An evening walk in the fynbos
No sooner does the weather improve when I slip in the gym, pull a muscle quite badly and can’t run. Which is not good for the purposes of identifying and recording all our flowers. This evening I really had to get up onto the mountain so I took the car and followed by the loyal hounds went up the mountain to see what’s happening. As always it’s stunning up there – we never get bored the dogs and I. They rush around investigating old smells and new, putting up the odd gerbil or francolin. I am endlessly fascinated by the changes I see, no sooner has something disappeared than something new takes its place.
I stopped on the way up to take a better picture of the Pterygodium catholicum, the little orchid known as the cowled monk. The summer southeaster that howls over us in dry clear weather has begun and it makes it hard to capture flowers close up as they quiver in the wind. So we may get a better picture on a still day, but on the other hand, they fade quickly and by then they may be gone.
All over the mountain the Felicia is out. I’m not quite certain of the identification but it’s most likely Felicia aethiopica.
This starry flower, which I once confidently identified as Geissorhiza ovata is perhaps Hesperantha cucullata. It could be.It seems more likely when I look in detail at the flowers and leaves. Frustrating when they are so prolific, identification should be easy but it is not.
Another flower that’s hard to identify is this little thing. Quite small, it grows all over the place in little clumps of spikes with these fuzzy white or pinkish white flowers on the tips. When you photograph the flowers in close up they are amazing, like bunches of roses. This is quite high magnifications, so the pictures are not crystal clear but it gives you a sense of the extraordinary precision of nature. The detail is amazing. It is quite prolific but though I’ve looked and looked I cannot find it in the books.
I love this Erica. I can’t identify it, but these coral flowers will last all summer – Erica’s flower for months on end, it’s part of their charm. When I get a specialist book on Ericas I will identify it more correctly.
As we stood at the top of the farm in the fading light Jemina Chew stood on the path among the flowers, looking around, enjoying the evening.
And as the sun slipped behind Paarl mountain, it still lit the shimmering misty space between us and Table Mountain and Table Mountain glowed pinkly 60 kilometres away through the evening air.