West Coast spring flowers

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

Mid-August we took our electric car across country, planning to recharge the battery overnight where we stayed.

Yellow car among yellow daisies at Waylands in Darling
Yellow car among yellow daisies
at Waylands in Darling

We startled the guards at the West Coast National Park gate as they waited in the office for incoming cars. 'Didn't hear you coming!'

Ostriches in West Coast NP
Ostriches in West Coast NP

Electric car is ideal for birdwatching, as we coast to a gentle halt. Ostrich parents observing us as they stride along, their babies scurrying along in knots and count-them-all-in stragglers. Black koorhaan is noisy in between eating - precisely barred black and white feathers on his back. Silent and without fumes we automagically glide away.

Black koorhaan in West Coast NP
Black koorhaan in West Coast NP

First was a chilly walk on an overcast day. Orange Gazania. Wild rosemary Eriocephalus africanus white with a cherry heart. Purple Senecio. Pink fragrant buchu Agathosma thymifolia.

Drumsticks, notched petals Zalusianskya villosa. African spoonbills tucked up for a nap, until the spoon peeked out for his photo. Spoon to catch water insects in the mud, or locusts on land. Yellow Cheiridopsis rostrata. Golden yellow with burgundy splotches Zygophyllum flexuosa.

Purple ruffled Muraltia spinosa. Lime pink creeper, petal tips swirled together Microloma sagittatum. Obese lily weevil - adults eat leaves, while the larvae demolish lily family bulbs. Lime gold Euphorbia mauritanica.

Peach Oxalis. Tricolour Romulea. Painted Babiana. Dusky bruinsalie Salvia africana-lutea.

August 2018 flowers at West Coast NP
August 2018 flowers at West Coast NP

We stayed at Masada guesthouse in Langebaan. Among so many Langebaan 'gardens' which are low maintenance - it was a delight to see a conservancy estate around our guesthouse. Full English breakfast buffet included forewarned vegetarian extras for us - fried mushrooms and potato croquettes with the eggs. The Ungardener and our host knelt in the rain to sort out the plug in and charge overnight.

Rough seas and birds at Tsaarsbank
Rough seas and birds at Tsaarsbank

Kelp gull with a red tip to its lower beak. Black oystercatcher - many pairs along the rocks and the Tsaarsbank beach - where I picked up a convenient hard hat to gather plastic debris in. Cape cormorant with his wings spread out to dry after fishing in the cold sea. High seas ahead of the heavy rain which caught us that evening. We went to supper on the shore of Langebaan lagoon. And a quick walk when we come out? Not a chance, a heavy downpour caught the car in a 20 cm deep puddle of stormwater.

Heliophila blue flax at Postberg in August
Heliophila blue flax at Postberg in August 

Second day in Postberg. Blue flax Heliophila enjoying the sun with a mole snake on a chilly not yet spring day

Mole snake basking in the sun
Mole snake basking in the sun

Fluffy bud and flower are a weird daisy Othonna undulosa. Yellow daisy and cylindrical leaf Crassothonna cylindrica.

Fierce red Pelargonium fulgidum. Bontebok with his striking brown and white face. White rain daisies Dimorphotheca pluvialis. Yellow Arctotis hirsuta.

Striking tiny red Rumex lativalvis. Orange pea flower Indigofera procumbens. Duiker quietly browsing in the distance. Yellow Wachendorfia brachyandra.

Purple and white daisies. Blue Moraea. Purple and white Lapeirousia jacquinii. White Oxalis with a purple heart.

Flowers at Postberg in August
Flowers at Postberg in August

 Tienie Versfeld wildflower reserve outside Darling. Chocolate hearted Tripteris clandestina. Yellow Arctotis. Peacock-eyed Gazania

Ivory and burgundy Pelargonium triste. Wildflower reserve, beyond the fence agri-chemical fields of wheat and canola. Purple tipped white petals Cleretum clavatum.

Softly yellow Hesperantha. Bronze star Spiloxene canaliculata. Sky blue star Romulea tabularis

August flowers at Tienie Versfeld near Darling
August flowers at Tienie Versfeld near Darling

Waylands wildflower heritage thanks to the Duckitt family in Darling. Schiaparelli pink Aizoon paniculatum. Clear white vygie Cleretum bellidiforme (Bokbaai vygie was Dorotheanthus). Statement shrubs Lobostemon. Light and darker yellow Arctotheca calendula.

Heliophiola dotted across the reserve. Mauve Babiana. Shimmering azure Geissorhiza aspera. Softest blue Gladiolus.

Pink Romulea rosea. Harlequin flower Romulea hirsuta. Dusky pink Moraea tricolor.
Ghostly Lachenalia sheltering.

August flowers at Waylands in Darling
August flowers at Waylands in Darling

Home via Blouberg for an Italian lunch.

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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer

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Comments

  1. You must be in the best place in the world right now with the Spring flowers emerging. But the ostriches stole my heart!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your early spring blooms are incredible. It amazes me that each and every one of your posts introduces me to flowers I've never heard of, much less seen. It's delightful to see an ostrich family out and about like that too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for sharing you "electric" trip, electric in flower as well as in fuel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a peaceful, comfortable contrast to the Land Rover ;~)

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  4. Wonderful pictures! gorgeous flowers and wildlife especially the ostrich family, what a beautiful sight!

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  5. So many wildflowers! I thought you were going to say the electric car didn't make it to the destination. Glad you traveled safely. Our recent heavy rains here in the middle of the U.S. prompted the advice, "Turn around, don't drown." Sudden, heavy downpours and puddles can be dangerous

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a new mindset. Planning the journey in suitable chunks.
      Back to - change the horses at the coaching inn :~)

      That informal parking on the sand by the lagoon needs some storm water infrastructure. We had innocently parked in The Dip.

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  6. Once again, such wonderful photos of your beautiful flowers. We too have spoonbills on our south devon coast, is it global warming that has made them come so far north? Loved the ostriches with their young family, how wonderful to get so close in your electric car, a bird hide on wheels!

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  7. I enjoyed seeing the wild flowers, some similar to ours, and some not. My favourite is the Blue flax Heliophila. I always think bees are doubly attracted to blue flowers, but I have no facts to back that up!
    Also great to see your electric car, unfortunately the price of them is prohibitive in Australia at the moment. (for us, anyway)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly South Africa also offers zero financial incentive to drive an electric car (and prohibitive import duty). It's a heart not head decision.
      Even China encourages its citizens to drive electric!

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  8. thanks for filling us in on all the names of all these flower varieties - such diversity of form and colour - Really enjoyed the electric yellow tour
    p.s. I have some hearing loss and in the hubbub of London often don't hear electric cars coming round the corner - I forsee them being fitted with a noise element

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was born with a deaf ear, so intensely aware and extra careful of pedestrians ... approach with caution until I am sure they have SEEN us.
      It does have a pedestrian warning noise, but not especially helpful.

      Delete

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