June hikes and Slangkop Lighthouse

by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

In June the Cape Mountains for the Curious and Adventurous climbed Wolfkop in Silvermine. "When I rule the world ..." was framed by the retired submariner. In the distance Table Mountain with Devil's Peak to its right.

From Wolfkop in Silvermine looking to Table Mountain
From Wolfkop in Silvermine looking to Table Mountain 

A week later they hiked up Lion's Head. Looking across to the Cable Station and Table Mountain draped with its Tablecloth.

Table Mountain from Lion's Head
Table Mountain from Lion's Head

On Trappieskop delicate dancing white Crassula capensis. Shimmering pink flushed white berries Viscum capensis. Purple hieroglyphics on Stachys aethiopica.

Where the water seeped thru the cracks that cream rock was as smooth as a bar of soap. Our path crossed the saddle I see from our bay window. Luminous green is Clovelly golf course. Metalasia muricata with upmarket St James by the sea.

Feathery fragrant buchu Agathosma ciliaris. Faint blue stripes on Lobostemon montanum. Layers of purple detail in Muraltia spinosa flowers.

Trappieskop in June mostly white flowers
Trappieskop in June mostly white flowers

Brown striped bracts I hadn't noticed before on Othonna quinquedentata. Chocolate and gold petal reverse Cullumia setosa. Vanilla yellow daisies Senecio hastatus.

Buckets of berries for Cassine peragua. Shiny red berries Osyris compressa with a glimpse of Kalk Bay Harbour. Erica triste is a wind pollinated tree erica.

Woolly leaves Eriospermum. A fern. Searsia tomentosa with a velvet reverse to its leaves.

Trappieskop in June mostly yellow flowers
Trappieskop in June mostly yellow flowers

Our Fynbos Ramble in Silvermine caught a downpour with hail, only 3mm, but we got the whole bucketful and retreated home. Pretty silver wattle, from Queensland, Acacia podalyrifolia, another new invasive alien to learn about sadly.

Queensland silver wattle blooming in June
Queensland silver wattle blooming in June

Returning to Silvermine to circle Maiden Peak. Cape satin bush Podalyria sericea. Bulbine favosa (few flowers on the spike) with succulent leaves.

Babiana villosula soft blue with a central white star. Silvermine River flowing with June rain. Gladiolus merianellus is scarlet dotted across the landscape but with a golden heart.

Four petals Heliophila scoparia. Deepest green buds on Erica urna-viridis. A single row of bracts on dangling Erica plukenetii.

Maiden Peak in Silvermine mostly bulbs for June
Maiden Peak in Silvermine mostly bulbs for June

Ivory Metalasia densa paired with golden Leucadendron laureolum. Furry skirt on Metalasia compacta.

Pink clusters of Metalasia divergens. Oh my, Mimetes fimbriifolius versus quietly understated daisy Othonna digitata.

Maiden Peak in Silvermine Metalasia in June
Maiden Peak in Silvermine Metalasia in June

Open day at Slangkop Lighthouse and we climbed the stairs for a different view of our hiking places. Commissioned in 1919 (after the war) and automated in 1979, with a standby diesel generator. Constructed of cast iron.

Slangkop Lighthouse
Slangkop Lighthouse

The lens of Slangkop Lighthouse. Slangkop, the mountain we have hiked on, is named for a bulb poisonous to livestock in early Settler days (Boophone disticha perhaps?)

The lens at Slangkop Lighthouse
The lens at Slangkop Lighthouse

HE stood on the mesh balcony 100 feet or 33 metres from the ground; I stayed behind the glass on a solid floor. To the left Hout Bay's Sentinel (his side) and to the right Chapman's Peak (which we divided by altitude)

From Slangkop Lighthouse to Hout Bay's Sentinel and Chapman's Peak
From Slangkop Lighthouse to Hout Bay's Sentinel and Chapman's Peak

hike with U3A each week (listed as False Bay)
His hike with U3A each week (listed as Cape Town)


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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer

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Comments

  1. That first photo is dramatic but just a little scary too. We've had lots of reports of falls and lives lost in the US by individuals seeking the perfect photo. I always look forward to the photos from your hikes with flowers I've never seen anywhere else. With scenery like yours, I expect I could turn into a hiker too.

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    1. Mountains must be treated with respect, and he does, despite my 'glad I wasn't there!!' response to his pictures.

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  2. Breathtaking views and flowers! How's the rain doing at your place? We could do with some again, same procedure as last year, dry as hell...

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    1. We are watching, after each rain, as the dams slowly fill again. 72% with more rain hoped for in August. Still careful, but not so alarming for the summer ahead.

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  3. I am always so amazed at the variety of flora. Although I have seen much of it, perhaps the specific times I was in South Africa limited my options. I was only there once during summer, mostly during the fall, and once late and heading into winter. I do have a beautiful photograph from my very first visit of Table Mountain with table cloth. My husband had it enlarged and framed for me as a surprise. I love to see it every day.

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    1. Heartwarming to think of you looking at Table Mountain each day. I need to see mountains.

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  4. Wow, amazing photos of the mountains and the wildflowers! Every time you do hiking and wildflower photos, I'm more and more convinced I must visit S. Africa some day!

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    Replies
    1. There are organised tours, or hiking guides who share our interest in wildflowers. Now the focus turns to rain in Namaqualand and this year's spring flower display promises to be a good one!

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  5. On our very brief visit to Cape Town many years ago the mountain wore its tablecloth. I would love to see it unadorned!

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    Replies
    1. I always feel sorry for passengers on cruise ships ... just one day in Cape Town ... maybe the weather cooperates, maybe not.

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  6. What a wonderful hike. I do love looking at all of the beautiful flowers. xo Laura

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  7. Our plants become your invasive. Your plants are our invasive. At the moment soursobs and cape daisy in pastures.

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  8. What a wonderful hike, Diana. I wish I could join you. We have reached that part of summer when it is too hot and humid to even think of one.
    Amalia
    xo

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    Replies
    1. Packed in all my layers and looking forward to this evening's fire ;~))

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  9. Hi Diana, you have some amazing dramatic photos! I especially like the fist one. Was it as scary as it looks? Your collages are delightful - like a mini visual hike.

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    1. He says not, not very high (but a dramatic photo) I couldn't watch that live, but a photo, once he is 'safely off the mountain' is fine.

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    2. That is really really scary.

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  10. Lovely wildflowers as always ... & lovely to see Table Mountain .. the Cape is surely one of the most beautiful places in the world. I agree about the poor people on Cruise ships who only get a fleeting glance at the Cape..& the very wealthy who only see the Cape from an expensive hotel window.

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