It's a Good Life.....

Fern Foraging for the GRBG
A long-term plan to create a Fern Walk at the Garden Route Botanical Garden is being fulfilled. On Thursday afternoon at about 4pm, Prix and Corné arrived at Strawberry Hill with sacks and trowels. I had previously earmarked ferns that could successfully be transplanted. The forest is looking wonderful, after fairly consistent rains during the last couple of weeks. The rivers are running high, so we were restricted to the western side of the Silver River on the Fern Trail. Once these ferns are established, we will add to the list.
Pteris cretica
Polystichum pungens
Adiantum aethiopicum
Asplenium protensum
Asplenium rutifolium
Asplenium gemmiferum
Dryopteris inaequalis
Blotiella natalensis
Athyrium scandicinum
Blechnum capense
Blechnum australe
Blechnum attenuatum


Whites Road Circular
When Evie suggested that we walk up Whites Road with a circular descent through the forest, I wasn’t at all sure. We’ve lived here for 50 years and we’ve driven up and down Whites road many times. It has spectacular views to the east across the lakes and the gradient is gentle – but walk if you can drive? In fact, the walk up turned out to be very pleasant, although fast-moving cyclists tended to be something of a hazard.

Crassula orbicularis was the standout plant, tumbling down the granite rocks that are a feature of this area. Some exquisite Bromeliads in full flower in a garden along the way proved to be a crowd-stopper. It wasn’t long before we found Dioscorea mundii (Near Threatened. We are not 100% sure of the id, as it seems as if it could be confused with D. sylvatica (Vulnerable). Some educated help here would be very valuable. It was scattered sparsely along the length of the road. The danger of aliens engulfing the indigenous plants on this stretch is significant. Amongst other nasties , we saw
Plectranthus barbatus var. grandis
Anredera cordifolia – Madeira Vine
Acacia mearnsii – Black Wattle
Acacia cyclops – Rooikrans

As the temperature rose to the early 30’s we walked into the forest, which was deeply shady and cool. Here we found 2 populations of Ornithogalum rogersii (Data Deficient), so the day was reasonably productive.

On returning to Wilderness, we discovered that Evie’s timing was split-second accurate. We arrived at Locals in the Milkwood forests behind the Spar at exactly 11.30 for our first “In the Loop” meeting. It had been decided that we should have these at roughly 6 week intervals, so that Outramps members can be kept in touch with new developments and each other. With the Group being split into LOT, SIM and HAT, these meetings will contribute to a united front, where we are all on the same page. Lunch was enjoyable and it was great to catch up with everyone.


The Real Valentine – Giant Kingfisher Trail, Wilderness
Walking to the waterfall was blissfully peaceful and the swim glorious. This trail bears heavy traffic and the last section is a boarded walk, wisely so and certainly something to consider for the first section where the ever widening path and little paths off into the forest are becoming more and more evident. At least, this is my take after more than a handful of decades walking here.

On my return it becomes a highway. Mainly tourists, but I am happy to see a friendly team of parks’ staff on their way to do invasive alien plant clearing. At first glance I thought I see one holding a rifle (having heard baboons earlier), but thank goodness, no! We have a little chat and no, monkeys or baboons are not a problem at the Ebb & Flow camps, though the bush pigs were, during the two or three consecutive dry years experienced in recent years.

Highlights are Afrocarpus falcatus (yellowwood, geelhout, kalander), Calodendron capense (Cape Chestnut, Kaapse kastaiing), Vepris lanceolata (white ironwood, witysterhout), Trimeria grandifolia (wild mulberry, wilde moerbei), Searsia chirindensis (bush currant, bostaaibos). It is really unfair to only mention these obvious gems! In profuse flower is the can-never-remember-the-name all over sprawler Gymnanthemum mespilifolium and way above my head the yellow bells of Hibiscus ludwigii, orange – reds of Scadoxus puniceus on the forest floor and soft pretty pink of Hibiscus pedunculatus in the under-shrubs. To assume or piggy back on given information can backfire, which happens all too often with plant names too! Ethereally beautiful, a twisted, gnarled, hollowed out trunk stands out. The SA Tree number 513 for Olina ventosa (Hardpear) is nailed into it. When I ask Mike Cameron, our forester, later if he can confirm the identity of the tree off my photos, his comeback is a chuckle. "Not really", says Mike, he needs to see the leaves - but the crushed leaves and live, soft bark tissue smell of marzipan!

