Green, green it's green they say

Here is the ALBUM. For captions or info click on i on the top right-hand side. A good way to go - the Slideshow is found at the top of the page on the rt hand side by clicking on the 3 dots. Featured this week – Diosma seedling hunt, Dune Molerat with WAGS, Glottiphyllum hunt and Bobbejaansberg. The Puppet show at Ruitersbos provides a wonderful postscript.

We still have a couple of places left on the iNaturalist course. Please e-mail me to book di@strawberryhill.co.za
Details below

Green, Green, it’s Green they say
On the far side of the Hill.
Green, green, I'm goin' away
To where the Leuc is greener still
(With apologies to the New Christy minstrels)
Sandra will be covering the Diosma Reserve, Sally describes the Lot trip to Hersham, where (excitingly) they found a newie for the Outramps and the Ruitersbos Puppet show..

iNaturalist Course
www.inaturalist.org is the interactive website for all your pics of flowers, birds, mammals, fungi, reptiles and sea creatures. By posting your observations, you contribute to providing data for research and a record for future generations. You also have a wonderful forum for your photos. And it’s all a great deal of fun. Why not try it?

Dr Tony Rebelo will the giving an iNaturalist course on Monday 30th July 2018 at the Saasveld Campus @ NMU as part of Science Week. The beginner’s course will be from 12 to 1pm and will be followed by a more advanced course from 1pm to 4pm. Everyone is welcome to attend both courses. There will be no charge. Details below.

If you are interested in attending, please email di at di@strawberryhill.co.za

The Buchu is Back…. Whew!
Spot the buchu!
AnneLise Schutte Vlok and Carlo van Tonder came joint first when they simultaneously found seedlings of Diosma aristata (critically endangered) in the north western and south western quadrants of the reserve respectively. Natalie Baker soon followed suit, making Team CapeNature the clear winner for the day. Team Fransmanshoek aced second place with student ranger Veronique of Fransmanshoek Conservancy showing a knack for seeing the Diosma sprigs amongst a myriad of lookalike ones. Seedlings were about seven centimetres tall. The leaves of the juvenile plants resemble those of adult plants. Long, thin, hard, ending in sharp points. The majority of seedlings were unbranched, only the odd ones already sported a couple of side branches.

About 30 plants were found. Most were seen in the south western quadrant. In fact that is generally where there is less human activity. Carlo brought printouts of pre-fire census localities which we used as a guide, though seedlings were not found at all the known spots. It is evident that disturbance in the reserve should still be kept to the minimum. There is a proposal for the Fransmanshoek Conservancy rangers to assist once or twice a month to eradicate alien invasive plants.

All the Hermannias were in flower. H saccifera and the scented H decumbens looking splendid. H triofoliata and H joubertiana were recorded in the reserve for the first time. Gnidia chrysophylla (Near Threatened) is just coming into flower.

Big thank you's to Team CREW - Di, Gail, Rusell and Ann; the winners Team CapeNature - AnneLise, Natalie, Carlo and Masamkele Judge and Team FMH – ranger Kei Heyns plus his two student rangers, Veronique and Erich who came in all the way from Fransmanshoek Conservancy. We loved having the four enthusiastic youngsters helping us search, clearly meant to be conservationists. Masamkele says that after several other jobs, nowadays his alarm does not even have to wake him up for going to work. He just loves it at CapeNature!
Sandra

A Dramatic Sunrise
The weather for the last week has been awful, dominated by strong and gusty northwesters, which are busy totally sucking all the moisture out of the surrounding Fynbos and Forests. Unseasonably hot, with temperatures hitting 30 degrees, the field trips have been less than comfortable. And of course, strong wind=power failure at Strawberry Hill. We had 3 last week. Despite that, we’ve been busy.

Once again, a before dawn start at Dune Molerat with WAGS had its own rewards. The early morning skyscapes and a thunderstormy sky were dramatic, as the sun rose orange in the east above the horizon, turning cumulus clouds bright pink to the west. The camera clicked incessantly until l finally Bill’s muttered protest put an end to that. Dune Molerat Trail is one of my favourites. No matter what time of the year you go there, there is always something to enthrall. My pick of the day was the dramatic Hibiscus diversifolius ssp diversifolius, which grows on the Swartvlei banks and is a real beauty. Erica sessiliflora came a close second. It is in fresh flower and its cool cream and green flowers were all over the place. Erica formosa was in bud bringing with it the promise of Spring.

