October hikes, almost back to normal

 by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

 in Cape Town, South Africa

 

Hiking among wildflowers

in the mountains

around Cape Town

 

We mask, we sanitise, we distance. Almost back to normal while we hike.

 

Rondebosch Common October flowers
Rondebosch Common October flowers

On Rondebosch Common with University of Cape Town in the centre. Neon Sixties orange and chartreuse Gladiolus alatus. Pelargonium triste. Bulb arrowgrass mystified us at first Triglochin bulbosa.

 

White Sparaxis bulbifera. Pink purple and cream Romulea hirsuta. Babiana fragrans with blue pollen. Baeometra uniflora terracotta buds.

 

Crowd of Cyphia bulbosa. Wurmbea inusta cream touched with burgundy. Copper penny seeds for a Nother Yellow Daisy Osteospermum clandestinum.

 

From Blackburn Ravine to Hout Bay
From Blackburn Ravine to Hout Bay
 

His group, as always, up and over. Looking from Blackburn Ravine down to Hout Bay with The Sentinel peak.

 

Spitzkop in Silvermine October fynbos
Spitzkop in Silvermine October fynbos
 

We loop around from flower to flower at Spitzkop in Silvermine. Tall and proud Leucadendron. Mimetes hirtus likes swampy. Black beard Protea lepidocarpodendron.

 

Leucadendron cones. Erica amoena flared Barbie pink bells. Erica curviflora (battled to convince my camera to show me the curvi)

 

Buttery yellow Wachendrofia paniculata. Aristea africana midday sun washed out the periwinkle blue. Blue sequins Geissorhiza aspera.

 

Spitzkop in Silvermine with swamp daisy in the centre
Spitzkop in Silvermine with swamp daisy in the centre
 

Silky Aspalathus ericifolia. Sebaea aurea showing the defining keels. Sebaea exacoides with an = on each petal.

 

Gnidia pinifolia smothered in flowers. Swamp daisy Osmitopsis astericoides glowing white high above its neighbours. Straw flower Syncarpha speciosissima, again just a white daisy.

 

Shimmery pink Chironia jasminoides. Magenta Pelargonium cucullatum (central casting sent the wrong costume, again). Burgundy and cream spike of Microdon dubius (so close the flowers are succulent)

 

Muizenberg Peak to Table Mountain
Muizenberg Peak to Table Mountain
 

Swiss mountain goat on Muizenberg Peak with Table Mountain hazy in the distance.

 

Satyrium carneum on Brakkloofrant in October
Satyrium carneum on Brakkloofrant in October
 

Our Brakkloofrant hike target was pink Satyrium carneum in a gentle range of tones. Busy with small life.

 

Brakkloofrant October flowers
Brakkloofrant October flowers
 

Yellow daisy Cullumia squarrosa with monkey beetle and tiny bees. Gazania pectinata with a different monkey beetle. Syncarpha gnaphaloides (with all those colours!) on my want list. Mauve Felicia fruticosa.

 

Helichrysum dasyanthemum looking to Glencairn, then Simon's Town. Hairy sugar ant on Helichrysum teretifolium. Fluffy Serruria cyanoides. Protea scolymocephala.

 

My garden Knowltonia vesicatoria will bring me berries, as well as good shady leaves and soft flowers! Tall Pelargonium betulinum with toothy leaves. Muted mauve Otholobium virgatum with silvery leaves. Cape bluebell Wahlenbergia capensis.

 

Central dark buds Pseudoselago spuria. Delicate Moraea tripetala. Greenery yallery Tetragonia fruticosa. Crassula fascicularis more pink than usual.

 

Boulder hopping past Antipolis wreck at Oudekraal
Boulder hopping past Antipolis wreck at Oudekraal
 

Boulder hopping. To each his own. Along Oudekraal past the Antipolis wreck. Was being towed to the East for shipbreaking in 1977. Foundered in a Cape Storm. We have watched it break apart down the years; this is left as an artificial reef for marine life (and scuba diving)

 

Sirkelsvlei Cape Point October bulbs and Fabaceae
Sirkelsvlei Cape Point October bulbs and Fabaceae
 

At Cape Point we looped across to Sirkelsvlei. Acrolophia lamellata with corrugated white lip. Moraea neglecta (they missed those spotted stripes at first). Pink striped buds Geissorhiza tenella. Bergpalmiet Tetraria thermalia.

 

The usual cream and brick red Crassula fascicularis. Creamy Brunia noduliflora. Buchu Agathosma hookerii. Pink Lachnaea densiflora.

 

First Aspalathus callosa small flowers clustered at tips. Second Aspalathus carnosa medium flowers with fleshy leaves. Third (not Aspalathus but) Rafnia angulata with glaucous leaves. Serruria glomerata.

