Eastern Cape Trip

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Thu, 24 Feb 2011 08:52:35 PST

I've been spending some time working on the Naude's Nek portion of 
the trip. We drove from the valley of Maclear on a dirt road that 
goes to the highest mountain pass of South Africa, 2500 m. The road 
eventually ends up in Rhodes. This is mostly high altitude grassland 
although there were some gravely areas as well. We stopped to look at 
flowers along our way the first day. I lost the diopter for my camera 
at one of the early spots and when I realized it, Rod Sauders was 
kind enough to go back so I could look for it and we found it. But 
that meant that the three cars in our caravan all traveled at their 
own pace and so we didn't all see the same things. When we arrived at 
the summit, the others had been there for awhile. After spending the 
night further along the road and having dinner in Rhodes, the next 
day we drove back from the other direction and did more exploring. 
I've included photos from both days. There were wonderful plants 
besides bulbs to see. One of the favorites was Cycnium racemosum. The 
hillside was a blaze of bright pink where it was flowering.

I've added a main page for Naude's Nek with some photos of the area. 
David Pilling has lately been busy adding maps to our places wiki 
pages so you can check that out as well. If you look carefully you 
can see Rachel Saunders on one of the slopes close to a Cyrtanthus 
and Bob and Marlene Werra trudging through some marshy areas to get 
to a Dierama siting.

I've also added the first page of plants we saw from A to C. There 
was a very cute short Albuca growing in the gravely area at the 
summit, Albuca humilis. We saw more orchids including some we had 
seen before. New ones were Corycium alticola and C. flanaganii. Once 
again we saw the beautiful Cyrtanthus epiphyticus, but on the summit 
we also found Cyrtanthus breviflorus in bloom (I only saw one clump). 
We also saw C. tuckii. This was a single siting for us too and 
unfortunately something had been eating one of the flowers, but you 
can still get an idea of what it looked like.

More to come.

Mary Sue

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