Ach Mein Gott!

Said Peter, “Here comes Jan with the Jagermeister”! But I am jumping the gun. The WAGS annual Nature’s Valley trip took place last week. We have been going there every year since 2003, making it Number 15 for me. It was to prove one of the most memorable occasions for a number of reasons. We started off with Robberg. The Kranshoek Trail was closed due to fire-damage and erosion. It was a beautiful day with a significant south-westerly keeping the temperature down. Bill and I made our usual early start in order to keep ahead of the pack, while Stewart kept passing us at a run and doing the route twice. The Darters were lined up at the Point, the Candelabras were in full flower and a very festive picnic with the rest of WAGS, set the seal on a marvellous hike, before we drove to our much beloved Pondok in Nature’s Valley.

At the crack of dawn on Wednesday, Bill went off to the east to explore the highways and byways. I walked west from the shop to do the long Salt River Hike, secure in the knowledge that there was a large party following me a little later in the morning. We reversed the hike, so that we did the coastal route first and crossed the estuary at low tide. It was a cool and cloudy day and the conditions were perfect. I was pleased to find Erica glandulosa ssp fourcadei (Vulnerable) on the grassy swathes above the Keurpad. Marge has a broken finger after the Whiskey Creek Canoe Trail a few weeks ago and opted to do the Lookout route down to the Salt River with a couple of WAGSites. En route, they met up with Brittany Arendse and the interns of Nature’s Valley Trust gathering data on the local birds. Here is her story.

The aliens have landed - WAGS Bird experience - On our annual trip to in Natures Valley, a few of us were hiking the Salt River circuit, when we came upon a delightful group of young people from the Natures Valley Trust, engaged in collecting ongoing data on local birds. The mist nets were set up along a stretch of the path and we were treated to a demonstration of how the birds were handled, measured and released.
The birds are gently removed from the mist nets, (the trick is to know which side they flew in from) then taken to the table, where various recordings are made of eg. weight, body length, wing size, beak length, and whether there is a brood patch indicating that the bird has a nest with eggs nearby. A numbered ring is carefully attached to a leg, or if it has been caught before, a record is made of the number.

I was given the privilege of releasing a dusky flycatcher. Other birds we saw up close were an endemic Orange breasted sunbird, Anthobaphes violacea, a double collared sunbird, either lesser or greater Cinnyris chalybeus or afer and an immature Tambourine dove Turter tympanistria. (ID to be confirmed) And to add to the delights there was a very healthy Cyrtanthus elatus next to the path. The rest of the party met up with them at the local shop and they joined us for a braai at Pondok that evening. Altogether a very special experience.

The Outramps first met Brittany, when she was a CREW intern with Ismail in Cape Town. We loved her then and nothing has changed. I have included an archive photo in the Album, taken by Sandra, when we did Doringrivier with Verdi and CREW from Cape Town a couple of years ago in 2014. We so enjoyed seeing Brittany again and meeting up with the other interns. They were a line-up that would have done justice to the League of Nations. Not sure of the name spellings, but here they are.
Bruno- Belgium
Claire – UK
Hayley – Canada
Liesel – South Africa
Jamic – Switzerland
Louise – France
It was after a sumptuous meal later in the evening that Jan brought out the Jagermeister, evoking Peter’s comment of “Ach Mein Gott”! In the course of a long life, I have learnt the hard way that it is time to go to bed when the liqueurs come out. And I did. Next morning we woke up to driving rain, so opted to return home instead of doing the planned walk from Forest Hall. A wonderful few days with very good friends.

Back in more familiar territory on Friday, a small party turned up for the northern ridge in Camferskloof. We were there to monitor Disa arida (Jan’s Arid Disa – Vulnerable). It was overcast with a light mizzly rain in patches in the morning, partially clearing in the afternoon. We were disappointed to find only 3 Disas – maybe we were a bit early after the long dry Summer on the northern side of the Outeniquas? Oxalis pendulifolia (Near Threatened) was also a bit thin on the ground, but there was still plenty of other stuff to keep us enthralled. Psoralea diturnerae (Endangered) was all over the place post-fire, a small yellow pea needs to be confirmed and Serruria fasciflora (Near Threatened) was growing on the flats, close to fields of the attractive Erica solandri. The last occasion we saw Rafnia vlokii (Jans Widowpea – Vulnerable) was on one of Tony Rebelo’s visits in Spring last year. Then the plants were looking, sick, dry and desssicated. In contrast, this time they were lush and resprouting all over the place.

