Dot’s Dash 2017

Our annual walk up Dot’s Dash in the Kogelberg did not disappoint.  The weather was very favourable and cool, although there was a stiff westerly breeze blowing.  Only eight Hurriers pitched up, but they all enjoyed the day.  We walked 8.6 km and climbed to a height of 412 metres.

The flowers were very good, however, a recent fire meant that much of our walk was through burnt fynbos.  A storm around two weeks ago had caused major flooding and there were areas where there was evidence of very swollen streams causing considerable damage to the mountainside.  In the burnt areas the post-fire plants were showing well and we can look forward to a good crop of Orchids come November.

The beautiful Cliff Lily

Every autumn, walkers on the Hermanus Cliff Path can enjoy seeing the beautiful Gladiolus carmineus or Cliff Lily, which is endemic to this small area. Unfortunately, some walkers pick them, which is forbidden, as the area forms part of the Fernkloof Nature Reserve.

Gladiolus carmineus
Gladiolus carmineus – the Cliff Lily

A Walk with Eagles

Twelve Hurriers set off up Adder’s Ladder and on to the Jeep Track this morning.  As we were leaving we were delighted to see a juvenile Verreaux’s Eagle fly over.  Then, a short time later, two adults were spotted and they gave us a wonderful show, swooping and circling overhead! Meantime, around 8 African Olive Pigeons were enjoying themselves in the Kiggelaria africana (Wild Peach) at the Visitors’ Centre.  Also seen in the trees were Cape White-Eyes, Cape Rock Thrush, Olive Thrush, Dusky Flycatcher, Fiscal Flycatcher and Southern Double-collared Sunbirds, whilst White-Necked Ravens and a Jackal Buzzard enjoyed the open air.

Our walk took us to just short of the Mossel river crossing on the Jeep Track, before we turned back up the path towards Galpin.  Just as well as there was a gale force headwind.  Luckily the latter soon abated and we were able to enjoy a well-earned refreshment stop along the path. Soon we were on the downhill slope again and by the time we returned to our cars, we had covered 9.5 km and climbed to 550 metres.  On the return below Galpin, we were once again privileged to see the two Verreaux’s Eagles flying low overhead.

From 9 to 4

When we started our walk in Fernkloof this morning we had nine participants.  Two dropped out quite soon and then, half way up Adder’s Ladder, we lost three more, so there were four of us left to complete what was a lovely walk .  It was pretty humid, but the day was mild and we completed our round trip by descending back to the Visitors’ Centre via Kanonkop.  A new app on my phone confirmed that we had walked exactly 8 kilometres.  It was slow but steady.  Regrettably the birds that I wanted to see did not reveal themselves, so I will just have to keep trying!

Tritoniopsis lata was the flower of the day, with many throughout the area covered. Sadly, the drought is taking its toll and a number of plants looked severely stressed.  Thanks Sandy, for naming the Empodium and Indigofera!

Fernkloof in March

Our walk in Fernkloof on Wednesday was poorly attended – a pity, because, as my birthday was on Monday, I had brought cake for everyone – but only six people walked.  No matter, that meant more for me!!

We were lucky to see a March flowering orchid, Disa ferruginea, on the southern slopes of Lemoenkop, as well as many beautiful Erica tenella, Bulbine favosa and Tritoniopsis triticea.

Aristeas on Lemoenkop

A walk up Lemoenkop revealed a showcase of Aristea oligocephala in the burnt section on the north facing slope.  They have replaced the good showing of Wachendorfia that was flowering a week or two ago.  It is wonderful to see how nature replaces one massed flowering with another, thereby keeping us interested all the year round!


Disas at Pig’s Snout

A short walk up to the beautiful waterfalls at Pig’s Snout this afternoon was well rewarded. We saw around fifty Disa uniflora flowers spread up the cliff face.  Water cascaded gently around them and there were ferns and moss providing a lovely backdrop to the spectacular red flowers!  It was just a pity that they were all so very far away, but the spectacle was, nevertheless, fantastic and spending time there in the cool shade on a very hot afternoon was wonderful.  The forest was in good shape with many large yellowwood trees, whose roots sought anchorage and sustenance among the boulders that litter the valley floor.