De Bos Wetland Trail

De Bos has, through Frank Woodvine, developed a wetland trail through their farm in the Hemel en Aarde Valley.  Frank led us through this area this morning and we were all enthralled to see what he has done, developing paths and points of interest.  De Bos has also done a great deal of development for tourism, and there are picnic sites spread around the property , complementing the magnificent tasting room that was recently opened.

The wetland area abounds with fynbos birds and the potential for spring flowers was evident.  The area will be well worth visiting again in September.

Dominated by Octogenarians!

Fourteen Hurriers set out for a walk in Fernkloof this morning, led by three of our venerable seniors (read ‘octogenarians’).  There was a fresh breeze blowing, hopefully the harbinger of rain later today, but they were not deterred, leading us around the face of Kanonkop and then Lemoenkop.

As usual, the mountainside was a treat to walk on with the fynbos giving us its seasonal crop of wild flowers, dominated by extensive growths of Ericas.

Galpin Hut Last Week

Despite a strong wind blowing and gale-force winds forecast for later seven turned up at the Visitors Centre 08.00.  (Thanks to Robin for changing the time to a more reasonable hour).  Almost as soon as we started the wind abated and we walked in perfect walking weather – cool with some cloud, clearing later.

As our leader was not a keen botanist he kept the party going at a steady pace with minimum stops for photographs and lots of chatter.  We took just short of 2 ½ hours to the hut where we had a good break and as promised by the leader we were down in time for lunch.

On the way down we had a great sighting of a Klipspringer standing on a rocky outcrop above us, outlined against the sky.  At the bench on the top of Adder Ladder we sighted, close by, a further four that wandered off down the slope.

The composition of our party was unusual and, in some instances, perhaps unique for a Hurriers walk. Unusually there were more males than females but what I think made the composition unique is that there were more octogenarians than youngsters!!

The four octo’s were equally between the sexes.  What can be said about the females octo’s collectively is that :

  1. They were older than their male counterparts
  2. They were far fitter and
  3. They were for sure a lot easier on the eye.

It was another fun day on the mountain enjoyed by all.

Piet

Hangklip Revisited

We last climbed Hangklip six years ago and then ten of us went up with relative ease.  Today was a different story!  Only four intrepid souls ventured up the steep climb – and boy, was it STEEP!!  We stopped many times on the way up to rest, but made it in the end, so were rewarded by the beautiful views from the top.  I very much doubt that any of us will do it again!  Of course, Audrey was there and showed us what can be achieved.  What an amazing walking companion!

Disa uniflora

A quick foray into Vogelgat Reserve this afternoon to see the Red Disa was everything we wanted.  Never before have I been able to photograph 10 blooms in close proximity to each other.  It really was magnificent!  Adding to the fun of the afternoon, we had a downpour – not typical Western Cape rain, but more like a monsoon with large drops raining down and absolutely drenching us.  Of course this started just as we reached the flowers, so we had to be quick with the camera to avoid any damage!

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Disa uniflora

Wednesday Walk – Fernkloof

Fifteen walkers turned up this morning for a quick two hour hike in Fernkloof.  The weather was good with some cloud, but no rain (much needed in these parts).  There was not a lot to see on the flower front, however, we met up with the BotSoc flower group, who seemed pretty enthralled with what they were looking at!

As far as birds were concerned, there were the usual Orange-breasted Sunbirds and many calls from Cape Grassbids, but the highlight of the day was a trio of Ground Woodpeckers, whose loud calls drew our attention to their presence on a rock above us.