Rainy days for August hikes

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

Hiking among wildflowers
in the mountains
around Cape Town

After three weeks away in September, returning to our August hikes. August was a good month for rain - things were looking up. Weekly dam levels each Monday. His first hike was across the City face of Table Mountain to see the waterfalls. With Sir Walter Raleigh laying down his cloak so his followers could cross the stream.

Table Mountain waterfalls in August with Sir Walter Raleigh on duty
Table Mountain waterfalls in August with Sir Walter Raleigh on duty

We walked along the Old Wagon Path at Silvermine. Rain was forecast, and we eyed those black clouds. As we reached the ridge the storm hit. Driving horizontal rain - wringing out my mittens - hopping across the stream along the track. Home sodden, except my beanie (under my rain hood and sun hat!)

Gladiolus hirsutus battered. Fuzzy Anthospermum galioides (coffee family). Mauve Muraltia ericoides.

Tall and golden Leucadendron laureolum. Furry pink Protea nerifolia.

Old Wagon Path in Silvermine August flowers
Old Wagon Path in Silvermine August flowers

He went up Bailey's Kloof with a sweeping view down to Muizenberg beach - the surfer's haunt.

Bailey's Kloof to Muizenberg beach
Bailey's Kloof to Muizenberg beach

We went to Rondebosch Common, as I have never seen it before. We were warned to wear Wellingtons. Wide pools and gurgling streams. Flying ants. Yellow Moraea fugacissima everywhere!

Moraea fugacissima on Rondebosch Common in August
Moraea fugacissima on Rondebosch Common in August

On Rondebosch Common in August yellow daisy bud Arctotheca calendula. Scruffy daisy Senecio burchellii. Tripteris clandestina coin seed daisy. Prickly and purple fluff female Cliffortia ruscifolia (rose family)

Oxalis obtusa red veins opening to salmon. Oxalis purpurea. Candycane striped buds Oxalis versicolor. Romulea rosea.

Blue Babiana villosula. Lachenalia reflexa (hyacinth family). Violet and cream Pelargonium triste. Deep orange buds Hermannia multiflora (hibiscus family)

Luminous vygie / succulent Lampranthus filicaulis. Hairy seedpods Gomphocarpus fruticosus (Euphorbia and milkweed family). Yellow Gnidia laxa, and white Struthiola dodecandra are Thymelaeaceae.

August flowers on Rondebosch Common
August flowers on Rondebosch Common

The dams on Table Mountain also supply the City Bowl and the Atlantic Seaboard. Large Hely-Hutchinson to the left, smaller Woodhead to the right.

Table Mountain dams Hely-Hutchinson and Woodhead
Table Mountain dams
Hely-Hutchinson and Woodhead

We walked to the Sunbird Centre at Silvermine. Diosma fruit, seed, with empty shells dotting the bushes like daisies. Succulent Aizoon sarmentosum with ant.

Pale pink Erica baccans a nice population returning after the fire. Erica glabella with red calyx. Blue Salvia africana (has lost the -caerulea). Lobostemon glaucophyllum has greyish leaves.

Babiana ambigua with colour flares at the base of its petals. Yellow Moraea gawlerii. Tall Wachendorfia thyrsiflora on the banks of the Silvermine River. Leucospermum conocarpodendron viridum (green leaves on this side of the mountain)

Osteospermum moniliferum covered in flowers (our hedge always loses the flowers when we trim SOB!) Small pea Wiborgia obcordata. Dipogon lignosus - edible peas (I have a new plant). Adenandra villosa with a red heart.

August flowers for Sunbird Centre in Silvermine
August flowers for Sunbird Centre in Silvermine

Newlands forest and ravine as he hiked above the urban edge.

Newlands forest and ravine
Newlands forest and ravine

Walking on the flanks of Lion's Head and Signal Hill. Dense stands of orchids Pterygodium catholicum. Pink pea Lessertia capensis. African thistle involucral bracts on bud, and flower Berkheya armata.

Rain daisies Dimorphotheca pluvialis with bee, and spread across the mountainside (my mother's favourite). Yellow 'Cape weed' Arctotheca calendula.

Carnival stripes Zaluzianskya divaricata (Scrophulariaceae) and blue speckles Stachys aethiopica (mint and sage family) on two tinies. Yellow Hermannia alnifolia, and fat H. hyssopifolia with inflated calyx.

Lion's Head with rain daisies in August
Lion's Head with rain daisies in August

Dark Ferraria crispa with caterpillar. Salmon Moraea miniata likewise.

Delicate blue Gladiolus gracilis and soft brown G. hyalinus. Greenish Lachenalia orchioides. Albuca spiralis for the leaves.

Trachyandra ciliata, veldkool with edible buds (in my garden too). Tall Babiana fragrans seething with monkey beetles. We watched tandem paragliders floating down to the 'lawn' along the Sea Point Promenade, as we all looked out to Robben Island. Blue Salvia africana.

Pelargonium myrrifolium myrrifolium has big leaves. Pink Podalyria calyptrata. Twirled yellow bells Hermannia multiflora.

Lion's Head more August flowers
Lion's Head more August flowers

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


I invite you to join us at Elephant's Eye on False Bay. Please subscribe as you prefer
via Feedly,
or Bloglovin,
or Facebook 

Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer

Teal blue text is my links.
To read comments if you are in email or a Reader,

Thanks for comments that add value. Maybe start a new thread of discussion? BTW your comment won't appear until I've read it. No Google account? Just use Anonymous, but do leave a link to your own blog. I would return the visit, if I could...

I welcome comments on posts from the last 2 months.

Comments

  1. Flying ants?!!! That sounds like something from a horror movie. I hope they don't sting like fire ants do. As always, your scenic views are wonderful, as are all the flowers your part of the world is known for. The photo of Ferraria crispa had me crossing my fingers that mine come back again when spring arrives here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just for a few hours - when the breeding stage emerges after rain. They don't bite. No fire ants here, as far as I know.

      Delete
    2. The view in that first photo,, that is amazing! It always astounds me when I see the drastic change in landscape as you go higher in your country, It’s wonderful how it goes from arid desert like to lush green to snow topped mountains, and the blossoms that prosper among this all!

      Delete
    3. Sometimes we walk across that dotted line, as we go up the mountain, into the cooler moister mountain fynbos.

      Delete
  2. Beautiful and interesting as usual.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Everything is absolutely spectacular. except for the thought of flying ants. xo Laura

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A celebration of the rain - and the ants have zero interest in people.

      Delete
  4. Lovely blooms, Diana. And great views. The weather is nice and cool around here as well and though we are still waiting for the rain, it is perfect hiking weather.
    Amalia
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  5. The dams look pretty full from that vantage point. But the view from Bailey's Kloof is magnificent. Quite a climb though?
    I'm taken with Zaluzianskya divaricata, is it scented like Z. ovata? I'm trying to keep the latter alive over winter under glass. The greenhouse will be a wonderful place to be if it successfully blooms in there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No climbing for me - but he enjoys it.

      They say Zaluzianskya is night scented . I need to find out.

      Delete
  6. overwhelmed by the amount of gorgeous flowers on your hikes! yikes - flying ants?!
    Happy rain!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Simply, wow.

    Rain: happy happy happy for you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Diana, I am so impressed: with the glorious views and with all the incredible wildflowers. And I am also impressed that you can identify them all! I doubt any of these plants on your hikes are labeled, so I have enormous respect for your knowlege.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have three leaders for our group, and it is mostly their knowledge that I rely on. But slowly the connections click, and I can name some without help.

      What amazes (and daunts me a little!) is that each week there are new plants to learn.

      Delete

Popular Posts