April Fynbos Rambles to Olifantsbos, Saint James, Chapman's Peak and Jonkersdam

  

by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

 in Cape Town, South Africa

 

Hiking among wildflowers

in the mountains

around Cape Town

 

At Cape Point we drove in past a baboon troop. Large male enjoying something - like chewing corn on the cob, but it looked twiggy? Stopped at the marsh and peat for a woody iris Witsenia maura.

 

Witsenia maura Cape Point in April
Witsenia maura Cape Point in April

On to Olifantsbos. Very windy, we chose a short circuit. Looking back to hidden Scarborough then Kommetjie. And the view, turquoise sea, white sandy beach, distant blue mountains, deeply eroded sandstone.

 

Cape Point towards Scarborough and Kommetjie
Cape Point towards Scarborough and Kommetjie

Hanging white bells Euclea racemosa. On the horizon before the beach a herd of fynbos bontebok silhouetted against vivid blue sea. Staavia dodii - spectacular white flowers - are bracts - sparkling across the slope as we climbed to the ridge. Zoomed right in, the centre has pink tipped white flowers. Forking red lichen. Stopped on the way back for this Haemanthus coccineus. Spotted stalk is the clue here. Ethereal Cape caraway - white wispy flowers to lime gold fruit.

 

Olifantsbos April flowers
Olifantsbos April flowers

St James Mule Track after the February fire, interesting plants to explore. View of the Sunny Cove burn scar, that green strip between the coastal road and the upper houses - burnt 4 houses.

 

Fire scars in April
Fire scars in April

This slope was dotted with proud yellow daisies on tall stalks Capelio tabularis, with velvety and glossy leaves.

 

Capelio tabularis April
Capelio tabularis April

Tall tight buds on fire pea Indigofera cytisoides. Watsonia tabularis first flower, many more to come from fans of leaves. Syncarpha vestita has shed its seeds. Watsonia corms dug up by baboons or porcupines? Tall lichen. Viscum capense with fruit.

 

St James April flowers rising from the ash
St James April flowers rising from the ash

Weary Willie stream flowing. Trichocephalus stipularis. Much prettier buds on white daisy Arctotis aspera. Erica nudiflora - has one side of the stalk bare of flowers. Erica coccinea. Othonna quinquedentata.

 

St James April flowers from a greener part
St James April flowers from a greener part 

Chapman's Peak with fog and sun performing. Flowers completely upstaged by a cloud spectacle! First brilliant sunshine, then foggy fingers reaching thru the gaps. Dense fog bank rolling in from the South Atlantic Ocean. Even foggy fingers below us. Clouds and fog ate the Sentinel (that last peak towering above the sea) and swallowed our path around us.

 

Chapman's Peak Clouds in April
Chapman's Peak Clouds in April

We went a bit further than usual, left towards Constantiaberg at the cairn. Erica cerinthoides. Erica pulchella. Chrysocoma coma-aurea twice golden, chrys in Greek and aurea in Latin.

 

Chapman's Peak April flowers
Chapman's Peak April flowers

On the Jonkersdam Trail. Oxalis dentata - which despite the name, has NO teeth. Anaxeton laeve. Erica glabella. Pine emperor moth which we found thawing out on the path - named because it bothered the pine plantations, but it eats Protea repens which is where we found it. Between trail runners and horses, when the wing twitched, we rescued it to a sunny bush instead. Lachenalia punctata.

 

Jonkersdam April with 'pine' moth
Jonkersdam April with 'pine' moth

Erica mammosa now, but was gilva. Empodium plicatum prompts farmers to plough their autumn fields. Macrostylis villosa. Clutia ericoides flowers on a female plant. Euphorbia tuberosa with fruit.

 

Jonkersdam April flowers
Jonkersdam April flowers

My hikes are listed on my Hiking page.

 

I invite you to join us at Elephant's Eye on False Bay. Please subscribe as you prefer

via Feedly,

or my Facebook blog page


Pictures by Diana Studer

of Elephant's Eye on False Bay

 

Teal blue text is my links.

To read comments if you are in a Reader,

first click thru to the blog)

 

Thanks for comments that add value. Your comment will not appear until I've read it. I welcome comments on posts from the last 2 months.

 

Google and Blogger comments uncooperative? Use Name / URL instead.

 

 

Comments

  1. The handbook to identify all the plant species on your hikes would need to be enormous! Maybe too heavy to carry!

    Love the image of the "foggy fingers reaching through the gaps".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have 3 field guides - but I lean heavily on iNaturalist first - since that keeps up with the constant taxonomy changes.

      Delete
  2. The fog and cloud photos are fun. We occasionally see movement like that from our morning marine layer off the Pacific. Moth pic is interesting too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a fascinating plant--all of them of course, but that first one in particular! Your photos are always so glorious. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love the foggy fingers and that pine moth is quite impressive

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment