Today we did another Post Fire monitoring walk up to and around Galpin Hut, under the watchful eyes of Sandy, Liz and Margaret. These are some of the sharpest eyes I know and, once again, they did not fail us! Our main interest was Orchids and we found nine species – Disa cornuta; D. cylindrica; D. pillansii; D.ophrydea; D.obtusa subsp. hottentotica; D. bracteata; Satyrium odorum and Evotella carnosa. Of course there were many other plants to see, but the Orchids took centre stage. At one seep area there were literally hundreds of Disa pillansii and we stopped to see if we could identify a pollinator. We were rewarded with a sighting of a smallish bee landing on one of the flowers, but it was too fast for us to get a photograph!
We walked 7.8 km, but with 14 people and all the stopping and photography, it took us around 7 hours, starting from the Marais’ house in Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. I was particularly pleased to see another Sentinel Rock Thrush near Galpin Hut and we also had good sightings of Cape Grassbirds.