I haven’t posted in a while, so those who believe that if an outdoor activity hasn’t been posted on digital media somewhere then it didn’t occur, might think that I have been idle. Although there have been other distractions – like grandkids arriving for a long visit, or buying a house at the coast – I did manage to get into the mountains on at least three occasions recently to recce plants, do a trail assessment and repeat a trail simply because it is so spectacular.
Jonkershoek trail assessment
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve has been closed to hikers and trail runners since the massive fire earlier in the year. As members of the MCSA we offered to assess some of the Panorama route trails for trail damage, for the reserve manager, so we obtained special permits to do so after the first snowfall – coincidently! Kevin, Yolanda, their boys, Santie and I formed the intrepid crew. Of course we included snow-capped Victoria Peak in the assessment!
Smitswinkel-Simon’s Town Traverse repeat
This hike across Swartkop peak is so spectacular that I had to do it again shortly after the last outing there, and show it to Santie. Of course, she also had her own mission to track down a certain Serruria species (Swartkops Spiderhead) which we found growing in profusion right at the end of trail just above Simon’s Town. If that had been our sole purpose and if we had set out from Simon’s Town instead, it would have been a very short hike.
Blushing Bride Bioblitz recce
Ever since our successful mission to find Blushing Brides (Serruria florida) in Assegaaiboschkloof, where they are endemics, and after the devastating fire early in the year, Santie resolved to register a Baby Bride Bioblitz project on iNaturalist – Saving the Bride. She enlisted the help of botanist Tony Rebelo and we set off on a blustery day to find the brides on the charred slope where they used to occur, as a recce for the actual Bioblitz (which took place recently with huge success). We found the first green shoots where we expected, but without Tony’s trained eye, we would never have identified them as the brides. It was a very educational outing. We also discovered armies of alien stinkbeans invading the lower valley as well as many resprouting Canary Island pines on the higher slopes. A follow up alien clearing hack is planned for November.