Hot Air

Hot Air

Outramps CREW Diaries
18th February 2020

"Success comes in a lot of ways, but it doesn't come with money and it doesn't come with fame. It comes from having a meaning in your life, doing what you love and being passionate
about what you do."
Tim Tebow

Our dearly beloved Buchu Bus has moved to pastures new after a long life of distinguished service with the Outramps. She is sadly missed, but she was becoming altogether too unreliable for safety.

Nowadays, we mostly have to take 2 cars and the transport expenses are becoming prohibitive. We currently have 3 students, who join us on a regular basis. If you enjoy the Diaries and feel that our work is worthwhile, please consider a donation to our petrol fund. The email address is
and I will send you the Outramps bank details

Album Tuesday 18th February 2020

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 month -The Boys were in Town, Start-Up Meeting 2020, Platberg in the Swartberg, Kat River Circular to Pepsi Pools, Planning Meeting with Ismail , Hartenbos Heuwels with LOT, Out and About in the Southern Cape and some tips for using iNat.

For names and captions of the photos used on this version of the Diaries - see the Album.

For earlier versions of the Outramps CREW Diaries

The Boys were in Town
Watsonias on Cradock Peak:
We wondered what the pink haze was on the top of Cradock Peak and just had to find out. It turned out to be a mass of Watsonias, larger than any display I've ever seen. We were also delighted to see Cyrtanthus elatus (George Lily) around every corner and a real highlight was the discovery of a population of the stunning Geissorhiza outeniquensis (Near Threatened) by Werner.

Other noteworthy trips:
We had a wonderful time on the St. Blaize trail (Cyrtanthus sp.), the Koumashoek Circuit (Erica georgica, Mimetes pauciflorus Vulnerable, Cyrtanthus elatus), Addo (a rooikat kill and lions) and a trip up the eastern ridge of the Swartberg Pass to Oliewenberg (Protea rupicola - Endangered, Protea venusta - Endangered), Leucadendron dregeii Endangered) and the first iNat observation of Erica jugicola - Rare), thanks to Werner.

Start-Up Meeting 2020
A very successful start-up meeting was held at Evie's attractive home "Woodcutters" on Wilderness Heights. It was ably chaired by Jenny Potgieter, as she takes over the reins of the Outramps from the retiring matriarch Di Turner. There was a good turnout and lots of enthusiasm for the work that needs to be done in 2020.


  1. The search for Rare and Endangered plants and their monitoring remains our core function
  2. Collection of specimens for the Southern Cape Herbarium
  3. Seed Collection for MSBP (Millenium Seed Bank Partnership)
  4. Engagement with local Municipalities on conservation issues.
  5. Recording data on iNaturalist in order to provide a comprehensive checklist of all the flora and fauna that we find wherever we are in South Africa and beyond, with our main focus being the Southern and Western Cape.
  6. Training and inspiring youngsters who show an interest in the environment.

We will continue with our weekly SIM field trips and the HAT trips with the Mountain Club. Our young in the Western Cape will be climbing the highest mountains and exploring all over the place. We are hoping that LOT will also be revitalised in 2020. We plan 4 major Overnighters for the year.

Platberg in the Swartberg
It was cool and overcast, which made for pleasant walking on the northern side of the Swartberg. It's a while since we did Platberg and we had an excellent turnout. Nicky and Karol did a short loop and took thousands of photos. Jenny, Rebecca and Di did the whole loop on the northern side and Evie and Dave explored the tops of the hills and found Erica zwartbergensis (Rare) along the way.

Syncarpha ferruginea was a shimmerimg golden colour and Tritoniopsis antholyza was gorgeous in burnt-orange. There were lots of stunning pink Vygies, particularly when we got down on to the Swartberg Pass. We were delighted to find both Leucadendron barkerae and Protea canaliculata, which we haven't seen for ages. The views all along were spectacular.

The find of the day was a small Crassula. Niels Jacobsen of the Southern Cape Herbarium has confirmed that it is a new species in a Group that he is busy revising. Jen had fortunately taken a specimen.

After a lovely day fossicking over a wide area, we returned home very satisfied. The recent rains are already making a big difference to the regeneration of the vegetation on the Swartberg.