Alien invasive plants noted: Wattle (Acacia mearnsii) above the waterfall delivering seeds to the Touw River, Bugweed (Solanum mauritianum) and Phytolacca octandra off a side path just before the pontoon crossing. Newly felled Bugweed and Phytolacca - no doubt work done by the friendly team. Some Australian tree fern (Cyathea cooperi) in the streambed of the Touw River. Is anyone paying attention to our input re this fern? It does not have a good track record in other parts of the world and is extremely popular as a garden subject in our area.

I am reluctant to leave the forest, not entirely sure where I’ll meet the rest of the Outramps, but with split second timing we all meet up, just as they join the trail close to the very end. Whew! Not in trouble


"In the Loop Meeting
The Outramps are divided into 3 Groups - LOT, SIM and HAT. In order to keep in touch with each other, it was decided at the start of the year, that we would have an informal meeting at roughly 6 weekly intervals. After a pleasant combination of Wilderness hikes, we met at Locals in the Wilderness Village. The main discussion centred around our evergreen problem of petrol and transport costs, which can become crippling.

It was good to see everyone again and we will certainly continue these meetings for the rest of 2019 to cement the cohesion of this hardworking CREW Group. Members come from Plett, Knysna, Brenton, Wilderness, George and Mossel Bay with a node in Stellenbosch.


Natures Valley Trio
Once a year in Feb/March, WAGS travels to Natures Valley. En route on Tuesday, we did 2 walks from Forest Hall, on Wednesday it was the turn of the magnificent, long Salt River Circular and on the way home, we did one of the premier coastal hikes in the world around the Robberg Peninsula. 22 of us stayed at Pondok at Natures Valley for 2 nights, where we enjoyed sumptuous food and drinks and had a wonderful social time. It is one of the highlights of our hiking and plant year.

From Forest Hall - Brakrivier
Bill broke his neck and shoulder in a fall about 4 months ago. He only recently got rid of the neck-brace, so we celebrated with a saunter down to the Brak River from Forest Hall. The saunter turned out to be rather steeper and longer (7km) than expected, but he managed incredibly well and I found 2 rares. Erica glandulosa subsp. fourcadei ((Vulnerable) was over, but unmistakable. Two small colonies of Ornithogalum rogersii (Data Deficient) were surviving well in the dry conditions. It was a good start to a wonderful couple of days.


From Forest Hall to the Coast
As part of the WAGS 3-day adventure in the Natures Valley area – some of us were able to participate (by invitation) in a “new” walk. Thrilling to be able to explore yet another corner of the Tsitsikamma Coastal Reserve. We started from the historic estate “Forest Hall” originally built around 1863. It is now known as a venue for functions, events and film shoots.

The hike soon led us past a very murky, dark green topped pond in the forest – this could well be the setting for a South American jungle scene in a movie shoot. Luckily, we were soon able to recognise all the familiar canopy trees – Kalander yellowwoods (Afrocarpus falcatus) and very tall Boekenhouts (Rapanea melanophloeos LC). The forest floor – looking “Oh so very dry”. The path gradually wound out of thick forest, alongside the familiar pioneers - Keurboom trees (Virgilia divaricata), smaller Agathosma ovata trees and out into open coastal Fynbos.

We eventually arrived at the shoreline. An intensely hot day – luckily at this point there was cool sea water to bathe and paddle in, as we dodged between waves and rocky sculptured rocks / cliffs. The final part of the hike was an aerobic climb uphill in the scorching sun – to eventually flop under some cool, shady and enormous old oak trees back on the Estate.

In the Fynbos numerous Metalasia muricata and a few Phylica spp. Erica’s included E. discolor subsp. discolor, E. uberiflora, the dominant E. sparsa; and a 4 nate Erica – possibly E. glandulosa subsp. fourcadei (VU). Leucadendron salignum, coastal Lobelia pubescens, a few Aspalathus spp. which need ID’s and 2 Apiaceae species were standing tall to 1m. Typical for the coast - many Crassula sp. and several Crassula atropupurea plants, with their eye-catching deep red leaves; while there were numerous cushions of the delicate white/cream flowered Crassula ericoides.


