Jumping Board to Elephant's Eye

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Hiking among wildflowers
in the mountains
around Cape Town

Far below him you see Camps Bay houses. He stands on the Jumping Board at Kasteelspoort about 780 metres above the sea.

Jumping Board at Kasteelspoort above Camps Bay
Jumping Board at Kasteelspoort above Camps Bay

In June we walked at Cape Point. Gifkommetjie loops around a headland (I will return to complete the circuit down to the sea) Gif meaning poison for Euphorbia caput-medusae. Diastella divaricata tiniest protea. Pink pea Amphithalea ericifolia. White Arctotis aspera. Yellow Cullumia setosa with prickly leaves.

Purple vygie Ruschia sarmentosa with a central cone. Portal to another world. Walking to discover fresh flowers each week. Buttery yellow with burgundy spots Zygophyllum spinosum.

Lampranthus bicolor sunny yellow open, terracotta in bud. Golden Serruria villosa. Bokmakierie's tail echoes the colours of that bird, driving past it appears as a bed of reeds, Witsenia maura flowers lost until you look for them.

Gifkommetjie at Cape Point June flowers
Gifkommetjie at Cape Point
June flowers

First to Hessea cinnamomea blooming after the November 2017 fire at Cape Point. We trod very carefully, but some hooves were there before us. Nerine relative. We saw Hessea monticola fire lilies in Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area in May after the March 2009 fire.

Hessea cinnamomea at Cape Point in June
Hessea cinnamomea at Cape Point in June

Nursery Ravine above Kirstenbosch.

Nursery Ravine
Nursery Ravine

Signal Hill (with the Noon Gun) above the City centre, forms the flank to Lion's Head. We began with friendly greetings from West Africans going to a worship meeting. Bee on Searsia glauca. Lion's Head with Metalasia densa. Othonna arborescens has succulent leaves. Osteospermum incanum little sister to the bietou bushes in our garden.

Pelargonium lobatum with very large leaves. Table Mountain Pelargonium tabulare with zonal marking. Crassula capensis delicate white and burgundy flowers and low large leaves - Cape snowdrops.

Oxalis with a radiating fan of folded silvery leaves. Purple and white Muraltia heisteria - has vicious leaves!

Yellow stars Pauridia curculigoides. Delicate white flowers for bees Asparagus capensis. Silver leaves and mauve pea flowers Podalyria sericea. We saw one single flower of climbing Tephrosia capensis.

Signal Hill June flowers
Signal Hill
June flowers

Against a clear blue sky and the Atlantic Ocean the gold-sparkled salmon flowers of Gladiolus watsonius.

Gladiolus watsonius Signal Hill in June
Gladiolus watsonius
Signal Hill in June

Our trail was wide enough for two courteous hikers. Two yuppie guys in booming conversation caught up with us at the intersection of three trails.
Wondering if they were going to mow us aside??
Do you know you are not allowed to mountain bike here?
He blusters that is only if we go UP Lion's Head.
No crayons needed to show him - see the sign, no mountain bikes in ANY direction!
You're right, he says.
Turns his bike around, and cycles back down to the road.

No mountain bikes on our hiking trails, thank you! Yellow Euryops and Table Mountain
No mountain bikes on our hiking trails, thank you!
Yellow Euryops and Table Mountain

Our kind autumn rain lures his hikers across the front of Table Mountain to hunt for waterfalls.

Table Mountain waterfalls
Table Mountain waterfalls

We walked at Maiden Peak in Silvermine. Othonna quinquedentata in a yellow haze. The Silvermine River flows! Veiled in white Searsia tomentosa. Climbing Astephanus triflorus.

White Polyarrhena reflexa. Cullumia setosa in cream. Mustardy buttons Athanasia crithmifolia. Mimetes fimbrifolius elaborate flowers.

Green urn Erica urna-viridis. Palest blue Lobelia pinifolia and Babiana villosula. Pink and burgundy Erica glabella.

Adenandra villosa white petals glowing from the cherry reverse. Wide red Gladiolus priorii. Orange and gold Gladiolus merianellus (was bonaspei)

Maiden Peak Silvermine June flowers
Maiden Peak Silvermine
June flowers

His group hiked to Elephant's Eye cave. From there is a spectacular view through the Eye. One day I may see it too. Mystical gathering conjuring up the winter rain which has slipped away for the next ten days.

Elephant's Eye cave at Silvermine
Elephant's Eye cave at Silvermine


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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer

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Comments

  1. such an amazing place to see, the flora and fauna is utterly breath taking, I'm glad the mountain bikers turned around!

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  2. You continue to amaze me with you striking images of South Africa. That first photo is stunning--I can only imagine the view on-site! And the wildflowers are so diverse and plentiful--in every season.

