Monday, 1 January 2018

Last walk of 2017 at Mr. Nic's Gully, Beacon Hill (Thursday 28 December 2017)

Although we had intended visiting the Western Heights, a forecast of rain made us reconsider and decide to walk closer to the offices. We therefore set off for Mr. Nic's Gully, a small forested stream about 1 km away from the office and herbarium and one of the areas first explored by Hugh Nicholson in the early days before the establishment of the nature reserve.

Soon after setting off we came across several Habenaria dives alongside the path. A bit further on we found some Orthochilus ensatus growing amongst longer grass. In the shadow of another forested drainage line we found some Eucomis comosa var. comosa  in flower.

Habenaria dives

Orthochilus ensatus

Eucomis comosa var comosa
Brightening up the grassland further on we found numbers of Aspalathus chortophila and Indigofera tristis. We worked our way down to the forested edge of Mr. Nic's gully and then explored along the margin until we could comfortably cross the gully. Hidden in the forest, several Pavetta bowkeri were flowering. Once we managed to make our way into the forest and down to the stream bed we started to find Streptocarpus porphyrostachys flowering on the rocky banks.

Aspalathus chortophylla

Indigofera tristis

Pavetta bowkeri

Streptocarpus porphyrostachys

Examining the Streptocarpus porphyrostachys growing on the stream banks

We made several incursions down to the stream bed, finding similar clusters of this pretty forest dwelling species each time. Our downward progress eventually came to an end at a waterfall and the slope beyond became to steep for us to go any further so we stopped for our lunch.

Reaching the too-steep slope

Our lunch spot in the shade of the forest

Gail again braving the steep drop

On the way back we took a short detour and came across an upright form variant of Eulophia hians var. hians we have previously only seen at Rennies.

Eulophia hians var hians
Participants: Anne S, Debbie K, Dorothy M, Elaine G, Gail B-W, Graham G, Jean P, Kate G, Phakamani M, Rachel B-W, Sarah B-W, Wendy B.

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