Friday, 28 July 2017

Rennies' grassland, dolphins and whales

We decided to to walk on a portion of the Rennies' grassland that seemed to have many flowers after an earlier burn. Parking at Izolwane we set off down the path and soon found ourselves amongst the early flowers. Just outside the gate we encountered the first of the many Kniphofia littoralis we were to see that day.  Eugenia albanensis were widespread, some in flower

Kniphofia littoralis
Eugenia albanensis

There were many Eriosema dregei just starting to flower, clusters of Callilepis laureola and several Berkheya umbellata.

Eriosema dregei

Callilepis laureola

Berkheya umbellata

On some rocks at the edge of the Izolwane estuary Albuca setosa were flowering, along with a solitary Freesia laxa.

Albuca setosa

Freesia laxa

The Izolwane estuary

At the edge of a patch of dune forest we saw Hewittia malabarica and in the adjacent grassland we found Alectra sessiliflora, Commelina erecta, Cycnium tubulosum, Cyrtanthus brachyscyphus, Dyschoriste burchellii and Cyanotis speciosus.

Hewittia malabarica

Alectra sessiliflora

Commelina erecta

Cycnium tubulosum

Cyrtanthus brachyscyphus

Dyschoriste burchellii

Cyanotis speciosa

In a moister part of the grassland we found Asclepias navicularis, Hydrocotyle bonariensis, Linum thunbergii and Senecio humidanus. We also saw Ipomoea crassipes and two species of Hypoxis, Hypoxis angustifolia and H. colchicifolia, as well as Oxalis smithiana and Polygala refracta. 

Asclepias navicularis

Hydrocotyle bonariensis

Hypoxis angustifolia

Hypoxis colchicifolia

Ipomoea crassipes

Linum thunbergii

Oxalis smithiana

Polygala refracta

Senecio humidanus

Climbing a low rise, Afrosciadum caffrum lined the path.

Afrosciadium caffrum

We made our way across the seaward slopes, crossed a stream and headed for a rock outcrop where we found Aloe maculata and Euphorbia flanaganii. There were one or two flowering Watsonia densiflora amongst many dead heads

Aloe maculata

Euphorbia flanaganii

Watsonia densiflora

Heading back along the track towards the vehicle we came across a colony of Callilepis laureola - now past their best - a few small clusters of Eulophia cliteliffera,  Momordica balsamina, some Pelargonium luridum and a splendid inflorescence on a Boophone disticia. Other species in flower were Xysmalobium involucratum and Pelargonium pulverulentum.

Momordica balsamina

Pelargonium luridum

Boophone disticha

Xysmalobium involucratum

Pelargonium pulverulentum

We sat and ate our lunch on the rocks at the Izolwane River mouth and were privileged to see a large pod of dolphins move slowly past while in the distance a whale repeatedly breached.

Participants: Anne S, Dorothy M, Graham G, Kate G, Phakamani M, and Uschi T.

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