A Good day at the Office

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 – Flanagans Rock - a Celebration with WAGS and Spioenkop.

Ray’s favourite poem
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
William Shakespeare

Flanagans Rock
Flanagans Rock was the WAGS destination on Wednesday on a bone-chilling, cold morning in early August. It is an attractive 3 hour thereandback hike in the northern Outeniquas, which is dominated by the sweeping walls of rock that slice down from Cradock Peak towering high above. It is a great favourite with local hiking clubs and also forms part of the formidable Cradock Peak Traverse.

Ten years ago, it was also a freezing cold day. The women were busy chatting, but Ray was getting colder and colder. So he decided to start back to the cars ahead of the rest of the party. He never arrived and despite extensive searches by hikers, the Mountain Club Search and Rescue squad and the police, he was never seen again. It is now thought that at the bottom of the Flanagans Rock hill, he turned right instead of left and got lost or fell into the overgrown Fynbos in the Kaaimans watershed below Heartbreak Hill.

So this Wednesday on the 10th anniversary of his disappearance, WAGS had a celebration of his life on Flanagans Rock, where the Family have erected a plaque in his memory. Sumptuous snacks and champagne were on offer for us to drink a toast to Ray. Marge read his favourite Sonnet 18 and a poem by George Barker. His daughter Sonia was there with his two grandchildren Findley and Iris making it an even more special occasion. Ray had a biting sense of humour and many of his sayings were shared on Wednesday. I chose this one.

A new hiker joined WAGS. She was in the late 60’s and looked her age. Despite warnings that we were doing a strenuous hike, she came along. She was obviously not fit enough for that particular hike, so the Group stopped early for breakfast to allow her to catch up. During the break, she introduced herself to Ray saying, “I’m (C-----y} and I’m new”. He returned a rather caustic rejoinder, “You don’t look very new to me”!

In the midst of all these bittersweet memories, the plants were not ignored. Indigofera sp. 19 (Rare) is alive and well and scattered sparsely along the length of the hike. Lobelia dichroma (Data Deficient) was feeling the drought, but hopefully the recent rain would have topped up its reserves. There wasn’t a whole lot in flower, but there’s always something in the Fynbos to Ooh and Ah about. Agathosma mundtiii, with its delightful, but vulgar common name (Jakkalspisbos) and Agathosma planifolia provided a white backdrop to the lovely pink and white blooms of Syncarpha paniculata.

It was a lovely day out in the Fynbos with very good friends remembering a very special man. Hamba Kahle Ray. We miss you!

A Good day at the Office
There weren’t many takers for Spioenkop on Thursday. The field trip had been shifted back from Friday to Thursday, because of the heavy rain forecast by Yr.no for Friday. Between Bridge dates, Whale Trailers and an understandable reluctance to entrust themselves to the Buchu Bus after her Brenton shenanigans, only Nicky and I were there for the day. This made it possible for us to take the 4x4 Drifter, with prior permission to drive in the area from Heine Muller. The Spioenkop property is extensive and driving in some distance puts us more in reach of the far-flung boundaries.

I am not a very experienced 4x4 driver, so we were cautious and by and large, we stuck to the better tracks. The goodwill we’ve received from Heine, would have dissipated at the speed of Summer Lightning if we’d had to be towed out. We also kept an ear out for chain saws, so that we didn’t interfere or hamper felling or transport arrangements. We drove round the vlei and then pointed the Drifter in a northerly direction. Some distance along, we parked the car and got out and walked. Plant monitoring from a car is not the most successful system, although it does cover more ground.

The tracks we chose wound in and around some terrifying steep slopes that plunged vertically to the valleys some distance below. Peering over the edge every few meters, we had our eyes tuned in to Lobostemon belliformis (Critically Endangered), but we found no more plants on this occasion. The first crowd-stopper was a silvery-grey Aspalathus with a tenuous foothold on an almost vertical cliff wall some distance below. With zoom at its maximum and the crutches and sticks being used as tripods, we photographed and then examined our find. It was almost certainly the Endangered Aspalathus bowieana. The planting of the Pines will have no effect on this particular patch, as it is far too steep for Pines and afro-temperate is the prevailing veg type. Alien plants like Blackwood and Black Wattle are going to be the problem here and I don’t know how you could clear them on these vertical cliffs. The underlying geology in this area is sandstone.