 

October daisies and Erica at Sirkelsvlei Cape Point
October daisies and Erica at Sirkelsvlei Cape Point
 

Cape Snow Syncarpha vestita. Senecio halimifolius, a Nother Y D - always check the bracts. Y D Arctotis angustifolia. Silvery pink bud Edmondia sesamoides.

 

Flowers and fine leaves Senecio umbellatus. Pink everlasting flowers and tiny tightly packed leaves Phaenocoma prolifera.

 

Dark tipped Erica corifolia. Raised pink urns Erica obliqua . Marshy Erica bruniades, furry white balls (usually growing near Brunia to explain its name). Dung beetle reminding us of the larger creatures we didn't see this time.

 

Our hikes are listed on my page.

 

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Pictures by Diana and Jürg Studer

of Elephant's Eye on False Bay

 

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Comments

  1. Gorgeous flowers and scenes! We are having a major COVID outbreak over here, sadly. Social distancing is pretty easy when hiking, but there's some worry that if we suffer injuries or health issues, the hospitals will be full and busy. So it seems to make sense to stick closed to home and keep the hiking light until we have a vaccine. Thanks for sharing your flowers and plants. Stay safe and healthy!

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    1. We have an emergency field hospital for COVID - the Hospital of Hope. First installed in the heart of the city at the Convention Centre. Since we were not hit with the worst projections, that has been packed up and moved. Part to the Northern side of the city, and part to the Eastern Cape where infections are spiking alarmingly.

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  2. Diana, partly for purely selfish reasons, I'm happy to see that you've been able to return to your usual hiking routines and therefore haven't been denied the opportunity to enjoy all the magnificent spring blooms in your part of the world - and I for one am pleased that you're able to share your photos with your readers. I'd always heard that the Cape region was a botanical treasure trove but I don't think I ever understood the reality of that until I started reading your blog. As to the "Swiss mountain goat," I got dizzy just looking at that photograph - and I don't even have a problem with heights!

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    Replies
    1. I do have a problem with heights - couldn't have looked on in life. My group suits me, slow and steady with a few cameras making for gentle rest stops and water breaks as needed. No sheer drops if I am with them!!

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  3. That photo of the ungardener on Muizenberg Peak makes me weak in the knees. Is it as dangerous as it looks or is it a trick photo?

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    Replies
    1. He says - not a sheer drop, but stepped down.

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  4. LAURA WALKER
    I could definitely feel normal on that hike, but got vertigo just looking at that one photo. YIKES!! Sticking close to home for now because of Covid, but hope to get out and hike in the next few months. xo Laura

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    Replies
    1. We wait cautiously, in the hope that next year will be easier.

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  5. So many glorious blooms, I could feel my blood pressure falling away just gazing at them. And then, the picture on the precipitous rock! Your other half is braver than I will ever be!

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    Replies
    1. Always a relief when he comes, home, safely, in one piece.

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  6. Greatly enjoyed your blooms and your husband's (brave) hiking adventures, especially as we are confined to home with a serious spike in Covid cases. My favorite is the lovely view across the ravine.

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  7. Dear Diana,
    I'm excited about all the blooms - so beautiful!
    The mountain in the photo "From Blackburn Ravine to Hout Bay" looks like a bathing rhino.
    The photo "Muizenberg Peak to Table Mountain" sends shivers down my spine.
    For us too, hiking is a way to feel a kind of normality.
    Best wishes,
    Traude
    https://rostrose.blogspot.com/2020/11/novemberlicht-ausfluge-und-etwas-andere.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never noticed that - now I will always see the bathing rhino!

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  8. What Kris P. said--only she says it ten times better than I ever could.

    Our Covid-19 cases here are skyrocketing--staying home, waiting for the vaccines...thanks for the views of an amazing wealth of flowers!

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  9. I cannot believe the variety and beauty of flowers in your part of the world. So glad that things are looking up and that you are able to hike among all these lovelies.
    Amalia
    xo

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  10. I had the same reaction as Rusty Duck to that photo of your Swiss mountain goat; I had a fear of falling even though I was sitting safely in my desk chair! How wonderful, though, to see that you are out and about and enjoying all those beautiful flowers.

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  11. That ledge picture, OMG. You wouldn’t catch me there EVER, as one who is terrified of heights. He is a mountain goat indeed.

    Such spectacular views and flowers. Many of the flowers remind me of the beautiful ones I can’t grow in a book of bulbs that I have, others are unique and don’t remind me of anything else.

    That’s wonderful that you’re able to get out hiking again.

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  12. I too was amazed by your Swiss mountain goat it looks so close to the edge! I'm so glad you can get back out hiking and enjoy discovering so many wonderful flowers! We bought some tickets for a Ocean Film Festival that was held on line and featured various films from all around the world. One film features False Bay, they were showing us the amazing marine creatures found in the tidal pools in False Bay, and how they have persuaded the authorities to clean the pools in a more environmental way to save the creatures. Sarah x

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    Replies
    1. That kindly cleaned pool is next to the beach we walk on.

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