17 November 2015

From Stinkbeans to Opium Poppies - and lots in between

Here we are back at the mountain with the name that makes us cringe. Not surprisingly, no-one else felt like joining us today.
The Friends of *#*#berg had put up a notice asking people to pull up invasive alien Stinkbean  (Paraserianthes lophantha subsp. lophantha) seedlings,
and those of us with opposable thumbs did quite a lot of uprooting,
although not the full 10 minutes as we were distracted by a nice new bench
with a plaque on it to George Laporta who the humans bought our house from many years ago. We were sad to hear he had died.
As well as Stinkbeans there were lots of this twining Fumaria - possibly Fumaria muralis - which is a member of the poppy family (Papaveraceae) and hails from the Mediterranean.
The Food Lady is doing a factsheet for Veld & Flora on the life cycle of the moss (sorting out the sporophytes from the gametophytes) and was intrigued to see this moss growing in the sand - with all its little spore-filled sporangia nodding in the breeze waiting to be dispersed across the landscape when it rains.
In spite of all the millions of Stinkbeans coming up, there were quite a few of the Endangered Silver Tree (Leucadendron argenteum) seedlings popping up,
and lots of magnificent spires of Blue Sceptre (Aristea).
Laddie on Baboon Watch.
There was a plethora of flowers and the Food Lady is having a hard time persuading me to put more onto the blog post, but really, enough is enough! This is the Gladiolus carneus.
Up and up we toiled in the heat.

A clump of Rush Iris (Bobartia indica) - also in huge abundance up here in the burned area.
To my enormous relief, the sun disappeared behind a large ominous looking cloud, and a cool breeze blew up when we reached the top. Before we knew it, it had started to drizzle a bit. Luverly!
OK - a few more pink and fluffy flowers as I am in such a good mood remembering the lovely rain! This large daisy is Gerbera crocea which is called the "Fire Afrodaisy" on iSpot.
And one of our favourites, the firework flower - Dilatris. The Food Lady has no idea which species it is as they all look the same to her.
We picked a lovely tea spot up a track off the main path and the Food Lady took a selfie seeing there were no other peeps with us today.
The Lad and I kept watch - each taking 90 degrees to scan for baboons, rodents, rooikats,
and rock monsters. Today they were all rather avian,
Just checking the heavens ...
while the Food Lady photographed this rather bedraggled Grey Tree Pincushion (Leucospermum conocarpodendron subsp. conocarpodendron).
And while the Alph strode ahead and the Food Lady found  a pink and fluffy wild hyacinth - possibly Lachenalia orchioides var. glaucina,
we watched some zipliners zinging and swooshing to and fro across the valley - 
this one only holding on with one hand.
And talking of hands - this is the Lady's Hand (Cyanella hyacinthoides).
There was even a thistle for us Scots!
Looking back up the path we had just come down - with Swearword Peak at the top. Apparently the bad sounding name means Flag Mountain in Dutch - and it looks like there should be a flag or two flying up on that peak.
Right at the end of the walk we came upon some Opium Poppies (Papaver somniferum) which was appropriate because when we got home in the drizzle, we all took to our beds and fell asleep.

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