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15 Jun

After the fire – three months later

Safaris have kept me away from my regular inspections of the post-fire recovery of the Cape Peninsula hills. I'm back in Cape Town for a little while and we have had some winter rains so I seized the opportunity last week to see what obvious changes had occurred during my absence. Because the soils are still very exposed and fragile, I have to confine my inspections to what is visible from the tar road but there were some exciting developments apparent. I especially enjoyed seeing this Gladiolus maculatus (The Brown Afrikaner)....

6 Apr

After the fire – the first splashes of colour

The unique fynbos vegetation of The Cape is adapted to fire, however this is not to say that all species fare equally well after a fire. The recovery of the vegetation after a fire is not simple to predict. It is a chance occurrence and the recovery of each species is influenced by when the fire occurred, how hot it was, when the last fire occurred, how soon after the fire the first rains arrived and the quantity of rain in the following rainy season. Whatever the circumstances, the resprouters are...

30 Mar


It is almost one month since the devastating Cape Town fire began and about three weeks since it ended. Although it is normal for our area to have fires at this time of year, this fire was particularly bad because of its extent (5,000 Ha burnt) and the damage it caused to property. In the immediate aftermath our beautiful mountain appeared destroyed and beyond recovery. [caption id="attachment_2765" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Three days after the fire[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2766" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The burnt mountain - three days after the fire.[/caption] In Greek mythology, the phoenix (also...