October and November hikes to Kommetjie, Blackhill, Brakkloofrant, Silvermine and Noordhoek
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
Hiking among wildflowers
in the mountains
around Cape Town
Still playing catch up from my lost November. Kommetjie on a damp grey day in October.
|Grey day at Kommetjie|
Lyperia lychnidea with its leathery crocodile hide petals . Golden Crassula dichotoma has a central orange star and succulent leaves, not to be confused with so similar Sebaea. Furry caterpillar with eyebrows and attitude Cape lappet moth. Whimbrel on a rock.
|October at Kommetjie|
At Blackhill really tiny, mind you don't trample it, after fire, Pelargonium althaeoides. Another furry caterpillar mountain white spot.
|Pelargonium althaeoides October at Blackhill|
We were in search of an elusive orchid Bartholina burmanniana. We searched across, and up and down. Found two! Then one more! Small and low, filigree patch of fallen sky. Take two steps back and it has vanished again. Low pea was an Otholobium now Psoralea decumbens. Ifloga ambigua wide view of creamy spikes.
|Bartholina at Blackhill in October|
Ursinia anthemoides those creamy seeds tooled with gold like a fine old book. Buchu Agathosma ciliaris has soft anise leaves. No, it's not grass, see the trifoliate leaves Trifolium angustifolium.
|October flowers at Brakkloofrant|
To Brakkloofrant where our target is Satyrium carneum. This is a changing the guard at Buckingham Palace sort of orchid. Ranging across pink tones from pure white to deep cherry.
|Satyrium carneum October at Brakkloofrant|
Silvermine North intricate spikes of grass flowers Pentameris curvifolia. Drosera hilaris is tall with a big flower (doesn't have the dark eye for cistiflora) Helichrysum foetidum also tall and proud. Dung beetle filling in for dog poo fairies.
|October flowers from Silvermine North|
Silvermine South with thunder which chased us smartly home. Quick tea break on the ridge (sit DOWN Diana, so the lightning doesn't see you). Struck Constantiaberg telcom mast, and also started a tiny fire on the mountain we see from our bay window. Difficult for any other plant to upstage Liparia splendens in its full glory. That dense head of flowers is pea family in blazing gold.
|Liparia splendens Silvermine in October|
Silvermine North in November. Tiny deepest orange Crassula glomerata. Ifloga ambigua flower detail of yet a nother daisy.
|Crassula and Ifloga Silvermine in November|
Twofer first Noordhoek Wetland. Wide pool of deep blue Lobelia erinus. Our target Disa cornuta was less this year. Yellow Monopsis lutea (I keep confusing these with peas but it is related to Lobelia in the Campanula family)
|Noordhoek Wetland in November|
Then to Chapman's Peak nature sanctuary where those handcrafted wooden signs have been replaced with something more functional. Cape mountain cockroach mama. Most striking this time, perhaps because the seeds held raindrops, were black and white seedheads of Bolandia elongata. Cecil Beaton's costumes for My Fair Lady at Ascot races? We hunted for a flower to ID. Underwhelming.
|Bolandia elongata at Chapman's Peak nature sanctuary in November|
Noordhoek Fire Lookout. Purple pea with tiny pods Psoralea aculeata. A nother pink erica, this one is Erica spumosa.
|Psoralea aculeata Silvermine in November|
We walk to the view back to Slangkop lighthouse at Kommetjie.
I wish you all a Happy Christmas and us all peace in the year ahead!
|From Noordhoek Fire Lookout |
to Slangkop Lighthouse at Kommetjie
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