Led by Rory Brighton, the group assembled at the Boston T-Party and drove to a suitable spot on the hill. Walking from there, and choosing a westerly aspect the party soon split into those who covered the whole distance to the beacon at the top, and those who achieved a half-way flower search.
Rob Speirs pointed out old wagon trails heading to Bulwer and tracks that had been created by oxen dragging indigenous timber to the station. Philip Grant explained that the huge rocks were dolorite, now exposed by erosion.
Edgeware can be said to have been far below its plant potential. No doubt a consequence of the considerable ongoing rains since October and the searing heat of recent days. But that is not to say that Edgeware did not produce some really worthwhile flowering plants. But the big surprise is that the thousands of Eriosema, particularly the distinctum and salignum, forgot to flower this year. There are thousands of plants but no sign of a bloom. We did find something new to puzzle over though – Tragia meyeriana – stinging nettle creeper.
The ground orchids which were seen, made up in quality if not quite such numbers. There were lots of Eulophia tenella, often in large groups
numerous Asclepias albens – once four in a group
David photographed them earnestly
and took GPS readings for the considerable number of Asclepias cultriformis
Aren’t they spectacular up close?
After seeing some blue Moraea inclinata,
Christeen Grant located a mystery Moraea which has us very excited. It is partly like a Moraea brevistyla, but has quite distinct differences
The Pachycarpus never failed to get attention, both Pachycarpus natalensis
and what we think is Pachycarpus dealbatus
And not to forget the numerous Eulophia clavicornis
Another excitement on a hillside usually known for its Aloes, was that few Aloe boylii were in flower.
On the lower slopes we had to fight through American Bramble which had taken advantage of the distrurbance caused the the pipelint to the resevoir. Higher up however, we were pleased to find the indigenous bramble Rubus lugwigii
According to Rob, the big red termite mounds were a recent addition to the landscape.
Those who walked to the beacon at 1555m, were rewarded with this view. Not as sptacular as on a clear day. Pauline commented “I’ve really enjoyed all the Midlands walks I have done, but this one has been my favourite.”
Rory concluded “It was great to have a good turn out and see everyone so enthusiastic about the flowers. I even learned a few names myself.”
Look under Events for a list of all the regular walks happening in 2013. There will also be a number of ‘once off’ excursions like the CREW outing to Happy Valley/Palmer Four near Impendle. This takes place on 6 January and is certain to be a great outing. Contact Barbara Clulow for more info:072 961 1918 Watch the press for details of these.
This report was compiled by David Clulow, with a little help from his friends.