Thursday, January 6, 2011

Silvermine's Amphitheatre Hike

Leucospermum cordifolium.

When the going got hot, we got hiking.

Senecio rigidus.

Carpobrotus edulis aka sour fig.

The beginning of the Amphitheatre footpath.

A short, steep, hot climb...

Looking down on the reservoir, hearing splashes and laughter from the cold water on the hot day.


Watsonia coccinea, I think. [Nope: W. borbonica, which has floppy flowers. See comments! Thanks, Marijks...]

Watsonia tabularis.

A lobelia, but which one?

Pink erica...

Growing only on the east facing parts of the path - Ornithogalum fragrans, I think.

Pelargonium pinnatum. I think.

Above, a new one for me in bloom in low bushes, Phylica dioica.

Abundant erica. I am hopeless with erica.

Mannus frenchus.

One entire curve of the Amphitheatre was dominated by these shrubs of Erica mammosa.

Erica as far as we could see. 

Pretty bushes of Psoralea pinnata.

Thereianthus bracteolatus growing on the path in the sand on the ridge.

A shrub high enough to be a tree, clinging to the rock, festooned with clean-air lichen.

Just two hours later we had come full circle and were back at the oven-hot car again where we drank our cold water greedily, slurped our chilled Ceres fruit juices dry, and chewed happily on two pieces of droewors. Then we raced home, windows down, cooling in the breeze, jumped in the swimming pool and sat sipping cold G&T's in our damp towels as supper time drew near.


  1. It feels good looking at your beautiful Summer wild flowers, from Wet and Gray Vancouver ;-)

  2. Hopeless or not, they are gorgeous. What a help on a cold January day here in the States.

  3. Mannus frenchus? Mannus frenchii, surely? ;-)

    Snow forecast for tomorrow.

  4. Wow. I've photographed Erica mammosa in the glasshouse at Kew and Leucospermum cordifolium at Strybing in SF. How wonderful to walk along a path where they're growing wild. Delightful!

  5. Please send me some of the pin cushion protea ( as they're known in the trade), pic #1. I need them for Saturday's work.

    All looks amazing and hard to comprehend here in a Virginia winter.

    More please.

    xo Jane

  6. Great pics. Just love the one of the Carpobrotus fruit which looks as if it's making a zap sign!
    The pink watsonia is probably W.borbonica which is found of mature fynbos, has lots of flowers, often 'floppily' arranged cf. W.coccinea which has a neat compact inflorescence of fewer flowers (<7), and is almost exclusively found after fire.

  7. Die mooiste I'm homesick!

  8. Just for the record...
    Ls. cordifolium does not occur naturally in the Silvermine area - it was planted (introduced) by who knows who in the past.

    Its a lovely plant never-the-less... (Tony Rebelo would shriek and say its messing up the gene pool of the local flora...)

    Your Amphitheatre hike - which our hiking group call "The Inner Rim" is one of my favourites in Silvermine. Views are enhanced by the demise, by fire in 2000 (or was it 2001?)of the tall and invasive pine trees planted around the dam. Recently allowed swimming in the Dam enhances this hike in summer - although I have to confess that we have always enjoyed a quick and illicit dip "au naturelle" in the dam in summer during the week when it is less crowded. The philosophy being that "if the observers have
    not seen what naked middle aged ladies are displaying, albeit clandestinely, then they may shoot peanuts at it!!!

  9. Well done for walking on such a hot day (I have spent the whole week wilting and whimpering from the heat). That walk is also one of my best ones and it's lovely to see your photos. The water in the dam is amazingly refreshing - I'm chuckling at Lyn's comment about her skinny-dipping... wish I was that brave!


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