The last time I was at Dune Molerat a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that the Boardwalk and the Jetty needed repairs. We were delighted to see that a fixing-team has been very busy and they are well on the way to completing the job. The track itself was also beautifully cleared and made for very pleasant walking. A big thank you to Sanparks.
Tanniedi

Hersham Hunt with LOT
On a very muggy July morning, the LOT trio met up in Hersham. Scanning iNaturalist, Gail had spotted an out-of-range Glottiphyllum (potentially cruciatum) near the small park at the end of Margaret Road and wanted to investigate further. After we'd fossicked for forty minutes with no joy, Rusell approached a fellow watering his garden. The conversation went like this:

"Hallo!"
"Hallo"
"Sorry to bother you, but we were wondering if you've seen this plant flowering near here?" (shows fellow the photograph).
"Yes! It's in my garden. In fact, that is my photo, I put it on iNaturalist. I'm Chris Botes."

Much hilarity all round. Chris, an ex-forester, found the plant in his garden when he bought the property and assumes it was brought in by the previous owner. He showed us several of the Glottiphyllum specimens around his place, all looking very turgid and happy although much nibbled by the local spurfowl. We collected some seed capsules and after a short gossip about various mutual acquaintances, left Chris to his watering.

Next on the list was to check on a population of Haworthia parksiana (CR). Although most were retracted and almost invisible under their covering of lichen, there were signs of a healthy last flowering season and a good number of the wee plants were counted.

As we finished up, Gail (who was initially loath to clamber up the embankment) was attracted to an insignificant plant we'd not noticed earlier - she pronounced that this was a plant which has been on her bucket list for some years, Agathosma microcarpa (VU). Rusell found many more individuals (many seeming to buddy up with Muraltia ericaefolia) although these were looking rather drought-stressed and were not in flower. Gail's find was later confirmed by Dave and is a first for the Outramps and iNaturalist. One forgets that sometimes all one has to do to find a rare plant is to get out of the car ...

And so ended a short but pleasant morning with a bonus site sheet to keep us honest.

Sally, Gail and Rusell

Green, Green, it’s Green they say
Last week, Dave mentioned that he wanted to explore around Bobbejaansberg above Beervlei in the Outeniquas. He copied a whole lot of maps, and promised a ride in the Amarok, which is a much more comfortable ride than our trusty Drifter. Mike phoned Carel van der Merwe of Sanpaks and got permission for us to drive through the gate just below the Outeniqua hiking trail turnoff to Windmeulnek. When we arrived at Beervlei, Stephanus was very helpful. After a fairly interesting drive along a cliffside track, we parked and parted ways with the instruction, “Be back at the car at 2.30.

Dave is part of our HAT and moves a whole lot faster than the rest of us. His goal was to reach the top of Bobbejaansberg via a hilltop tower. To his surprise there was a path all the way, albeit that it was very steep at times and could have been tricky when wet. His two finds were an unknown Indigofera and a puzzling Amphithalea. The target plants for the day were Phylica keetiii and Mimetes splendidus, but of them there was no sign.

Walking at a more pedestrian pace, we fossicked along various tracks until we reached the tower. Just on the northern side, we saw something totally startling. There were fields of the silvery grey Leucadendron uliginosum ssp uliginosum on the north-western side of the hill. But growing next to the road amongst them was a bright green Leucadendron with bright red cones. The first thought was Ld uliginosum ssp. glabratum, but it shouldn’t co-occur with ssp uliginosum and glabratum has yellow cones. Then we debated Ld. rourkei and loeriense without much conviction. These Leucadendron species generally grow further east. It wasn’t conicum, which likes the damp peaty southern slopes. I was well and truly stumped.