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  3. Good,that you told the bikers to stop biking in that beautiful area. Today I saw a couple sunbathing in the nature reserve, but I was too shy to tell them that it's not allowed to sleep on the butterfly plants. I didn't want to be the bitch again. Sometimes I tell people though, when they pick flowers in gthe botanical garden or let their dog run free in the woods...

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    1. That nervous hesitation, how will they react, do I speak out??

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  4. The waterfall and elephant's eye photos are incredible, Diana! At least your bikers accepted notice of the prohibition of bikes - people here are more likely to blow one off, posted notice or not. As always, I love your fabulous flower pics.

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  5. You are lucky to have signs that tell trail biker riders they cannot ride on hiking trails. Bike riders rule here!
    Stunning first photo... The view from there would be amazing.. ( but I couldn't do it... Too scared of heights. ) your wildlife flowers are lovely as always, especially the Gladiolus watsonius, which is particularly striking.

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    1. There are separate designated trails for mountain bikes - so it seems fair to let us walk, in peace.

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  6. I WOULD NEVER, IN A MILLION YEARS WALK OUT ON THE JUMPING BOARD! That makes my heart stop looking at it.

    I did like all the other pictures.

    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry

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    Replies
    1. You have no idea how relieved I am not to see him there in life. A picture I can live with ;~)

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    2. I'm with Jeannie. Just looking at that photo made me break into a sweat. Those of us with fear of heights will keep our eyes on all the gorgeous flowers.

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  7. I just adore that kind of rocky rugged landscape. Love that first photo. Hope he doesn't suffer from vertigo!

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    1. Not him, just his companions (who couldn't watch)!

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  8. Your photos are amazing and your flowers are stunning as usual. The waterfalls are beautiful, so pleased you have some water in them. Good for you, turning the bikers around, let the walkers walk in peace!

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    Replies
    1. this Pauline? I love to know who my comments come from
      http://www.leadupthegardenpath.com/

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  9. I enjoyed this walk with you immensely, Diana. As I read your narrative, I enjoyed picking out the blooms in each row. I hope you get to Elephant's Eye cave one day. Is that the Elephant's Eye you could see from your former home? P. x

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    1. This is one of three. Our previous Porterville one was my idea. There is another above the city on the front of Table Mountain. And this one which is now 'ours'.

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  10. Reading actual real words is too much for my brain at the moment, I'm super tired after a hike yesterday and all the lazing around we've done this morning. BUT YOUR PHOTOS; what a delight for my eyes, goodness I love your posts. So much colour and variety. Thank you, thank you xx

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  11. Splendifloris...is that a word? wonderful flowers.

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  12. Magical. A privilege to see your hike photos. Wonderful the cyclist accepted the ban on bikes; here they scoff at the rules, and terrorize hikers.

    May the rain continue to fall, gently but generously.

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  13. Superb images, of both the geology and the flowers.
    I particularly like the Gladiolus picture and the views through the Elephant's Eye.
    And you wouldn't get me walking out on that Jumping Board, either! Surely there will come a day (in 100 years, 1,000 years?) when it will collapse...
    But I enjoyed the scenic trek :)

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    Replies
    1. I grew up in Camps Bay, below those sandstone cliffs, and have never heard of rocks coming down. But. We had a huge weathered boulder in our garden. With a natural birdbath that held 2 buckets of water. High enough to dwarf a tall man standing next to it, wide enough that we could lie on it.

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  14. Your species Gladiolus are so marvelous... I would like to try growing some of them instead of the hybrids, beautiful as those are.
    Also his photos of the Eye are thrilling.

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  15. Very special views and wonderful plants, what more can one ask for. The jumping board, I hope no one takes it literally. Great stuff, scaring the bikers off.

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  16. Hello Diana, this green around the fruit is called the separator. They are not planted in buckets.
    Do you know that here in Brazil there are bananas that give two bunches? at the same foot
    When he gives the bunch he cuts his foot. Failure to do so will cause the seedlings to appear and become very weak.
    Sorry English, I hope you understand.
    When your fruits give, make a post for us to see.
    Good continuation of the week.
    janicce

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    Replies
    1. So the green separator is to hold irrigation water for that plant.

      I will cut back the rotting dead stem. The other has a few nice leaves for next year.

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  17. Looking through the eye is my favourite photo in this post. One is taken back to the African adventure stories of our childhood - another world to step into.
    Cyclists and pedestrians really don't mix. As a pedestrian I usually find them harder to cope with than cars. (Even though I like to ride a bike myself.) (At least I did till my last one was stolen outside a green grocer's shop and I never replaced it.)

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