April hikes, City Nature Challenge, and email subscribers

 by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

 in Cape Town, South Africa

 

Hiking among wildflowers

in the mountains

around Cape Town

 

Fynbos Ramblers went to Silvermine West for Aspalathus. Blaze of Glory was where I got left behind, taking photos, and the path ended at a rockclimbing pitch! Vivid red Disa ferruginea. Marshmallow balls of Brunia lanuginosa. Rosy pink bell Erica ericoides with dark antlers dangling. Tiny mystery is waiting hopefully at iNat. Too late for Protea speciosa.

 

Silvermine to Blaze of Glory
Silvermine to Blaze of Glory

Lemony flowers on TALL stalks above a rosette of leathery, toothy, shiny green above and white velvet below, Hermas villosa leaves. Aspalathus capitata was our target. Milky Erica lutea an urn with white sepals and curled back petals. Phylica dioica grows among rocks on mountains. Gnidia tomentosa softly furry.

 

Silvermine for Aspalathus in April
Silvermine for Aspalathus in April

Back to Silvermine East for Witsenia maura. Tall in vivid colours (to match the bokmakierie's tail), but so hard to find among fynbos! Woody iris in marshes and seeps. Found only here on the Steenberg Plateau and at Cape Point.

 

Witsenia maura woody iris in April
Witsenia maura woody iris in April

Diosma oppositifolia short broad leaves. Spider with a web spanning about four metres. Diosma hirsuta long slender leaves also with the five chambered fruit. Cape satin bush Podalyria sericea. Blue african waterlilies Nymphaea nouchali var caerulea in the pond above Witsenia. Gladiolus brevifolius tethered against the breeze. Pink marshmallow daisies Stoebe fusca. Squidgy path with spagnum moss. Pink stars sparkle in an ermine coat Trichocephalus stipularis.

 

Silvermine flowers in April
Silvermine flowers in April

Jurg's group goes up the rocks to the top of Slangkop.

 

Looking from Slangkop to Hout Bay
Looking from Slangkop to Hout Bay

And looks down at the path that we will take next day.

 

From Slangkop to its lighthouse
From Slangkop to its lighthouse

We go from Slangkop, winding along along the sea to Soetwater. Phylica ericoides on coastal slopes. Searsia glauca trifoliate and bluegreen. Spectacular female Tarchonanthus littoralis covered in cotton bolls! Yellow Osteospermum incanum on coastal dunes. Muraltia spinosa with spines and tiny elaborate mauve flowers. Plantago crassifolia, plantain flowers, but strange broad fleshy leaves.

 

Slangkop flowers in April
Slangkop flowers in April

Teatime I went to look at rocks. We watch the waves roll in and break. Vivid blue sky. Happy place!

 

Teatime at Soetwater
Teatime at Soetwater

Top left edible dune celery Dasispermum suffruticosum. Top right with bottom left Hebenstretia cordata heart shaped fleshy leaves. Bottom Othonna  coronopifolia glaucous leaves, 8 bracts around the flower.

 

Slangkop flower and leaf pairs in April
Slangkop flower and leaf pairs in April

Large white with black head is sacred ibis. Smaller dark one is glossy ibis.

 

Sacred and glossy ibis
Sacred and glossy ibis

Solanum linnaeanum such tempting fruit, fiercely defended with thorns. Poisonous to sheep, and children (Google's priorities). With orange fruit and three horns Pteroclastus tricuspidatus. Euphorbia erythrina.

 

Solanum at Slangkop in April
Solanum at Slangkop in April

 

City Nature Challenge

Hosted at iNaturalist. Cape Town won (again) with almost 5 thousand species.

One lump of ambergris added the sperm whale!

But this photo wins my prize, with two layers of colours!

Southern African results

Global results

Now I can catch up with reading blogs.

 

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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. Even after years of following your blog, your wildflower photos never cease to awe me, Diana. I love the Ibis photo too. I'm glad your rambles are no longer encumbered due to the pandemic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Masked and distanced, but delighted to be OUT!

      Delete
  2. Gosh, I wish I could stop over right now and hike with you! South Africa is definitely one of my preferred destinations. And you provide so much incentive to make it happen someday. Your photos and your shared knowledge are so appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks like the view from Slangkop must be quite stunning.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your hikes are wonderful Diana. I envy you. Such biodiversity.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your garden is so lovely year round. We are having a rainy week here, which means the already high humidity will be even higher. I do love the hot weather though. Laura

    ReplyDelete

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