Friday, February 12, 2010

Cape Point flowers

Vince and I headed for Cape Point so that he could run from the tip to Olifantsbos, some 20kms, with me amusing myself as I saw fit in the interim.

I watched the waves at Dias Beach, which were kicking up after some event at sea, and then drove down all the little turnoffs I have not explored before.

At Platboom I saw ostriches on a dune.

And a flaming red leucadendron.

There were many, apparently young ones (they had a young, soft look about them...they did) right beside the road.

They punctuated the carpet of fynbos, where patches of pink erica also provided interest in the apparently barren green moor of fynbos.

Gnidia? I would have liked to have smelled it at night. Unless you rent Olifantsbos - the cottage - the night smells are a secret. And in the day, how many people go galloping to the tip of Cape Point, missing all this floral action right under their undelighted noses?

Ha! My 2010 flower: Aristea glauca, or at any rate, possibly. I see it everywhere.

Then I spotted two of these, growing side by side on the Circular Drive...A sport? Is this how new flowers are made? Palest blue.

At the turnoff for Olifantsbos I waited for Vince (having yelled encouragingly at him as I drove by) so that he could stop and assess the state of his legs and heat tolerance before doing the next lap all the way to the Olifantsbos parking lot, on the western side of the peninsula. So I inspected some of the pink ericas growing right next to the road in some reedy grasses.

Or grassy reeds?

Next, I braked - well, I was actually free wheeling at this point, going really slowly on my flower safari - for the masses of pale-blue-to-white flowers growing in small tufts right against the sand in amongst the low rocks. They turned out to be Roella squarrosa. It was hard to walk without stepping on them.

Every now and then their larger, bluer cousin, Roella triflora, stood taller above them.

Near Olifantsbos, I stopped again where some evidence of water tempted me to walk about 50 metres from the road, where the trickle had made deep tannic pools of fynbos water in the flatland. It was utterly quiet. No fences. No people. Not even an animal (that I could see).

Just bees, beetles. The plop of a frog. The sun climbing higher.

Psoralea, I think, but which one?

A fire had been and gone. Diastella divaricata - a protea in miniature, had grown.

Lachnaea densiflora.

Stilbe vestita - never seen it before.

Here are tiny, soft and furry Serruria villosa, growing in the sand, after the fire. They only grow on this peninsula.

Their flowers. The wind was blowing quite hard so I was holding flowers for pictures.


At Olifantsbos I loaded Vince up - he was beaming. Happy runner. We drove back towards Bordjiesdrif for our lunch picnic, past some bontebok and ostriches.

The tide had come in, and over the tidal pool, giving it much-needed clean water.

Petrels and gulls kept landing to sit and point in one direction.

After lunch (biltong sandwiches and grenadilla juice) we drove back home past Misty Cliffs so that we could check out the crazy waves we'd seen on Noordhoek Beach from Ou Kaapseweg on our way to the Point.

Misty Cliffs, above, lived up to their name.

At Bokramstrand, the tide was way high, right up to the dunes.

It was depositing new kelp and removing old, and the sea was wild on a blue sky, calm day.

I had never seen it like this - foam-mad and implacable. The rocks where we usually paddle were under water, and the whole beach had shape-shifted. The usual turquoise was a creamy mass of froth and rip current. I'd love to know what caused it.

And from there, home.

The blog will have a long rest, now. We have decided to leave laptops at home for our trip. Phew. It will be an alien feeling, but it is perhaps a good time to detach from the keyboard and the compulsion (and time it takes) to document, and to plug ourselves into our scenery, rather than sporadic power outlets. The cameras will be with us, though, and after we return we will begin the story of How It Went.

A school of sceptical thought thinks that photographing life removes one from it. I could not disagree more. Since I started to take pictures I see more than I ever did. The more I see the more I want to know. Wanting is desiring.

And that is what makes the engine go.
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