How Green was my Valley

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the (wo)man who is actually in the arena…“… if (the person in the arena) fails, at least (he) fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
President Theodore Roosevelt

“We all have a role to play as individual South Africans, faith-based organisations, sports organisations, trade unions, business, students, academics and citizens.”

An excerpt from President Cyril Ramaphosa's SONA address

How Green was my Valley - Doringrivier
It's absolute ages, since we monitored Leucadendron olens (Near Threatened) and Erica crocovirens (Critically Rare) to the far north of the Doringrivier Valley. A more favoured trip is the circuit that includes the highest peak on the eastern side with a return via the jeep track and the pools. Evie did this with WAGS and her report follows mine.

The walk along the jeep track to the river is about 16km and can be a little tedious. On the other hand, when the post-burn vegetation is about 4 years old and beginning to reach its former glory, it is something of a treat. Protea aurea ssp. aurea is beginning to flower. The Ericas will be magnificent next year. Serruria fasciflora (Near Threatened) is growing luxuriously along the jeep track and both Brunia noduliflora and Berzelia intermedia were exquisite, as their white "knoppies" exploded into flower. Leucadendron conicum (Near Threatened) is making a good recovery, as the young plants take advantage of the damper places along the track. Nicky was lucky enough to find one Psoralea vlokii (Endangered) on the track.

Juvenile Leucadendron olens is tricky to tell apart from its close ally Leucadendron ericifolium and they grow together. But after much looking, we began to see the differences and they became easy to tell apart. Sandra and Jen had to walk a little further to find some Ericia croceovirens (Critically Rare) that escaped the newest burn about 4 months ago. The plants are looking a bit straggly and they were very much over. The new generation of seedlings should soon be in evidence.

The views at Doringrivier are always spectacular and with the plants starting to come into full flower, the valley will soon be magificent again. There are some Hakea sericea, Black Wattles and Pines also rearing their ugly heads. It would be good if Cape Nature were to intervene sooner rather than later.


The Ridge-line at Doringrivier
Evie’s HAT report for Doringrivier ridge-line.
While the Outramps had decided to take on the jeep track at Doringrivier for Friday , Evie joined a WAGS outing 2 days before and tried to pay attention to the ridgeline and peak instead.

Very comforting to notice that the fire of 4 years ago is now history, the fynbos is back and looking wonderful. Numerous new Proteaceae plants – mostly P. eximia, P. lorifolia, and P. aurea ssp. aurea. Mimetes cucullatus was in full flower, and the smaller Leucadendron uliginosum was also showing off. It will be a few years before the Orange Breasted Sunbird can really enjoy feasting among the Protea flowers. Both Berzelia intermedia and Brunia nodiflora are back in flower. Some Aspalathus species are also much in evidence – mostly ciliaris and rubens, while along the rocky lower ridge-line a few very spiny – furry pods only are on the Aspalathus growing there. The pretty Fabaceae today was Indigofera flabellata – standing tall and wand-like. Several white Wahlenbergia sp towards the highest peak – difficult to ID and some particularly pretty carpets of Ruschia virgata flowering . Ericas in flower are E. solandri, E. discolor subsp hebecaylex, E. seriphiifolia and an especially striking Christmas, bright-red and green E. densifolia. Some snowy white Syncarpha vestita are still in flower, while most of the plants are past their best. I did visit the area a month before when an amazing, huge field of these snowy, white, everlasting flowers was on display at this point.

On my return – a quick detour down the jeep track to the two wonderful deep pools - always a special swim and today in water that was warmer than usual. A swim up to the inlet possibly explained why – only a small trickle of water entering the pool. I have seen the water gushing through two deep, rocky channels on other occasions. I presume slow water speed = enough time to warm up the water?? Sadly though, I guess it is an indication of very low water tables on this section of the northern side of the Outeniqua Mountains.


On route from Cape Town I stopped at Grabouw and climbed up Groenlandberg with my nephew Matt. There is a surprising amount in flower, considering that it's late summer, including a dozen erica species.