Kat River Circular to Pepsi Pools
Budgetary constraints and very high temperatures have combined to keep us local for some of January and early February. The Kat River Circuit is a very pleasant and reasonably cool walk, with the option of a swim at the popular Pepsi Pools higher up the Swart River, before it tumbles down into the Garden Route Dam that is almost full after some good rains. The last part of the walk is a pleasant meander along the northern shore of the Dam. On the downside, this whole area is a striking example of post-fire degradation. Black Wattle is coming up like grass all over the place. This ground is administered by the George Municipality. The size of the problem is daunting and with limited resources, we have no idea of how they are going to tackle it. It would need an army to win this battle.

In between the mess of aliens, some Fynbos is trying to establish itself. Without major intervention, it is doomed to failure. The area immediately around Pepsi Pools is indigenous forest and is holding its own. Just at the entrance to the forest, we saw our only Rare of the day, Erica unicolor subsp. georgensis (Rare).

Joining us for the first time was Nicolette, (she and her husband recently bought Strawberry Hill) and Fred, who is doing his Nature Conservation prac at the Botanical Gardens. We are delighted to welcome them to the ranks of the Outramps and are hoping that they will enjoy the field trips and find them as interesting as we do. The average age of the Outramps is gradually sliding downwards, despite one or two ancients in the ranks.

Putting the Garden Route on the biodiversity map!
Diarize: 24-27 April 2020
City Nature Challenge 2020 on iNat

iNat Training for & Garden Route City Nature Challenge (CNC) 2020 kicks off…
A curious and interactive group came to the formal information and training session for the CNC in Mossel Bay. The members of BotSoc, WESSA, CREW, the Dana Bay and Great Brak River Conservancies; Point of Human Origins scientists; local tour guides who provide for German tourists, birders and the cruise liners visiting Mossel Bay; retirees and the fundraiser/education outreach facilitator for Oceans Research were clearly dead keen to know more and get on board.

The iNaturalist phone App is the ideal tool for the CNC. Training will be given to use the smart phone App to interested
parties in the various Garden Route towns. Follow the Facebook page for updates: or

The CNC Core Committee on the Garden Route are volunteers and still need: Champions for CNC in Hessequa, Kannaland and Oudtshoorn. Anyone wishing to record the biodiversity in their immediate area can take the initiative to coordinate a bioblitz. Posters and information fact sheets are available too. Ask! For further information or requests for iNat training on the handy phone App or an overview of the powerful, versatile computer version, contact Christine:
Advice from last year’s winner, Cape Town: ‘Sign Up to NOW - and practise, practise, practise’!

Planning Meeting with Ismail
It was a steaming, hot day. All thoughts of Flanagans Rock on the northern side of Cradock Peak had fled, with forecast temperatures in the area reaching the upper 30's. So we opted for a shortie on the lower slopes of George Peak. An old Pine plantation provided shade and we had a good view of the unbridled takeover of the area by a host of alien plants. Magnificent Hedychium sp. (Ginger Lily) was in full flower, Solanum mauritianum (Bugweed) was all over the place, Cyathea cooperi (Aussie Invader Fern) was in its element and Sambucus canadensis (Elder) with its showy white flowers against the deep green foliage under the Pine canopy created a cool, green environment in stark contrast to the sizzling heat outside. Little streams coming off the mountain criss-cross the cycle tracks and trails, that are widely used by the locals.

It wasn't exactly the ideal walk to choose for Ismail, who is in charge of CREW in the Western Cape and our dearly-loved boss, but it was short and cool and was followed by the planning meeting at Jen's house. Sumptuous eats, coffee and tea and then we were straight into the meeting. Ismail always brings us a list of target plants for the year and most of them are in impossible places, or haven't been seen for 100 years, or are so inconspicuous that they have largely been ignored. Occasionally he even slots in a couple that are "Presumed Extinct". This time there were about 111 plants on the list. In Cricket parlance that number is called "Nelson" and it is amazing how many wickets fall when the score reaches 111. Are the Outramps going to be bowled out? I wouldn't bet on it. We're a tough old bunch and we've got a whole lot of newies to help us with the search.

It was great to see Ismail again and we are hoping that he was able to find a suitable venue for the CREW Workshop in May. It will be wonderful to have it in our neck of the woods for the very first time.

Hartenbos Heuwels
LOT had their first airing of the year when Gail, Rusell, Wendy and Sally met up at Hartenbos Heuwels for a little perambulation and looksee.

