The way is Long

The Way is Long
and getting longer
Outramps CREW Diaries
6th August 2019

Of all African animals, the elephant is the most difficult for man to live with, yet its passing – if this must come – seems the most tragic of all. I can watch elephants (and elephants alone) for hours at a time, for sooner or later the elephant will do something very strange such as mow grass with its toenails or draw the tusks from the rotted carcass of another elephant and carry them off into the bush. There is mystery behind that masked gray visage, an ancient life force, delicate and mighty, awesome and enchanted, commanding the silence ordinarily reserved for mountain peaks, great fires, and the sea.”

― Peter Matthiessen, The Tree Where Man Was Born

ALBUM 6th August 2019
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 today – Bosduif Loop, Doringrivier, Eseljacht, iNat Course with Tony and the Kat River Circular to Pepsi Pools
For names and captions of the photos used on this version of the Reportback - see the Album.

For earlier versions of the Outramps CREW Diaries

"The Way is Long and getting longer
The path winds uphill all the way"
This quote comes from a plaque on the ascent to Waaihoek in the Hex River. The UCT Mountain and Ski Club is situated at the top and it is a "m--r" of a slog to get there. In this picture, Bill is approaching Breakfast Rock on the summit ridge of Doringrivier. It used to be a 'granny-walk", but old age has changed our perspective. The walk to the beacon with WAGS is now almost as difficult as Waaihoek used to be in the days of our youth.

Braving the freezing pre-dawn conditions, the effort was worth it. The views are breathtaking in all directions and we could see a light dusting of snow on the Swartberg. It is now about 5 years after the last fire and the valley is into full recovery mode. The Proteaceae are starting to flower and by next year we should have the sort of awesome display that only Doringrivier can produce. There was also the odd Hakea sericea seen and Bill dispatched a number of these.

This is a far cry from the days when Tony Marshall and Ivan Donian were in charge. When Betty and I first saw the place in the 1980's, it was wall to wall Hakea - so bad, that I thought it must have been planted. Tony and Ivan tackled the mess and returned it to almost pristine condition. To this day, Doringrivier Valley is a testament to the hard work and dedication that CapeNature has brought to the task.

Some precocious Proteas are flowering and many more will be in full bloom next year. Protea aurea subsp. aurea, Protea neriifolia, Leucadendron conicum (Near Threatened), eucalyptifolium, spissifolium and uliginosum are doing well. Although I was on the lookout for these understated little beauties, I saw no sign of Spatalla barbigera (Near Threatened) or Paranomus dregei. Serruria fasciflora (Near Threatened) is scattered sparsely along the lower reaches. Ericas seen were Erica rosacea, glomiflora, fimbriata, brachycentra, uberiflora, discolor subsp. hebecalyx, seriphiifolia and densifolia.

We selected a rock face shelter for brunch and it was only when we started packing up to leave, that I noticed Lobelia dichroma (Data Deficient) in the rock crevices behind us. Just below it, was Crassula perforata subsp. kougaensis, which used to be Critically Rare before the Outramps started seeing it all over the place. So with a warm, fuzzy feeling of contentment, we started back to the cars, followed by a brief stop at Bobby and Ria's Famous Pizza Place to refuel the inner man (or woman).


Dewald was waiting for us outside the farmhouse, when we arrived at Eseljacht. It is such a treat to work with people like him, who are enthusiastic about what we do and do everything to help us. Disconcertingly, when we arrived, there was thick mist on the ground and choosing the right ascent-ridge was problematical. However, it soon cleared and we were able to get on with our day. Nicky, Mike and Ann went west, after checking on the Psoralea sp. nova in the kloof just above where we parked. Jen and I headed for the summit.

As always, the summit proved to be well worth the slog. It is flat on the top with the most spectacular views in all directions. In the distance, the snow-capped Swartberg range was the focal point to the north, with the distinctive Camfersberg dominating the view to the south-west. En route, Brunsvigia josephinae (Vulnerable) was scattered over a narrow altitudinal range, also occupied by Printzia polifolia. We found about 20 low-growing Pteronia plants, which were resprouting post-fire on the summit. I think they may be P. hutchinsoniana (Rare), but Jen thinks not - it's a small matter of golden hairs on the edge of the leaves We will have to ask Jan. Unfortunately, there were no flowers.

The western-bound party found Aspalathus pedunculata (Rare) and will do a site sheet for the Psoralea. In addition, we are cataloguing all the plants that grow at Eseljacht. This is reflected on iNaturalist. There were 219 observations before this last visit - The new ones will be added ITFOT

Once again, a lovely day out with good friends, interesting plants and in magnificent surroundings. And as an added bonus - the soil was actually damp after recent rains. Hopefully the Langkloof will have more soon, so that the flowers get a hupstoot into Spring.