Specials include
Phylica minutiflora - a first record for iNat and Agapanthus walshii - Rare and Endangered, restricted to low slopes above Grabouw and under serious threat from informal settlements.

Much more exploring to be done in this area.....

Dave aka Onderbos

Glentana Beach Scramble
HAT Evie along the cliffs at Glentana beach
Another WAGS outing. It is a particularly interesting beach/ coastal cliff hike, and it is rewarding to visit the coastal caves at Cape Windlass, with their dark looming high surrounds. As noted over a year ago – there seem to be more and more huge rocks and cliffs to negotiate on this hike - more so than there were a few years ago. Storms are forever washing the sand around?? This hike is fun and some of the WAGs members just love the rocky scrambles, while others have a few prickly moments, as they climb over the ledges. I gladly note that the “old floating dock” wreck gets somewhat smaller every year.

The coastal fynbos is thick and lush higher up - not easy to negotiate without a path. Loads of Aloe Aborescens with leaves rather red and dry; pretty Crassula species – mainly C. rubricaulis; some glowing yellow daisies hanging off the cliffs, while the favourite Sea Lavender (Limonium scabrum) remains a splash of purple in spots dotted along the cliffs and rocky sections. Up in the shady forest we noticed a few bright red and powerful looking Haemanthus sanguineus.

The pic above was taken by Hans Delport of WAGS - ed

Field Trips
The weather is forecast to be about 30 degrees on Friday. That makes hiking difficult. We will probably choose one of the Wilderness hikes on Friday, followed by a meeting with LOT and HAT to discuss plans for the immediate future. This is in line with decisions made at our start-up meeting, that we would have follow-ups on a 2 monthly basis to keep everyone informed.
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, 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 covered by Southern Cape Herbarium -
Cola Conservancy -
Dune Molerat Trail -
Featherbed Nature Reserve -
Gamkaberg -
Gerickes Punt -
Gouriqua -
Gouritzmond -
Heaven in the Langkloof -
Herolds Bay -
Kammanassie -
Klein Swartberg -
Knysna - Westford Bridge
Kouga Mountains Kliphuis -
Kranshoek -
Langeberg Grootvadersbosch -
Masons Rust -
Mons Ruber and surrounds -
Mossel Bay Aalwyndal -
Mossel Bay Diosma Reserve -
Mossel Bay - :

Mossel Bay -
Mossel Bay -
Mossel Bay St Blaize Trail -
Natures Valley -
Outeniquas Bobbejaanberg -
Outeniquas Camferskloof -
Outeniquas, Collinshoek and the Big Tree -
Outeniquas - Cradock and George Peak Trail -
Outeniquas Doringrivier East -
Outeniquas East -
Outeniquas Eseljagt -
Outeniquas Eseljagtpoort -
Outeniquas Flanagans Rock -
Outeniquas Lange Berg -
Outeniquas Montagu Pass North -
Outeniquas Paardekop -
Outeniquas Paardepoort East -
Outeniquas Paardepoort West -
Outeniquas Pizza Ridge -
Outeniquas Southern Traverse -
Robberg Corridor -
Robberg Corridor -
Rooiberg -
Spioenkop -
Strawberry Hill -
Swartberg Spitskop -
Swartberg, Swartberg Pass to Bothashoek high and low -
Swartberg Waboomsberg -
Uitzicht Portion 39 -
Uitzicht -
Western Head -
Western Head –
Western Head -
Western Head -
White Heather -
Wilderness Brown Hooded Kingfisher Trail –
Wilderness Kingfisher Trail -
Witteberg Kromme Rivier -

Outramps CREW Stellenbosch HAT node
Jonkershoek created by Vynbos -
Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve -
Papegaaiberg -

Outramps Projects on iNaturalist
Ericas of the Southern Cape -
Fungi of the Southern Cape -
Lianes and Creepers in the Southern Cape and Little Karoo -
Veg Types of South Africa -

Flowers of the High Drakensberg -

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

Posted by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi, February 12, 2019 05:32


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