Saturday, January 12, 2013

Hiking in the sun

Ixia dubia

Thank goodness for South African pictures. I have not been outside the apartment in 60 hours, am developing a glassy look from staring at computer screens, tend to startle easily and am in need of a change of scene. Even a walk to the deli.

So until I emerge, here are pictures I took on a walk that Vince and I did in December on the east side of Silvermine, the area of mountains within the Table Mountain National Park that provides hikers and botanizers with a wealth of opportunities for doing both. I think this walk took us about four hours, with a light lunch packed (and two cold beers. Hey, liquids don't count as weight). Sadly, no dogs accompanied us, as in days past - the corgis aren't up to long, hot hikes (wusses) and Ben has passed on. I miss Ben.

Above and below - As I mentioned in a Cape Point post, this is the first time I have seen these lovely flowers in bloom. In late summer you find only their striking seed heads, empty of purple. Dilatris pillansii, or rooiwortel (red root). Stems are about thigh-high, flowerheads larger than an outstretched palm.

Below, more Helichrysum vestitum - these white everlastings were a constant during our brief trip.

And lots of lilac-ink Pelargonium cucullatum, which one begins to take for granted, as it is everywhere. 

No-name grass, but lovely.

Below, yellow thingies. Oh. alright, I'll look them up:

Well, Cotula, but I don't know which one. My mom has a mat-forming species in her garden. I bet in the greenroof trade they'd be called "steppables"...

Gardens of Pelargonium cucullataum and Senecio...OK, botanists, I still get this wrong: If it is the genus name, do you capitalize it if it stands alone? I am entirely inconsistent about it.

And a very unusual, prostrate pincushion -  Leucospermum hypophyllocarpodendron...

Our path. You don't think you're walking very far until you look back. Same goes for life, I suppose: I did that?

Heading back from the caves we had gone to find, which Lyn first showed me, a year-and-a-half ago, when Vince was grounded in New York. Walk in the afternoon and the chances are good that the mist will catch you, coming in off False Bay.

By the time we had descended and trudged back to the car, a good hour from here, the mountain had disappeared into the white cloud. We drove home, all of ten minutes, jumped in the pool, and dried off with a cold gin and tonic.


Guess I'll make that deli trip. Soon. 


  1. Thank you for some much needed sun and color on a grey, chilly day here near Boston.

    And my heart aches for your Ben. Our last dog, Hobbes, was a yellow lab who lived to the ripe old age of 15 years, one month, and 6 days. A good friend.

  2. I had no idea how absolutely beautiful South Africa is until seeing your photos. Gorgeous!
    It is cold here too, so the photos today were a wonderful treat.

  3. Phew, I took a great hike and didn't even work up a sweat!

    Love this blog. So glad you're here.

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  4. Lovely photos!
    And I'm not a botanist, but I am a biologist and the convention is the same. You always capitalise the genus name, even if it stands alone. If you don't know what the species is you can always put it down as: Senecio sp. (in the case of one unknown species) or Senecio spp. (in the case of multiple unknown species). Italicised as normal.

    Hope u get out the house soon!


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