri subsp. gouriqae (Endangered), which should be flowering in the Gouriqua area. We haven't seen it for about 3 years.
Hamba Kahle
Groete en dankie

Di Turner
Outramps CREW Group
SIM tripsSouthern 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
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
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
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 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 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
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
56,481 OBSERVATIONS
8,155 SPECIES

(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 by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi, August 20, 2019 06:34

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