Sunday, 2 October 2016

3rd Tony Abbott memorial walk at Umtamvuna Nature Reserve

With the passage of a cold front past us on Friday, the rain came down on Saturday and when the day of the memorial walk dawned, it was still rather miserable with a cold wind blowing and occasional rain showers. This served rather effectively to put off most of the prospective participants in this event. Nevertheless, a small but determined group gathered on the Clearwater deck where Geoff Nichols reminisced about the early days of exploring the Umtamvuna Nature Reserve with stalwarts like Mr. Nic (Hugh Nicholson), Herr Strey (curator of the Natal Herbarium in Durban), the MSc student (now Prof) Braam van Wyk and Tony Abbott.
Geoff Nichols reminisces
The small group of stalwart walkers
Debbie King's class of children
Debbie King had arranged to coincide her Environmental Education for Kids with the walk and an enthusiastic group of children gathered on the deck too - Debbie noted that this group had been running for exactly 1 year. The kids were led off for their class, while many of the other walkers elected to drive up to Beacon Hill where there was a good display of flowers.


We set off towards the beacon and were soon in amongst the flowers. I surprised myself in managing to capture some photos of the floral spendour that give an impression of the masses of flowers.
Starting to walk at Beacon Hill

Hilliardiella hirsuta
Berkheya settifera
Massed Berkheya and Helichrysum flowers
 


Despite being harried by the strong wind and occasional showers, up at the beacon we were able to point out some good specimens of Disa saggitalis and there were some healthy clumps of Polystachya pubescens in rock crevices.

 
Disa saggitalis
Polystachya pubescens.

Hopefully this exposure to our flowering treasures will encourage the walkers who accompanied us to make repeat visits to the reserve.

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