Kate and I decided to pay a guest visit to the Pondoland CREW on their outing to the Red Desert Nature Reserve and managed to persuade Lloyd Mhlongo to join us on the trip down to Port Edward. (I only found out later that Gail, the new Blogmaster, decided that I should publish a guest post of the outing on this blog - hence the lateness of the post). We met up at the entrance and were soon into the spring flowers; Afroaster hispidus, Callilepis laureola, Aspidoglossum carinatum, Aspidoglossum glabrescens and a surprising Cyrtanthus contractus - the first time we have seen this species in this reserve. Near the Cyrtanthus contractus was another surprise, a Stapelia leendertsii, this one possibly a garden escapee.
Lloyd spotted a well-camouflaged chamaeleon amongst the forbs.
We headed down the slope towards the wetland in the valley below, finding some splendid Chamaecrista comosa clustered around an old termite mound. There were several Convolvulus natalensis, all proudly displaying their greeny-yellow flowers. On the upper slopes were Muraltia lancifolia, Orthochilus foliosus and a white form of Orthochilus ensatus.
|Orthochilus ensatus (white form)|
In the wetland we started finding Disa similis - a favorite of mine. There were many Satyrium longicauda with their white flowers and in the stream bed there was a colony of the Royal Fern, Osmunda regalis.
We paused for lunch in the shade of some Umdoni trees and then Anne, Dorothy, Gail and Maggie left while the rest of us took a more circuitous route back. This helped us to find Cyrtanthus breviflorus, Dimorphotheca fruticosa, the short spur form of Eulophia parviflora and some Merwilla plumbea growing in cracks in a rock plate.
|Eulophia parviflora (short spur form)|