Chasing Disa uniflora in Fernkloof

Here we are in February and thoughts of Orchids are eating away at us, so this morning Liz organised a walk into the far reaches of Fernkloof Nature Reserve to try to find Disa uniflora, which has not been seen in the Reserve for around 20 years.  Luckily the weather was cool and we even experienced some drizzle, but that was definitely preferable to the heat we have been having lately.  We walked for 7 hours and we not only found 7 beautiful D. uniflora specimens, but we also found 4 other Orchid varieties, namely D. tenuifolia, D. racemosa, D. tripetaloides and D. cornuta.  The fynbos in the higher reaches of the Reserve was very good, considering the dry weather we have been experiencing, and is no doubt a testimony to the damp mists which often cover the mountains.

It was interesting to note the enthusiasm displayed by some of our group.  When faced with a damselfly (White Malachite – Chlorolestes umbratus) on the other side of a pool of water, Sandy just walked in up to her waist in order to get a photograph! (like a Labrador wanting to cool off!!)

We also found fine specimens of two Ericas, E williamsiorum and E ioniana named after Ian Williams, who was so instrumental in the preservation of our floral heritage.

I decided to try to record our walk with my phone, rather than with a camera, but although initially very excited by the results, I was brought down to earth when editing them on my computer.  They cannot compare with the real thing, so please accept my apologies for the not-so-good images herewith.