Kanonkop shipwrecks and summer flowers
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Hiking among wildflowers
in the mountains
around Cape Town
An old signal cannon aims at Cape Point. Kanonkop is in Cape Point Nature Reserve.
Suikerbossie in Hout Bay holds childhood memories of Sunday tea. Scones and cream. My U3A Fynbos Ramblers took me above that restaurant. A little pocket of the mountain that has missed the many wildfires, where I saw my tallest and oldest yellow pincushion Leucospermum conocarpodendron. Companion in blue for scale. We crossed a remnant of Thomas Bain's road lined with Eucalyptus. Victoria Road along the coast between Camps Bay and Hout Bay was built in 1887. Another place and time, and the flowers were also in a parallel universe that day.
December flowers above Suikerbossie. Micranthus alopecuroides comb flower in vibrant lavender. Cyanella hyacinthoides Lady's Hand (resembles hyacinth?) Watsonia borbonica I remember an after fire year in Camps Bay when the whole slope of Lion's Head was this colour! Arctotis aspera with monkey beetle. Lampranthus emarginatus shimmering pools of mauve. Corymbium africanum with iris leaves is, an endemic daisy! Lichtensteinia lacera will be a pale yellow umbel (Beware of the related blister bush which looks like celery!) Relieved to see invasive alien pines that come up after fire were ring barked. Berkheya armata with sharp teeth. Hibiscus aethiopicus trails along low to the ground. Crassula flava not orange or red, but lemon yellow - this one I noticed. Commelina africana while the commonorgarden Tradescantia is blue. Otholobium fruticosans in purple and white. Indigofera psoraloides not indigo but terracotta. Aspalathus cephalothes var violacea not the expected yellow. Rafnia angulata yet another yellow pea to learn (Rafn was a Danish botanist)!
Cape of Storms with a trail of shipwrecks. His hike started near the same Hout Bay Neck but headed towards Sandy Bay. Cape Town's nudist beach if you want an all over tan.
|Sandy Bay and Little Lion's Head to Lion's Head
(between the Lions is Judas the last of the Twelve Apostles)
To Oude Schip Island and the wreck of fishing vessel Harvest Capella 1986 they crossed an isthmus. Walking on water. IN water as it was deceptively clear but at low tide you can cross.
He had a chance to see the BOS 400 crane 1994.
At the end of November we were at Redhill. On the slope above the road was a horde of Agapanthus africanus. A few early flowers with many more promised for Christmas.
Ruined farmhouses at Redhill. Maylands and Kleinplaas survive only as names on a hiking trail. New houses are being built at Dido Valley for land claimants.
November flowers at Redhill. Bobartia indica a 'bunch of reeds' before its true flowers, named for German botanist Bobart. Ixia dubia yellow deepened by red buds and dark centres. Watsonia zeyheri blazing orange. Watsonia tabularis in salmon. Delicate blue and white stripes on Lapeirousia corymbosa. Aristea tall and blue. Macrostylis villosa mauve with two red stripes. Berzelia abrotaniodes showing its red legs. Ursinia paleacea feathery seeds and two happy monkey beetles. Edmondia sesamoides pink and white buds opening to yellow centres. Helichrysum foetidum (leaves can be used to dress wounds). Chironia linoides glowing in pink (gentian family). Crassula glomerata a trail of drops of blood. Fierce pink Saltera sarcocolla is endemic to fynbos Penaeaceae. Erica multumbellifera flowers like tiny cherries. Swathes of bright yellow along seeps are an exotic weed Hypericum.
In November he hiked above Misty Cliffs over Redhill and down to Scarborough via Baskloof Fynbos Private Nature Reserve.
|CMCA (Cape Mountains for the Curious and Adventurous) U3A hiker
resting in comfort above Scarborough
Resting above Scarborough with U3A hikers.
Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer
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