Hiking up Table Mountain and in Silvermine
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Our second Botanical Ramble was harder. Quietly battling to get my camera to capture the flowers - now - BEFORE the breeze smacks it into another nasty blur. Then sprinting to catch up. We walked to the waterfall, not down to the big drop, but turning up to the Amphitheatre. Since we have moved to False Bay the wow plant for me is Mimetes in bloom. One of the proteas which proves that they deserve to be named after the Greek god Proteus, who could change his form. This shrub is big enough to hide a car. The flowers sing out in dusky pink, silver and hints of lime gold.
Such a delight to watch a 'live stream' and the waterfall tumbling over the rocks as Cape Town waits eagerly for more winter rain. We should get 10 mm around 6 tomorrow morning. Hoping for two full rain tanks!
The red Gladiolus bonaspei (endemic to the Cape Peninsula) was the eye candy this time - I needed the Ungardener to hold still - so I could get a picture. Tiniest blush pink daisies are Metalasia (honey bush, but not the tea sort). Leaves neatly stacked in four ranks, with a bonus of Barbie pink flowers is Saltera sarcocolla. Prickly yellow daisies with russet buds Oedera?? Yellow (and orange) bulbs Moraea ochroleuca we last saw at Cape Point, an after fire bonus. Euryops still waking up and displaying a green crown. Soft pink Pelargonium capitatum also grows in my garden. Long delicate petals on a yellow Euryops. Gentle mauves and silver leaves of Podalyria sericea (on my wish list).
One week later, turn left instead of right, and with botanical eyes peeled, we saw a fresh set of flowers!
From our first walk at Solole (now part of Silvermine) the ford as a reminder of the once was farm.
Again it was the very red flowers that we sought out. Babiana ringens for the sunbirds.
Just about as high as my foot in hiking boot, step carefully, was Wurmbea inusta
Leucospermum conocarpodendron grew in our Camps Bay garden. Where I could watch these buds open a little more each day, till the yellow candles emerged and then the whole flower opened up into a yellow and cream pincushion. I miss that!
For the Ungardener the gentle amble thru the flowers was not challenging enough. He went with U3A's Curious and Adventurous (rock scrambling in the Cape Mountains) this week. And came home after a full day VERY tired.
I have never hiked UP Table Mountain, but been up in the cable car. For him this was a second ascent. They began in Kirstenbosch Garden and hiked up Nursery Ravine to Reserve Peak, then down Cecilia Ridge. Looking down to Kirstenbosch dam reminds me, why I was NOT with them.
I have also never seen the fabled dams on Table Mountain. They were the original main water supply to the City of Cape Town. Those winter full dams wait as an emergency supply for next summer. More rain, desalination, tapping into the Table Mountain Group Aquifer, processing non-potable water - and we hope to get by until next winter.
|Hely Hutchinson dam on Table Mountain|
(NOT flat up there)
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