But the find of the day was undoubtedly Aspalathus glabrescens (Endangered) on the eastern side of the Pine plantation. We have previously found it scattered sparsely close to the river, but this time it was growing on both sides of the road and coming up like grass after the fire. Stakes have been planted all over the area where they grow. Are they planning to plant Pines on top of this Endangered species? Surely not……..! If so, they need to change their minds very smartly. Pines have no place at all in the Camferskloof Valley. It is teeming with rare endemics and escapee Pines are joining the unwanted Hakea sericea and Wattle. These aliens are presenting a huge and increasing threat. This was Christine’s last trip with the Outramps. She and her husband Malcolm are leaving South African shores to settle in France. We wish them all the best in their new adventure.

The weather is set fair, so we will try Waboomsberg and with luck, we will find Protea venusta (Endangered) in flower one more time. Maybe this time the weather gods will play ball, or at least read Currently, the forecast is talking about a maximum temperature of 22 degrees with a very light wind of 2ms/sec. at the top of the Swartberg Pass. Here’s Hoping!
Hamba Kahle
Groete en dankie
Di Turner
The Outramps CREW Group
Southern Cape

All id’s subject to confirmation by Doc Annelise and Jan Vlok, Steven Molteno Dr Tony Rebelo, Nick Helme, Prof Charlie Stirton, Dr Robert Archer, Dr Robert McKenzie, Dr Ted Oliver, Christopher Whitehouse, Derek Tribble, Adriaan Grobler, Prix Burgoyne, Dr Kenneth Oberlander, Dr Pieter Winter, Dr David Gwynne-Evans and Damion. Thank you all for your ongoing help and support. The South African community is busy migrating to iNaturalist and we will soon have projects etc. up and running. When they are ready, I will provide you with the links.

Abbreviations Glossary
MCSA – Mountain Club of South Africa
MSB - Millenium Seed Bank based at Kew in the UK
WIP – Work in Progress
HAT – High Altitude Team
LOT – Lowland Team
SIM – Somewhere in the Middle Team
WAGS – Wednesday Adventure Group
VB – Vlok Boekie “Plants of the Klein Karoo” and our Plant Bible
ITRTOL – Another thread “In The Rich Tapestry Of Life”(It describes a challenging situation, usually to do with the Buchu Bus)
ITFOT – In the fullness of time
WOESS – Fair Weather Hiker
FMC and JW – too vulgar to translate, but the equivalent is “Strike me Dead” An expression of surprise and delight on finding a new “Rare”
Kambro – same as above
Fossick – A meter per minute, scratching around looking for rares
SIDB – Skrop in die Bos – Another name for a field trip, this one coined by Prix
BAFFING – Running round like a blue-arsed fly
SYT – Sweet Young Thing - Anyone under the age of 40
TOMB – Get a move on
Mayhem - Needless or willful damage or violence
SESKRYNG – “Sit en staan kry niks gedaan” ,with thanks to Brian
SOS – Skelms on Scramblers
FW – Idiot
BOB – Another name for the Buchu Bus when she’s misbehaving.
CRAFT – A symptom of Old Age
DDD - Metalasia tricolor (Damned Diabolical Daisy)
VP – Vrekplek – Retirement Village
Qàq – Self-explanatory Inuit word describing some of our local problems
Mr Fab – Our Fabaceae specialist, Brian Du Preez – originally Boy 1
Muisvoel -The Mathematician – Peter Thompson
Boy 2 – Kyle Underwood who works on Orchids and is still at school
Sharkie – Finn Rautenbach – Our latest SYT is a surfer in his spare time
Sicko – Someone who suffers from Car Sickness. With 4 in the Group, allocating seating in the Buchu Bus is tricky
VAG – Virgin Active Garage, which is our meeting place when we head north
MATMUE – Meet At The Mall Under E - Meeting place when we head West
WG – Waves Garage in Wilderness East. - Meeting place when we’re going east.
VU- Vulnerable
DDT – Data Deficient and Taxonomically ?
NT – Near Threatened
EN – Endangered
CR – Critically Endangered
PE – Presumed extinct
LC – Least Concern
TBC – To be Confirmed
TLC – Tender loving care
JMS – An expression of absolute disdain
FOMO – Fear of Missing Out
Milk – the fruit of the vine
Condensed Milk – Scotland’s finest export
Full Cream Milk or Fat Milk – Any product of Humulus lupulus eg. Milk Stout
Milk of the Gods – Rooibos and Brandy
Milk Shake - Sparkling Wine
NS – Species of conservation concern new to the Outramps
PS -Priority Species allocated to the Outramps by our CREW Cape Co-ordinator , Ismail Ebrahim
iNFD – iNaturalist for Dummies as compiled by Sally
Mizzle – Mist and drizzle combined. A regular feature of George in the ”good old days”. Now seldom seen
FE – Fire Ephemeral – only appears immediately or after a couple of years after fire
Squirrel – aka President Ramaphosa
WOG – Wrath of God – eg. incurred when you put a young Pine tree on iNat as Leucadendron album

Publicado el marzo 19, 2018 05:48 MAÑANA por outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi


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