Some distance further along on the cliff side, there was a short, flattish shelf with an outcrop of grey sandstone above the chasm below. Happily ensconced, Aspalathus bowieana and about 20 young Acmadenia alternifolia (Vulnerable) plants were going for the gap. By this time, “Our Cup runneth over” and we were in tearing high spirits. We meandered along peering over the sides and from a distance almost mistaking Schizostephium umbellatum for our precious Lobostemon. We were on a roll!

A flash of white on the upper sandy slopes caught our attention. Closer examination proved it to be a Nemesia, but not one that either Nicky or I had seen before (we think). The flowers were a lot bigger than most of the Nemesias we see and we did wonder if we had a new “rare”, but we weren’t expecting too much. Despite not finding more of the Lobostemon, we’d had a highly satisfying day. We hadn’t got stuck in the mud or sand and we’d added Selago burchelli (Vulnerable) to our rare list for the day. We were a bit disappointed not to find more Dioscorea burchellii (Vulnerable). It was when Nicky got back to her computer and books later on in the day that she came up with a possible id that changed the day from good to superb. It looks as if we may have found Nemesia elata (Vulnerable), which is a first for the Outramps. We are waiting for confirmation from Jan. This is what the Red List had to say,

“This species was only known from a single location since its discovery on the top of Montagu Pass. It was only recently described (2010) and further surveys of herbarium material and field surveys of the Outeniqua and Langeberg mountains confirmed at least six locations within an EOO of 351 km². This extremely rare habitat specialist can be locally common after fires, but is threatened by inappropriate fire management, alien invasive plants, as well as road and other infrastructure construction.”

Jan has just come back to us. He says, “It’s hard to tell with certainty if it is Nemesia elata or Nemesia fourcadei (even rarer). The latter is an annual plant, but I cannot tell from the pics, if it is a short-lived perennial or not. I checked it against Kim Steiner’s description of the two species and ‘the lack of invagination at the opening of the spur’ seems to indicate that it is rather Nemesia elata, so lots to be elated about.” Baie Dankie Jan.

So there is lots of exploration still to be done in the Ruigtevlei plantation areas, as we keep on turning up “newies” for the Outramps. Between plantations and development, the Pines are a much better choice. For a couple of years at least, the Fynbos will be able to regenerate its seed bank. If it was covered with houses the plants would have been doomed. We will also need to chat to Heine in the near future about protection of a few of the sites. We are hugely grateful for his help and support. Dankie Heine.

Forthcoming Field Trips
On Friday SIM will be doing a “Skrop in die Bos” on the Walker Bay properties at Buffalo Bay. The Western Heads Conservancy is assembling information on the conservation value of this site for a representation to the municipality, before they start considering changes to the development footprint. We would like to contribute our mite to that. LOT will be revisiting the Herbertsdale sites.
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.

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
Mossel Bay - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/st-blaize-trail
Natures Valley - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/nature-s-valley-south-cape-south-africa#page=2
Outeniquas Bobbejaanberg - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/outramps-crew-bobbejanberg-in-the-outeniquas
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/walker-s-point-215-portion-1-buffalo-bay
Western Head – https://www.inaturalist.org/places/walker-s-point-215-portion-2-buffalo-bay
Western Head - https://www.inaturalist.org/places/walker-s-point-215-portion-3-buffalo-bay
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
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
iNatFD – iNaturalist for Dummies as compiled by Sally
Mizzle – Mist and drizzle combined. A regular feature of George in the ”good old days”.
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
Hoedown - redneck gathering, usually involves shouting catchy phrases like "yee-haw" and "the south will rise again"
VHF - Vat Hom Fluffie - our nickname for furry or woolly plants
OTL - Out To Lunch is used to describe the Buchu Bus when she's taking a break after she's behaved badly

Publicado por outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi, 13 de agosto de 2018


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