March hikes before lockdown
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Hiking among wildflowers
in the mountains
around Cape Town
Time out. Back to March when we were still allowed on our mountains to hike. My Fynbos Rambles started the year very gently with the Red Track at Cape Point. On the level, stopping at each flower.
Deepest cherry red Protea cynaroides. Yellow pea Rafnia angulata and daisy Osteospermum polygaloides. Small pink Erica corifolia (dark tips to petals) White daisy Metalasia divaricata. Creamy balls studded with tiniest detail Brunia abrotanoides.
Yellow Tritoniopsis is T. parviflora, while the deep red is T. triticea. Gladiolus brevifolius each plant personalising the markings on its lower petals, yellow stripes, pink dots and flares. Aristea glauca with its elegant seeds.
Lachnaea densiflora in pink or white. Staavia radiata with the actual tiny pink flowers nestled in the heart of a ring of white bracts.
That tortoise fled in horror from the paparazzi. Three species of Roella. First 'good Diana' R. goodiana with yellow buds. Dramatic colours for Roella triflora. Groundcover with red leaves is Roella squarrosa.
To Silvermine hoping to see that vivid red Disa ferruginea. Bee on Macrostylis villosa. Golden Serruria villosa.
Blue pea Psoralea aphylla. Bright blue Aristea glauca. Variations on blue, purple, white and pink for Lobelia setacea. Pink Erica ericoides. Gladiolus brevifolius touched with purple, or muted to almost unmarked.
Returned to Slangkop after a long break due to security concerns. Expecting the same display (2019 and 2018) of terracotta Brunsvigia orientalis but we found only one plant in bloom. White Diosma oppositifolia and furry Phylica ericoides. This Protea cynaroides at the other extreme of barely flushed with a hint of pink. Tiny furry orange Manulea cheiranthus. Something (wind or baboons digging?) exposed the tubers of Euphorbia tuberosa, which usually appears as leaves lying on the ground.
Wild rosemary (again daisy family) with white flowers Eriocephalus africana or the weird renosterbos Elytropappus gnaphaloides. Two more variation on small pink Erica silvery furry E. bruniades and E. corifolia again.
Next stop Antarctica, as I watched a veil of mist roll in across the Atlantic. Looking across to Hout Bay folded between the mountains.
The Ungardener tripped over Thomas and broke his toe. Thomas - 1 Ungardener - 0. He achieved one hike at the beginning of March. From the East Fort along Alfie's Trail with a much closer look at Hout Bay, both its suburbs and the bay.
Followed by COVID lockdown, extended to the end of April! Not allowed out to walk, except to the nearest shop for food. Tomorrow is Easter Sunday - in a year the world will never forget.
I hike with U3A (listed as False Bay)
His hike with U3A each week (listed as Cape Town)
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