Eastern Cape Trip

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Sun, 23 Jan 2011 18:23:28 PST
Thanks to all of you who have commented positively on my remarks and 
photos of our Eastern Cape trip. After Satansnek we traveled to 
Maclear through the rain. On the next day we were to be guided by 
Adele Moore who is an expert on orchids in the area. This part of the 
trip had been rained out before and we were keeping our fingers 
crossed. A portion of the road was flooded as we drove. It was a bit 
like traveling in a boat, not a car. But luck was with us as that 
night the rain stopped and we saw a wonderful rainbow. Maclear is in 
a beautiful valley in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains in 
the Eastern Cape.  It is mostly grassland. The next day the weather 
was better and the water had soaked in the road and we were able to 
be guided by Adele. It happened to be my birthday and I was allowed 
to expand the number of favorite plants we could pick at the end of 
the day. Usually we voted on one favorite. We saw many orchids, but 
also some other spectacular plants. This is one of the reasons for 
the delay in posting another report. It has been taking me a very 
long time to resize our photos and to come up with the text for many 
of these plants were not previously included on the wiki. At the end 
of the day I asked to let us pick four plants since there were so 
many to choose from. We chose a Protea, Protea dracomontana, which 
was really spectacular as we found a large population with great 
variety of colors and forms, Pachycarpus campanulatus which was a 
fascinating plant we had to lie on our backs to photograph, (neither 
subjects for this group) and two geophytic orchids, Disa cornuta, and 
Eulophia welwitschii.

Because there are so many plants we saw that day to share with you I 
have decided to make a Maclear page to save you having to look at 
many different links and I have split the species onto three pages. 
I'm not finished yet, but here is the first one that shows photos 
from A to D. Most of the photos were taken on the same day, but there 
were a few I put on this page that were already on the wiki from 
Cameron. He took those photos in February when he led Ellen Hornig 
and friends on a Maclear day. On today's wiki page are pictured these 
orchids: 5 species of Disa, 4 species of Disperis and a Corycium seen 
on this day. The Brownleea was photographed later in the year on 
Ellen's trip. We also saw the first of many Cyrtanthus epiphyticus 
and the very attractive Dierama reynoldsii.

Mary Sue

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