Salt River Circular
I started ahead of the main group at first light. The walk up the ridge produced the usual spectacular views and the Fynbos en route to the Keurpad was magnificent. It looks almost ready to burn. For the first time there was a clump of Cyrtanthus elatus (George Lily) alongside the path in a little damp spot. It was getting warmer as the sun rose and it was great to descend into the forest for the first Salt River Crossing. The large Alsophila capensis at the crossing has disappeared from the bank and I missed it. I don't recall any major flood events since last year, but maybe...........

After a short break, I set off on the long haul through the forest and past some huge and imposing yellowwoods (Afrocarpus falcatus) to the Rug Pad. This stretch can seem interminable, especially on a hot day. The tedium was relieved by more Erica glandulosa subsp. fourcadei and another colony of Ornithogalum rogersii. The minute little Orchid, Liparis remota was in full flower and another small insignificant Orchid Habenaria arenaria has yet to flower. Finally I reached the breathtaking Lookout down to the wind-driven trees and a Springs low-tide estuary. I crossed without taking my boots off and headed for a short break on the blue rocks on the eastern side of the estuary, as the tide began to turn. I returned via the coastal route to the Natures Valley Trading store to await the rest under the Otter Trail Boot Tree. A 7 hour toughie, but one of the best!


By now anno domini was catching up with me and I was feeling rather apprehensive about Robberg, which is always challenging on crutches. Bill and I started off together at first light and he bailed out down the Dune to the Island, whilst I continued to the Point. It was an enervating and hot day with very little breeze and the going was tough.

I was delighted to find Brunsvigia orientalis coming into early flower. Some new steps up one of the tough ascents made the going much easier and there was plenty of evidence of trail maintenance. By the time I reached the Island Beach, the tourists were pouring in. My weary legs and feet pointed in the direction of a shady rock, but on arrival there, a big seal was ensconced. He looked a bit off-colour. He was agitated by my presence, so I went on a bit further and found Bill in a patch of shade on the way back to the carpark.

At the parking lot I met Eben (Cape Nature Field Ranger) and we had a very good catch-up chat. Cape Nature is to be congratulated on the state of the trail and the way they handle the millions of tourists that flock to enjoy this exceptional coastal hike. By the time we arrived at the end, the stream of cars reached outside the gate.The umbrellas on the picnic tables were hugely welcome in the searing heat, while we waited for the rest of the party, who had started later. A cold beer and lots of ice set the seal on a wonderful 3 days with good friends in magnificent surroundings. “It’s a Good Life if you don’t Weaken”!


Do not dump your Valentine!
It seems there is a ‘Greenline’ to Sandra. Since the beginning of the year I have fielded a steady trickle of mostly gentle queries and requests re a variety of environmental matters. Not that I always get the feedback right, but perhaps imperfection is a trump card (pun intended) – it does allow for interaction and growth all around!

Imagine - I am mildly bemused and surprised to receive a Valentine’s Day invitation! How can I nót go to the Western Cape Government’s “Roadmap to Minimising Organic Waste to Landfill”?

This is the punchy introduction:
“Never mind loadshedding or waste issues, the whole country is covered in poo (as synonym for waste here)!” No kidding.

You need to know: Organic waste to landfill must be diverted from landfill, phased over 10 years. Half by 2022 and 100% by 2029. ‘Airspace for landfill’ is running out across the country. Most of the Garden Route District Municipality’s waste is carted to Mossel Bay. A massive, new and enormously expensive landfill is being set up near PetroSA.

Organic waste accounts for between 38 to 57% of all waste. Hence: “Targeting big generators first is the low hanging fruit for achieving quick waste diversion gains”. A 2012 CSIR baseline study states 6 300 200 tons per year as the Organic Waste component in the Western Cape. It lists most to least sources: Agricultural residues, Organic waste, Wet sewage sludge, Volatile animal waste, Forestry residues.

Overall the volumes are staggering and the treatment methods for the waste are interesting and varied. Waste is now called a resource or feed stock. The feed stock opens a magnitude of possibilities and opportunities to communities. The collaborative stakeholder workshop (DEA&DP, Garden Route District Municipality, various local authorities, consultants, NGO’s, local business, waste removal and processing service providers) dealt with waste analysis, roadmap forward, treatment methods and case studies of overseas waste stats and interventions, local initiatives in place & more stats - in the always pretty pie charts.

This is massive and no additional stats crunching from me now! Should you need a little bit more information contact me, better still DEA&DP or your municipality. It is imperative that every entity has to become a role-player in this re-aligned approach to organic waste.

