Many apologies for our long absence from the cyber-realm. We had some problems with our website and as a result I have not been able to post any blogs for about a month. Thank you very much to everyone who notified us about the problems with acces
s to our website and to those who told us that they missed the newsletters.
I left everyone hanging in the midst of Helen & Malcom Scott’s epic Western Cape walking holiday, so here are a few highlights just to get me back in the swing of blogging.
We saw this beautiful Aulax umbellata on one of our walks. This is one of the lesser known Proteas commonly referred to as a featherbush.
Right at the end of the walk we saw this very relaxed and splendid Cape Cobra(Naja nivea). These are the most venomous cobras in Africa with a very potent neurotoxin and responsible for most snake-bite related deaths in the Western Cape but this one was unperturbed about us.
On this particular day we finished walking in time for lunch. Malcolm & Helen toasted the walk, the Aulax, the Cobra and of course our hosts – Wildekrans Country House.
We departed from Heuningvlei passing beautiful sculptured rocks en route to the Krakadouw Pass.
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You may recall a previous post (“Once was famous” – May 2nd 2011) in which I spoke about the tremendous variety of colour forms seen in Protea repens flowers. On this walk we saw a colour variety that I have never seen before. The bracts are white but the stamens & anthers are red. The contrast is extremely beautiful.
While descending the western side of the pass we saw this beautiful Lachenalia. The genus Lachenalia consists of bulbs that are endemic to Namibia and South Africa.
The highlight though, was finding this extremely fresh leopard track. In fact we followed the tracks for 2 km along the trail toward Krakadouw Cottages where Pierre Louw had lost a calf to this leopard just 3 days earlier. The Leopards of the Cederberg are much smaller than their counterparts further north and are extremely rare. Quinton Maartens has been doing some excellent research and conservation work with the leopards of the Western Cape and you can find out more about his work at www.capeleopard.org.za