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.
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.
He went up Bailey's Kloof with a sweeping view down to Muizenberg beach - the surfer's haunt.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Newlands forest and ravine as he hiked above the urban edge.
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.
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.
I hike with U3A (listed as False Bay)
His hike with U3A each week (listed as Cape Town)
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