The Stone Walls of De Hoek

The Stone Walls of De Hoek
Outramps CREW Diaries
23rd April 2019

"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop".

Confucius - ALBUM Tuesday 23rd April 2019
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 – Leopard Trail in the Langeberg, Robberg Corridor on the coast, a puzzling Gladiolus from the Klein Swartberg and De Hoek in the Groot Swartberg.

For earlier versions of the Outramps CREW Diaries

Leopard Trail in the Langeberg
HAT Evie’s report
Spending a weekend with the South Cape section of the MCSA at the “Langeberg Leopard Trail Bushcamp” allowed me to once again really enjoy the Fynbos. What a treat to walk through vast slopes of unburnt Fynbos. At this moment, our local areas in George are still at the slow recovery stage after burns 6 month ago. I was reminded how beautiful it is. There were huge hillsides of Protea Fynbos - creams and pinks on Protea aurea subsp. aurea with its “candlestick” new buds. Protea neriifolia in red, while Protea repens was mostly decorative pointed cones. Protea nitida showed off with red, new-growth leaves.

Then higher up the Erica Fynbos – decked out in bales of deep magenta-pink. Amazing splashes of colour! I had to get right up to the rounded terminal heads of flowers to notice the white hairy bits. Erica similis it is. Another very distinctive Erica - Erica grandiflora subsp grandiflora in bright orange and gold, with pine needle-like leaves, very much an E. vestita look alike. Other dominant Ericas were, E. plukenetii, E. articularis and on the lower open ground E. peltata. Muraltia species were well represented in deep purples.

On a less enthusiastic note – after walking 7 to 8 km through pristine Fynbos (no aliens visible), we rounded a corner turning into a deep, long, protected valley. What greets us – loads of Hakea trees (Hakea sericea) in all sizes? This continued along the old contour path towards the now disused Nooitgedacht Hut. The Hakea has found a good niche.

On the downhill return to our campsite at the “Leopard Trail Bushcamp” – super views across the Overberg. On closer inspection it was scary to note how dominant the individual Black Wattle (Acacia mearnsia) forests are on the farms bordering the Langeberg foothills.

Other huge eyesores are the utterly enormous covered citrus orchards. The locals tell us the structures have been initiated by overseas investors (?? Spanish). In Spain orange trees grow in their own fully automated and controlled microclimate. This reminds me of images I have seen of “plasticultura” southwest of Almeira in Spain. There an area of 20,000 hectares is covered in plastic roofed structures below the backdrop of the purple ‘Sierra de Gador” mountains. Is this the future of agriculture in the Overberg? Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Langeberg?? I shudder at the thought.
For images visit:

And thus, the long day’s hike eventually ended – HAT Evie was able to plunge to her hearts content in a huge, fresh, mountain stream dam near the bush camp, where we were to sleep our second night. A lovely campsite and a great weekend. All to replace our original booking for the Swellendam Trail. We are told by CapeNature that the huts are still being renovated and the trail remains closed. For how much longer??


Robberg Corridor
12th April 2019
For most of the day there was a chilly wind swirling tendrils of mist around. It was our first visit to this property, which is in the process of being incorporated into the Robberg Corridor. RC is a stewardship initiative between the owners and CapeNature to preserve this wonderful stretch of coastal fynbos. This newest addition is owned by Jean More, who asked us to visit and make a species list for the property via iNat observations.

Post-fire, the major problem is that the aliens like Port Jackson and Rooikrantz are coming up like grass. Jean has had a couple of guys hand-pulling these out for ages on a daily basis. She has clear areas to show for it, but it is a daunting exercise and she could really do with some help. As part of the Robberg Corridor Conservation Initiative, would there be any assistance forthcoming from organisations like "Working for Water or Working on Fire"? Carlo, I would be grateful if you could give us some guidance here.

We were very pleased to see plenty of Acmadenia alternifolia (Vulnerable) thriving in the clear patches. Also present was a scattering of Oxalis pendulifolia (Near Threatened) on most of the land. We are sure that Muraltia knysnaensis (Endangered) is lurking under the forest of aliens, but we were unable to find any plants.

