Hiking Three Sisters and Smitswinkel
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
In April he went to Kleinmond (= small mouth of Bot River) to hike the Three Sisters in the Palmietberge. A similar view to ours across the Cape Flats to Table Mountain with False Bay to the right - but this one looks across Botriviervlei to Babylonstoren (ridge) and Onrusberg (peak) with the open Atlantic Ocean.
We went from Silvermine entrance to the Noordhoek Fire Lookout. Fierce red Disa feruginea. I am fascinated by these sculptural bottle green and silver toothed leaves - at last I can see the tall Hermas villosa flowers (this one already faded). My learning curve on Botanical Rambles includes tipping up daisies to count the bracts below, where I discover a tiny spider on Felicia aethiopica with two rows of bracts. Speckled markings in the throat of Gladiolus brevifolius. Purple feathering on Pelargonium myrrifolium.
If the golden crown has eight points on a spike of flowers it's Struthiola ciliata. Four points clustered at the tip is Gnidia tomentosa. Backlit bronze and silver Stoebe cinerea. Yellow pea flower Aspalathus capitata. Embossed silver balls Brunia noduliflora. Crimson and lime green Leucadendron salignum explode across the landscape. Coral curls Tritoniopsis triticea. Salmon Watsonia tabularis (= Table Mountain) Two white teeth on blue Lobelia.
Mowbray Ridge with cannon overlooking Table Bay and the container terminal.
As we walked from the Lewis Gay Dam near Brooklands water treatment works to Da Gama Park we saw a baboon monitor on duty to keep the 'problem animals' safely away from problem humans and their tempting garbage and fruit and veg on display. Plenty of juicy new growth and bulbs after the fire for that baboon mother and her underslung baby.
Golden veil spread across the landscape (similar to the butterfly effect of Gaura) is Othonna quinquedentata some plants with the obligatory five toothed leaves - on my wish list! Sky blue Salvia chamelaeagnea. Pink stars on snow Trichocephalus stipularis. Stone cow resting in the landscape. Softer and deeper pinks of Stoebe fusca. Yellow Bulbine praemorsa. Shimmering lilac spoon fig (fynbos vygie) Erepsia anceps. Silver leaves with lilac and mauve on Indigofera cytisoides. Capturing the dents at the base of Erica mammosa flowers with a busy ant. Peach Tritoniopsis antholyzoa.
Up Newlands Ravine. Dark Gorge too dangerous for Cape Mountains for the Curious and Adventurous, they went down Dark Gully.
We walked Silvermine to Steenberg Ridge. Fiery Leucadendron salignum. A fresh lemony Hermas villosa. Fragrant buchu Diosma oppositifolia. Scattered strawberries across the landscape, buds of Anaxeton laeve. Table Mountain. Blue face of Felicia aethiopica. Phylica imberbis dense rounded head of flowers. Honey scented Phylica buxifolia. Almost white curls Tritoniopsis dodii.
Erica plukenetii dangles brown anthers. Flared out Erica abietina atrorosea. Tiny glossy cherries of Erica multumbellifera. Creamy Erica lutea. Thread leaves of Oxalis polyphylla. Indigofera cytisoides shrub. Clover leaves red below of Oxalis commutata.
Where our botanical ramble hiked from the road DOWN to Smitswinkel Bay, his group hiked up and down along Smitswinkel Ridge. Grey patch near his hat is the burnt area at Cape Point with Sirkelsvlei where we walked before and after rain!
The return to Sirkelsvlei was just the two of us, but usually we hike with two groups from U3A.
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