What is iNaturalist?
It is a global community connecting people to Nature through their observations of biodiversity. The observations generate valuable scientific data at the same time. Yes, it is social – because it connects 750,000 scientist and naturalists across the world! It is a joint initiative by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society.

SANBI scientist, Dr Tony Rebelo, presented iNaturalist courses to students, learners and the public this past week at the George campus of NMU during National Science week. Following Cape Town’s exhilarating victory of the interglobal city challenge, Garden Routers are now pitching for the Garden Route District Municipality (as a geographical entity) to plunge in for the 2020 City Nature Challenge.

The Garden Route districts’ stats on iNaturalist the past week reflected an impressive:
80,399 observations - which includes
32,367 observations by the top five Outramps CREW contributors: Nicky, Di, Sally, Brian & Sandra
6,430 species
1,421 identifiers
739 observers

Reverting from the virtual iNaturalist museum to a meeting with enviro staff at the Mossel Bay Municipality soon after the course, I casually mentioned the possibility of CNC on the Garden Route. What a lovely chuckle when I immediately got: "We’re in, Mossel Bay has to win!"!
Nou ja, lyk my hier kom ‘n ding!

P.S. A big thank you to Pam from Slakplaas, who handled all the public bookings for the Course and under somewhat trying circumstances remained cheerful and unflappable.

Out and About in the Southern Cape
Bosduif Loop
We are still enjoying the sailing off-season, which gives us an extra day's hiking over the weekend. Bill and I decided on the Bosduif Loop high above the Giant Kingfisher Trail. It is very steep, so gave us a pretty good workout with spectacular views. On the negative side, the forest is worryingly dry. Currently, we seem to get little dribs and drabs of rain, but nothing really significant.

Kat River Circular
"And the Dawg came too"
This was a WAGS walk, but we are unable to keep up with them, so we form a separate party, start pre-dawn and usually end up finishing at roughly the same time as they do. The area round the Kat River and the Garden Route Dam is not really safe for two decrepit ancients, so on this occasion we took our German Shepherd Donna along with us. This area is one of the few places that you can take your dog, as it falls under the George Municipality.

In the stretch of afrotemperate forest leading to Pepsi Pools, we saw a number of trees that have been scarred by bark-harvesting. They were Olinia ventosa (Harde Peer), Gonioma kamassi (Kamassi) and Rapanea melanophloeos (Boekenhout). These are worrying signs, as this practice could lead to the death of a number of indigenous trees.

On the way back via the attractive path that winds along the banks of the Garden Route Dam, we met 3 young men from Pretoria University doing reseach on the Polyphagous Shothole Borer Beetle, which is attacking both native trees and exotics. The poor plants are being threatened on all sides by climate change, development, the traditional medicine trade and now this invader beetle.

We came home feeling a little depressed. But lest we forget - we are still unbelievably lucky to be able to be "Out and About" in the stunning Southern Cape surroundings.


Field Trips
On Friday SIM will be visiting a hill close to Albertinia, which Mike Cameron will organise. He promises us spectacular fynbos. The week after (16th), we will combine with the Great Brak Conservancy to catalogue the plants on the Wolwedans Hike above the village of Great Brak River.
Hamba Kahle
Groete en dankie

Di Turner
Outramps CREW Group
SIM tripsSouthern Cape
South Africa

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 of Interest to the Southern Cape Herbarium -
Baviaanskloof -
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 Jonkersberg Bowl -
Outeniquas Langeberg
Outeniquas Montagu Pass North -
Outeniquas North Station -
Outeniquas Paardekop -
Outeniquas Paardepoort East -
Outeniquas Paardepoort West -
Outeniquas Pizza Ridge -
Outeniquas Southern Traverse -
Outeniquas Waboomskraal Noord -
Robberg Corridor - :
Robberg Corridor -
Robberg Corridor -
Rooiberg -
Spioenkop -
Strawberry Hill -
Swartberg Bloupunt -
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

Outramps CREW Group - all postings
Ericas of the Southern Cape -
Fungi of the Southern Cape -
Geraniaceae of the Southern Cape -
Lianes and Creepers in the Southern Cape and Little Karoo -
Veg Types of South Africa (Tony Rebelo)-

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 recent power outages.

Walkie Talkies - Botanical walks that include more talking than walking

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הועלה ב-אוגוסט 6, 2019 04:41 לפנה"צ על ידי outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi


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