Here is the link to the specific iNat place - :
And below is the link to the entire Robberg Corridor Project

After a very pleasant walk and fossick over the property, we returned to the house to a sumptuous lunch cooked by Susan, who could teach me a thing or two about preparing food. Or is it too late teach the old bitch new tricks"? Thank you Jean for a very pleasant morning and please don't lose heart. It is so essential that we have people who think and act as you do in the greater Southern Cape community.


Peter and Werner found a rather mysterious Gladiolus on a recent trip to Buffelspoort in the Klein Swartberg. Peter said, "I've been through the Glad book a billion times and I can't seem to ID it. I'd love some help. It's also strange to see it flowering at this time of year. It looks like a Glad I'd expect from the Boland".

So we sent the iNat link to Jan Vlok.

His reply, "The Glad is something that has been ‘a thorn in the flesh’ for me for several years. It is currently regarded as an autumn-flowering version of Gladiolus rogersii. Sure you will be equally surprised at this verdict. It has several distinct characters, including the almost terete leaf and hard corm tunics. However frustrating, I do understand why Goldblatt & Manning came to this conclusion. There are a great many variations of typical spring-flowering Gladiolus rogersii (including the once recognised Gladiolus rogersii var. vlokii) that links up to these Swartberg plants. At the other end of the spectrum there is a bright pink, late spring flowering version of Gladiolus rogersii on the Kamanassie mountains that looks equally distinct. For the time being we will have to regard them all as one species".

Jan Vlok

De Hoek stonewalls the Ancients
17th April 2019
Advancing years and a wide range of injuries have all contributed to slowing the ancients down and there was no way we could keep up with our younger compatriots at De Hoek on Wednesday. After a vigorous argument (which Bill won), we went up anti-clockwise to the nek, where the track branches off to Gouekrans. This very steep section of the path is out of general use and was pretty bushed at times. Aspalathus shawii subsp. shawii (one of a series of plants known by the Outramps as Horribilis maximus) was the main very prickly contributor to our discomfort. At the nek we decided, "Discretion is the better part of Valour" and descended down again. The only plant with possible conservation status seen on this stretch was an Argyrolobium, which still needs to be id'd. The Proteaceae regeneration is going well.

I much prefer the clockwise direction which takes you up to some wide plains that are dissected by numerous small streams and are covered with interesting plants. It is particularly the way to go if you are doing a thereandback. However, I lost that argument...............

The rest of the party did the whole Circuit and reported similar findings to ours. They spotted Leucadendron tinctum (Near Threatenend) on the plains after the river crossing and the steep climb up out of the kloof. They had a wonderful day on this spectacular trail in the high Swartberg Mountains. Once again, I make an impassioned plea to CapeNature to open this magnificent trail to the hiking public. It is truly one of the best in South Africa.

An amazing feature - stone walls that cross the foothills for miles and miles. The theory mooted is that the farmers built these to contain livestock. It must have been very hard work, demonstrating that our forbears were certainly tougher than we are today. That is of course, with the exception of "Oom Willie van die Berge". After a long layoff after a catastrophic fall, he is fighting to regain his fitness. Watch this space!

And after years and years of visiting, we are finally making friends with Regina and Nellie, the Aunties at the gate. This time I got a huge welcome from Nellie and a hug to go with it. It was worth waiting for!


Field Trips
This week we are doing an Overnighter to Oukraal at Gamkaberg Nature Reserve. We are keen to see the progress of the regeneration of the Fynbos post-fire. We will hike up Tierkloof, spend the night at Oukraal and then hike down the western boundary back to the offices. We are so looking forward to that.

Susan Campbell has given us permission to walk on her property, Endlovana, on Friday 26th April. We will walk down the road towards the coast. I will park a car there to bring everyone/drivers up. Hike suitable for all. I will meet Outramps at the gate at 8.30am. Please let me (Nicky) know if you would like to join us.
Hamba Kahle
Groete en dankie
Di Turner
Outramps CREW Group
Southern 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 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 -
Robberg Corridor -
Rooiberg -
Spioenkop -
Strawberry Hill -
Swartberg Bloupunt -
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 -
Geranicaceae 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
DFKIAA - A very funny video in Afrikaans is doing the rounds. It refers to the current power outages.

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Posted by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi, April 23, 2019 05:26


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