Tuesday 5 March 2024

Clearwater 22 February 2024

The clouds were heavy and grey. We met at Maggie’s house and waited for the rain to stop before we headed out. We weren’t in the mood to be rained upon. From Clearwater we meandered slowly appreciating all that was in flower. 

The Kniphofia laxiflora were particularly beautiful. Syzygium pondoense was full in gorgeous berries. The birds and antelope love this bush. Crotalaria globifera was spectacular. Gail found an interesting Indigofera herrstreyii in marshmallow colouration. 

Indigofera herrstreyii

Wahlenbergia huttonii

Syzygium pondoense

Aspalathus spinifera

Crotalaria globifera

Tephrosia polystachya

Cineraria albicans

Helichrysum adenocarpum

Sometimes it’s ok to be hip. Gail wearing a Kniphofia leaf wrapped around her head at lunch time. Obviously there were no serrations on the leaf.

Psoralea pinnata

Grona setigera

Argyrella canescens 

Erythroxylum pictum

Kniphofia laxiflora

Dorothy , Maggie, Tracy. Anne, Alf and Hilliary 

And… Gail
Pondoland CREW /The Thursday Group

Monday 4 March 2024

Western Heights - 29 February 2024

It once again a day filled with mixed and strong emotions.  We headed to our favourite place to botanise in Western Heights and headed towards the “Vulture restaurant.  Traversing through an abandoned farm the road was unkept and trying to find the road was near impossible incredibly long.  The gate which we normally lift to open and access the reserve was now lying on the ground.  The herdsmen had obviously thought this was easier for the cattle than opening it up daily and now it complimented the fallen and burnt fence which had been purposely vandalised.  With KZN Wildlife short of staff and having only one vehicle the community don’t seem to listen to the chief and have taken this reserve on as its own allowing the herds well fed cattle to become free range and who aren’t even herded out of the reserve at night.  The destruction is heart breaking.  This once was a pristine area but now the plants are damaged and eaten by the herds of cattle and any pleas fall upon deaf ears. 

It was a hot day and one was grateful to find shade in the forest.  Gail and Dorothy had to tread cautiously as they were both still nursing injured shins which were taking an age to heal.  Along the forest edge we found Conostonium natalense, Lantana rugosa, Trimeria trinervis, Erianthmum dregei, Erianthemum dregei and Syncolostemon rotundifolius.  In the forest Stengolottis fimbriata, Streptocarphus formosus, Maytenus cordata were in flower.  Seed capsules were found on Trimeria trinervis and Apodytes abbottii.  As we headed out of the reserve and near the main road, Tracy found Satyrium macrophyllum growing in the grassland.

Homalium dentatum 
Photo credit: Simon

Streptocarphus formosus

Satyrium macrophyllum

Phoenix reclinata

Maytenus cordata 
Photo credit: Simon 

Dovyalis longispina
Photo credit: Dorothy 

Satyrium macrophyllum

Carissa bispinosa 
Gail's hand showing the size of the extraordinary large leaves.

Laugh out loud!  Laughter in the forest. Laughter is the best medicine. 

Alf admiring the bank of Watsonia densiflorus.

Hillary quitely taking in the view.

Dorothy, Alf and Hillary

Thunbergia purpurata
Photo credit: Tracy 

Maytenus undata

Maytenus cordata - threads

Maytenus cordata

Conostomium natalense

Lantana rugosa

Grewia lasiocarpa

An old broken tree amongst colossal rocks in the forest.

Erianthemum dregei

Stenoglottis fimbriata

Cyanotis robusta

Cryptocarya woodii

Cryptocarya myrtifolia - blue hue beneath the leaves

Apodytes abbottii

Pondoland C.R.E.W.
Alf, Tracy, Hillary, Anne, Dorothy, Simon and Gail