Acrolophia ustulata revisited

Having been intrigued by the different colours displayed in a group of six Acrolophia ustulata, found in Fernkloof, we revisited there this morning to try to get better photographs.  At first we found 4 separate plants with dark maroon flowers, but could not locate the group of 6.  We spent half an hour searching, before eventually finding them right where I thought they should be!  It just shows how difficult it is to see these tiny plants.

Anyway, the upshot of it all was that we found no less than 10 plants in a small area of around 10 sq. metres, which was really exciting, and testimony to the fact that there are probably many more around.  Furthermore, we were able to conclusively show three distinct colours; maroon, yellow and brick-red, so were well pleased with our effort.

A Walk to Plaaskombuis

Dear Ronnie,

A dirty dozen of us Hurriers felt grateful and sorrowful for our Flower Show members who were not able to join us in the lovely walk over Rotary Way to Plaas Kombuis.

Mike Bryan, Ed and Ross (with his new Kidbrooke colleague) were kindly waiting for me at 7am at Plaas Kombuis so that we could leave three cars there to give lifts back to Bosko after the walk, When we got back to Bosko just before 07h30 Piet and Martha were ready to lead us gently up the Elephant track to Rotary Way. Also there at the start were Kinky, Carol and John, Sally waiting for Ed, and Hedley Tarlton, The wind was crisp on the way up but more than compensated by stunning views of the ocean as usual.

By the time we were walking down the other side into the Hemel en Aarde through Hamilton Russel vineyards the sun was taking the temperature up from 15 to the 20 degrees we enjoyed by the end. You could be in the Chianti area of Italy when you’re walking down there through the vineyards, past the tasting room over the dam wall, through the trees to the farm road past the stables. Just a lot cheaper and less crowded!

Great coffee for all dozen in the enclosed valley view Plaas Kombuis now offer and by 11h00 we were all on our way back to Bosko to fetch cars and go home!

Thanks for everyone’ generous support.

Look forward to seeing you at the flower show!

Mick

Thanks for the report, Mick. Sorry we could not be with you, but we were doing duty collecting specimens for the Flower Show

Thick with Thick-Knees

Hermanus Bird Club

A vacant plot in Eastcliff must have something going for it, at least as far as the world of Spotted Thick-Knees is concerned.  This morning, whilst out walking, I spotted no less than 12 of these birds sunning themselves in an area no bigger than 40m x 40m.  There may have been more – I only saw the ones that were standing and I did not get too close for fear of disturbing them.  I read that out of breeding season they form roosts of up to 70 birds, but this my first experience of this habit.               R Hazell.

Sp Thick_knee

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FynArts in Hermanus

The fifth Annual FynArts Festival draws to a close in Hermanus and it has, as in previous years, been a huge success, thanks in no small part to the unstinting work of its organiser, Mary Faure.  Unless one attends, it is hard to imagine the sheer volume of art available in this small coastal town.  Already endowed with a considerable artistic talent of its own, the festival brings so much more at every level, especially musically.

There are concerts and recitals every day, workshops on every aspect of sketching, painting, sculpture, photography, birding, quilting, cooking, writing, wine, decorating, and many other topics.  The list and the opportunities are endless.  It is without a doubt the best place to be for the ten days of its duration.

 

Storms in Cape Town

We decided to spend a few days in Sea Point, never realising that we had picked the most violent period in terms of the weather.  When we arrived it was perfect and we enjoyed two long walks along the promenade on Monday and Tuesday. Then all hell broke loose on Wednesday with the biggest storm in living memory.  The sea was a magnificent, albeit dangerous, sight, with massive waves wrecking havoc along the previously placid coastline.  It was too wet to take proper pictures and one had to be there to get the full impact.  The newspapers and digital media have some wonderful images, but I will, nevertheless, add my few.

Grootvadersbosch Away Trip

Hermanus Bird Club

It started out as an outing for 20 members, but Cape Nature had a drainage problem and the numbers had to be reduced to 12.  The Palmers kindly agreed to camp, so in the end 14 of us set out on Monday.  Numbers continued to diminish for various reasons and by the time Wednesday evening came along, we were down to only 10.

We were very pleasantly surprised by the excellent accommodation available and looked forward to our first forest walk.  This took place on Tuesday morning, when we hiked for three and a half hours in desperate search of Trogons, Flycatchers and Turacos. Sadly, it was not to be – our total count for the forest reserve was only around 30 species, but we were well rewarded with an excellent sighting of a Barn Owl as well as large flocks of African Olive Pigeons – up to 40 or…

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