The workshop was worthwhile and suffice it to say that after presenting the ‘What’ - and the instruction as ‘What nót to by ‘When’, the proof of the pudding would lie in the ‘How’.

“Meanwhile you know what to do: Do your One Thing. After eating your fern fronds or desired foodstuff – compost your leftover scraps (ditto garden organics). You may keep your hat on!”*

*Courtesy Braam Malherbe, Tony Rebelo & Joe Cocker! Other information, mostly as per the Workshop held 14th February, Old Power Station, Mossel Bay.
A diverted Sandra ;-)

14 Feb 2019

If you care about the Touw river, the Touw River Conservancy is the new generation and a vibrant group – join their “Conversations in Conservation” on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 9 AM – 2 PM at the Fairy Knowe Hotel
RSVP before 25th of Feb to Janet Botes:

Further info: Matthew Koehorst -

BotSoc to diarise!

The Botanical Society of SA is reconvening a Garden Route Branch. Do attend the AGM Saturday 16th March at the Garden Route Botanical Garden, Caledon St, George, Registration 10h00, meeting at 10h30.

Field Trips
Just maybe, this week the weather forecast will be right and we will have a cooler day on Friday 1st. If so, SIM's long-delayed trip to see how Gladiolus vaginatus (Vulnerable) is faring at Goukamma will take place. Another drawcard is Brunsvigia orientalis. It should be spectacular in the 2 year old, post-burn veld. LOT will be visiting the Quarry at Mossel Bay ion Wednesday.
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, Malthinus and Mattmatt on iNat. Thank you all for your ongoing help and support.

Outramps Places on iNaturalist – You can browse through the observations or refer to the checklist which is in alphabetical order eg. Animals, birds etc.
Area covered by Southern Cape Herbarium -
Cola Conservancy -
Dune Molerat Trail -
Featherbed Nature Reserve -
Gamkaberg -
Gerickes Punt -
Gouriqua -
Gouritzmond -
Heaven in the Langkloof -
Herolds Bay -
Kammanassie -
Klein Swartberg -
Knysna - Westford Bridge
Kouga Mountains Kliphuis -
Kranshoek -
Langeberg Grootvadersbosch -
Masons Rust -
Mons Ruber and surrounds -
Mossel Bay Aalwyndal -
Mossel Bay Diosma Reserve -
Mossel Bay - :

Mossel Bay -
Mossel Bay -
Mossel Bay St Blaize Trail -
Natures Valley -
Outeniquas Bobbejaanberg -
Outeniquas Camferskloof -
Outeniquas, Collinshoek and the Big Tree -
Outeniquas - Cradock and George Peak Trail -
Outeniquas Doringrivier East -
Outeniquas East -
Outeniquas Eseljagt -
Outeniquas Eseljagtpoort -
Outeniquas Flanagans Rock -
Outeniquas Lange Berg -
Outeniquas Montagu Pass North -
Outeniquas Paardekop -
Outeniquas Paardepoort East -
Outeniquas Paardepoort West -
Outeniquas Pizza Ridge -
Outeniquas Southern Traverse -
Robberg Corridor -
Robberg Corridor -
Rooiberg -
Spioenkop -
Strawberry Hill -
Swartberg Spitskop -
Swartberg, Swartberg Pass to Bothashoek high and low -
Swartberg Waboomsberg -
Uitzicht Portion 39 -
Uitzicht -
Western Head -
Western Head –
Western Head -
Western Head -
White Heather -
Wilderness Brown Hooded Kingfisher Trail –
Wilderness Kingfisher Trail -
Witteberg Kromme Rivier -

Outramps CREW Stellenbosch HAT node
Jonkershoek created by Vynbos -
Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve -
Papegaaiberg -

Outramps Projects on iNaturalist
Ericas of the Southern Cape -
Fungi of the Southern Cape -
Lianes and Creepers in the Southern Cape and Little Karoo -
Veg Types of South Africa -

Flowers of the High Drakensberg -

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 and is now the Curator of the Garden Route Botanical Garden
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
SA - Stay Attractive is Google's translation of "Mooi Bly"
OTL - Out To Lunch is used to describe the Buchu Bus when she's taking a break after she's behaved badly
DFKIAA - A very funny video in Afrikaans is doing the rounds. It refers to the current power outages.

Publicado por outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi, 01 de marzo de 2019


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