The Skedonks

“A banger (old, battered motor car more than 30 years old)” and no, we are not talking about the Buchu Bus. In fact, she was in the unusual position of being able to look down her nose at some vehicles that were decidedly more ancient and decrepit than she was. This doesn’t happen often. It was on our expedition to climb Waboomsberg and Outolberg in the Swartberg to see Protea venusta in flower, that we met up with a glorious cavalcade of old cars on their way back from Die Hel. They were highly decorated, had roof racks fully laden and noisily made their way through the spectacular scenery of the Gamkaskloof Road and the Swartberg Pass. They were taking part in a rally and one of the checkpoints was under the old Cork Oak, which survived the Swartberg fires. You could hear them coming from a distance, with a combination of loud Afrikaans country music and noisy engines. They were a heart-warming sight.

Presumably the people who drive these cars are good mechanics and have a passion for their colourful vehicles. On our return down the Swartberg Pass, we came across two, one of which had blown up its radiator. With the help of some beer, they were cheerfully waiting for a replacement. This was a grim reminder of a similar episode some years ago, when the Buchu Bus took center stage. She overheated, exploded green slime all over the windscreen and had to be towed all the way down the Pass, through Oudtshoorn and to Roelf and Jack’s in George and there was no beer. Not an episode the Outramps will ever forget! And while we are talking about skedonks, we finally met Kobus of Kobus se Gat, who like the cars is a very colourful character more than 30 years old.

We were on the late side for Protea venusta (Endangered) and most of the flowers were over. An earlier trip had to be aborted because of foul weather. This time the weather was perfect and we had a simply wonderful day. The highlights were finding some flowers on Protea montana (Vulnerable), some beautiful coloured cones on Leucadendron dregei (Endangered) and a few scattered Geissorhiza fourcadei plants sheltering under the rocks. Sally was also able to collect some seeds from Berkheya francisci (Rare) for the Millenium Seed Bank. Greg and Cheryl Devine joined us for the day and they and Evie of HAT climbed to the summit of Waboomsberg. Sally and I explored Outolberg (my name) which is slightly lower and to the north of Waboomsberg. We were delighted to find a couple of young Liparia racemosa (Rare) plants and Cliffortia aculeata (Rare) growing in a watercourse lower down, as we went cross-country up to Breakfast Rock. Surprisingly, we didn’t see Otholobium swartbergense (Rare) or the single-leaf Indigofera (Rare) that grows around here. There was plenty of Rafnia rostrata ssp pluriflora (Rare), but there was also some dieback in this population.

On Wednesday WAGS went to Tierkop. I started early and turned back at the Divide between the path and the jeep Track. The rain was torrential and I was soused and pretty cold on the journey down. The rain abated later and the rest of WAGS made it to the Hut. Even in the driving rain, the fynbos was magnificent. Interestingly and unusually, we met runners and hikers along the way. This was because it was Human Rights Day and a Public Holiday.

The Yellowing forest canopy north of Strawberry Hill
I asked Mike Cameron what he thought of this phenomenon. I had suggested that it might be new growth on Afrocarpus falcatus. His reply,
“If this is a unique patch of forest with a consocies of Afrocarpus such as found at the "bos van reuse" in Natures Valley, I could maybe go with Afrocarpus new growth.
If it is just a normal patch of forest I very much doubt it. Sitting at home at a computer is not the way to get the right answer, BUT, my guess is flowering Olea Capensis ssp. macrocarpa.
Ironwoods are the most common species (+- 40%).
Both yellowwoods together make up about 20% of which P. latifolius is by far in the majority.
Ironwoods are mast fruiting species (have massive flowering events at set intervals of a few years with very poor shows in between). Yellowwoods also mast fruit (cones not flowers) so less of a show.
It's right in the middle of ironwood flowering season.
The other species that flowers similarly is Nuxia but it’s normally in winter and is generally more prominent along forest edges.
Agree 100% with Tony Rebelo. Ground truthing is essential to determine exactly what is happening.”
Mike Cameron
PS. As it was unlikely that the decrepits were going to make it to the top of the canopy, we took a drive to where the canopy lies below the road. And yes, Olea capensis ssp macrocarpa is in full flower and is causing that yellow look to the forest. Thanks Mike.

Fransmanshoek with LOT – World Water Day
What better way to celebrate World Water Day than to be surrounded by an ocean surface alive with movement as is the case at the picturesque Fransmanshoek conservancy? LOT aunties were greeted by clumps of stunted confetti bushes (Coleonema album or aasbossie) scattered amongst the lichen stained rocks as we headed of on the coastal track towards Kanon.
We saw the usual coastal species such as Chirona baccifera (aambeibossie, Christmas berry) covered in berries with the odd flower on, Rhoicissus digitata (bobbejaanballe), Zygophyllum/Roepera morgsana (skilpadbos), Searsia crenata (duinekraaibessie, dune crowberry), Azima tetracantha (speldedoring, needle bush), Cussonia thyrsiflora (kuskiepersol, nooiensboom, coastal kiepersol). For the most the vegetation looked dismal with patches of dried out dead shrublets.
As we followed the path inland the dunes to the west are heavily invaded by Acacia cyclops (rooipitjie, rooikrans). About the only splash of colour came from a couple of bright red flowers on Schotia afra var. afra (Karooboerboon, Karoo boer-bean) as we got back to the cars.
The presence of plastic on the coastal stretch marred the pleasure of the scenery and we soon ran out of packing space and carrying capacity to deal with the litter.
Plastic is everybody’s business and those who do not realise the massive threat this is must certainly come from a different planet. The survey report of the Giant Pacific Garbage Patch was published this week. ( The problem is all pervading and needs to be addressed on all fronts. Recycling is not the quick fix answer and we need to be ruthless in changing habits and not accepting plastic into our lives. Google Zero Waste Home principles for a different take on waste.
I left Gail, Nicky, Rusell and Priscilla to carry on in their search for specials, to head back to Mossel Bay.
My day ended with a celebration of World Water Day at the Bartholomeu Dias Museum. Iconic marine biologists Prof George and Margo Branch’s presentation gave an overview of changes to the new edition of their book Living Shores. The previous edition was published in 1981. This edition is a must for coastal dwellers. I relented and enjoyed exploring my worthwhile acquisition.
Sandra Falanga
From Gail - LOT are off to go and see a private property at Dana Bay on Thursday 29th March. Prix has been invited to look at it and we are included. Meet at 9 am at Dana Bay. The Owner will be coming with us and she says, “no pictures or specimens taken please”. All welcome.
SIM will be visiting our beloved Mimetes chrysanthus (Vulnerable) on the south-western side of the western head of Perdepoort on Friday 30th. The stunning Golden Pagoda should be in full flower. We will visit the original population that we found on the top of the western head, a week or so later. Also on the Outramps Agenda this coming weekend – Marge will be leading a hike to Doringrivier and Evie will be doing a flower walk to Tierkop as part of the Easter Walking Fest.

The Outramps wish you all a very happy, peaceful and safe Easter.
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
Skedonk - A banger - old, battered motor car more than 30 years old

Publicado el marzo 26, 2018 04:28 MAÑANA por outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi


No hay comentarios todavía.

Agregar un comentario

Acceder o Crear una cuenta para agregar comentarios.