We noticed something else strange. Some of the Leucadendron uliginosum ssp uliginosum on the lower side of the road had a distinctly greenish tinge and we were starting to wonder if we weren’t in some sort of transition zone. I have specimens of all three plants and light of day confirms that we were not seeing things and they really were “green and greener still”. It is now over to Meneer aka Dr Tony Rebelo. I have posted it on iNat and hopefully he will see it soon. For the rest, the views and Fynbos were spectacular, but “rares” were thin on the ground.
Tanniedi

PS.From Tony, "Photograph is of a freak within a typical population, although there are also slightly less hairy individuals than the norm in the area. Thanks for the notes: without them what on earth might we have decided????".
For the full discussion on iNat - https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/14534363

Drupples – A must see show JJJ
Fires, drought, regardless …. we need water. Ruitersbos below Robinson pass is a favourite hiking and botanising area for us. There are plantations galore and these sustain the tiny village of Ruitersbos.

Marina & Paul Eilers develop and present brilliant, themed, puppet shows at schools. It is a pukka theatre experience, not to be missed – add to that the children’s reactions and it makes for superlative fun. My looking-forward-feeling to these shows just about surpasses that of my looking forward to field trips! The Druppels show flows with humour, rhyme, participation and singing, letting the value of WATER sink in. Worksheets and a booklet (available in Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa) are given to the schools which they have to do a bit of on Fridays!

What a privilege to visit the lovely school in its nurturing community. A reminder that communities need income to sustain themselves and their children’s education. Druppels is happening at Mossel Bay schools under the banner of the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve, in which I am fortunate to live.
Sandra

Forthcoming Field Trips
LOT and SIM will combine on Thursday for a visit to the Featherbed Nature Reserve on the Western Knysna Heads. On Friday, SIM will do a morning's sortie to have a look at the regeneration at Goukamma above Groenvlei.
Hamba Kahle
Groete en dankie
Di Turner
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, Dr Christopher Whitehouse, Adriaan Grobler, Prix Burgoyne, Dr Kenneth Oberlander, Dr Pieter Winter, Dr David Gwynne-Evans and Mattmatt on iNat. Thank you all for your ongoing help and support.

Outramps Projects and Places on iNaturalist – You can browse through the observations or refer to the checklist which is in alphabetical order eg. Animals, birds etc.
Cola Conservancy - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/cola-conservancy
Dune Molerat Trail - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/dune-molerat-trails
Featherbed Nature Reserve - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/featherbed-nature-reserve
Gouriqua - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/gouriqua-private-nature-reserve
Heaven in the Langkloof - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/heaven-in-the-langkloof
Herolds Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-herolds-bay
Kammanassie - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-kammanassie-reserve
Langeberg Grootvadersbosch - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/grootvadersbosch-nature-reserve
Kranshoek - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-kranshoek-
Masons Rust - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/masons-rust-32-ptn-4-gezwinds-kraal-41-ptn-0
Mossel Bay Diosma Reserve - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/diosma-reserve
Mossel Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-14072
Mossel Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/erf-19201
Natures Valley - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/nature-s-valley-south-cape-south-africa#page=2
Outeniquas Camferskloof - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-camferskloof
Outeniquas East - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-eastern-outeniquas-from-bergplaas-to-gouna
Outeniquas Flanagans Rock - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/flanagans-rock-rsa
Outeniquas Lange Berg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/lange-berg-112
Outeniquas Paardepoort East - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-east
Outeniquas Paardepoort West - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-paardepoort-west
Outeniquas Southern Traverse - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-outeniqua-southern-traverse
Rooiberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-rooiberg-reserve
Spioenkop - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/ruigtevlei-plantations
Strawberry Hill - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/strawberry-hill-7-passes-road-wilderness-south-africa
Swartberg Spitskop - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-spitskop-to-meiringspoort-swartberg
Uitzicht Portion 39 - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/uitzigt-216-portion-39
Uitzicht - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/uitzigt-216-ptn-65
Western Head - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/western-head-knysna
White Heather - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/white-heather
Wilderness Brown Hooded Kingfisher Trail – https://www.inaturalist.org/places/brown-hooded-kingfisher-trail
Wilderness Kingfisher Trail - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/kingfisher-trails

Publicado por outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi, 23 de julio de 2018

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