The first plants to get us excited were the delightful Crossyne guttata (I was especially thrilled with these, never having seen the flowers before). They looked like Christmas decorations against the renosterbos. Nearer the dam they were interspersed with showy Boophone disticha in bright pinks. Also in pinks and purples were various Indigofera spp., including the sturdy I. nigromontana.

At the reservoir I was surprised to see a Karoo Scrub Robin, perhaps lured to the coast by the dry conditions. Even more surprising was discovering that there is an indigenous species of Lantana (viz. rugosa) and it's living very happily in the Heuwels.

Rusell collected a bagful of specimens to keep the herbarium volunteers honest and some new species for the area were noted. When a wind with driving rain suddenly picked up, we abruptly called it a day.
LOT will be visiting the Herbertsdale Road on Thursday

News just in - Peter Thompson has just heard that he achieved his MSc Mathematics (cum laude). His thesis was on Protea recognition and he and his supervisor were authors of a paper that will be presented in Colorado in the next couple of weeks. So another one of our young is doing incredible work. We are so proud.

What's On - at the Cape Town section, Mountain Club of South Africa
Brian du Preez: A Rare Bud - Returning to Old School Botany in the 21st Century
Date: Friday 21 February 2020
Time: 20:00 - 21:00
Success is usually only achieved through hard work and perseverance, and botany is no different. We have been blessed with a plethora of talented botanical explorers in the Cape Floristic Region over the past few centuries, many of whom were members of the MCSA. Over the past few decades there has however, been a decrease in botanical exploration in the region. Botanists now spend most of their time in the herbarium or office, leaving very few individuals to gather specimens and species data in the field.

As a young botanist, I aspire to return to old school, "boots on the mountain" botany, with the help of some 21st century luxuries. My journey into botany is only 7 years old, but I have been rewarded with some incredible discoveries and some great stories to tell. Please join me for an overview of my journey towards becoming a botanist for the 21st century.
(Bill is a member of the Cape Town section and saw this flyer. Brian is another of our young that makes us immensely proud - Ed)

Out and About
We were lucky with the weather. A strong southeaster and cloudy conditions combined to make near-perfect conditions at Bergplaas. Accompanied by our 3 interns, Corné Brink, Rebecca Ryen and Frederick Munro, we set off on the most southerly tracks that look north over the Bergplaas settlement up towards Kleinplaat.

There must have been a stunning display of Watsonias a couple of weeks ago, but only isolated Watsonia fourcadei plants were still flowering. The (Southern Honey Teabush) Cyclopia subternata is growing apace and there has been a huge regeneration of Proteaceae. Schizostephium umbellatum has its first flowers post-burn 2018 and a variety of Ericas were coming into bloom. Notably, we saw Erica glomiflora, discolor, uberiflora and densifolia.

It was a most enjoyable day with our enthusiastic and keen youngsters, but not one single "Rare" was found. This is an unusual occurrence on an Outramps field trip.

Fortunately the "Hot Air" has disappeared for the moment. The temperature in George on Sunday was 42 degrees. Currently it is a glorious 18 degrees.
Hamba Kahle
Groete en dankie

Di Turner
Outramps CREW Group
Southern 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 -
Ballots Heights - :
Baviaanskloof -
Cola Conservancy -
De Mond -
Dune Molerat Trail -
Eco-reflections -
Featherbed Nature Reserve -
Gamkaberg -
Gerickes Punt -
Great Brak River Conservancy put on by Stuart Thomson -
Gouriqua -
Gouritzmond -
Heaven in the Langkloof -
Herolds Bay -
Kammanassie -
Klein Swartberg -
Knysna - Westford Bridge
Kouga Mountains Kliphuis -
Kouga Wildernis -
Kranshoek -
Langeberg Grootvadersbosch -
Masons Rust -
Mons Ruber and surrounds -
Mossel Bay District -
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 Goudveld -
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 Platberg -
Swartberg Rust en Vrede -
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
Ballots Heights -
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 -

Outramps CREW Group - iNaturalist stats
64 892 observations
8868 species
20 Observers
115 492 id's given
(Updated Monthly)

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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CREW Outramps · PO Box 2991 · Mossel Bay, WC 6500 · South Africa

הועלה ב-פברואר 18, 2020 06:09 לפנה"צ על ידי outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi


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