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Showing posts from January, 2015

Black rhino in the morning, white rhino in the afternoon...thoughtful foray into the Lowveld.

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If someone had told me just WEEKS ago (let along during my animal-addle-pated childhood) that one day I would see a BLACK rhino in the morning, and then a WHITE rhino in the afternoon*--that in fact I would see several of both on several days in South Africa--well, I frankly would have thought it unlikely.  But on Tuesday of this past week, I did just that: we saw two mud-encrusted black rhinos wallowing in mud and scraping mud off their nose-tusks at Mahlavetsi (a wildlife refuge associated with Kruger Park in South Africa) and later that day in the mellow light we saw two stately and elegant white rhinos...
The awesome opportunity to see both these majestic creatures (in a single day no less) couldn't hardly help but coax forth a few thoughts about ironies and paradoxes of Modern Life. Going on a wildlife Safari wasn't exactly a life goal of mine: thanks to the privilege of working at an extraordinarily successful public garden, I've had the opportunity to partake in tw…

Tiffendell PART ONE...(some tighty whities...)

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We'll quickly be getting to the "tighty whiteys"--a surprising number of South African alpines do tend to be white in color. But there are many with bright colors: there were only a few of this species on the hill but brilliantly colored. I'm always astonished at how different this species is from one area to the next. We shall see this again at the opposite end of the Drakensberg in a very different hue...

I was surprised at how unimpressed most of my companions were with white helichrysums: I have always been charmed by almost anything in the genus (which is a good thing in the Drakensberg). These resembled what I've grown under this name, although I believe mine was multi-headed...

Since this was not in bloom, I couldn't be too sure...it was scattered here and there in the high meadow...
I posted this because we have a bevy of very similar senecios throughout the Rockies. Come to think of it, there are similar ones in Asia and also South America.

The Soph…

In the heart of Lesotho (Semonkong and Malealea)

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Aloes will be a leitmotif of this posting--since our two locations in central Lesotho were in the heart of the range of Aloe polyphylla--which, alas, due to many circumstances (one being a high river level) we were thwarted from seeing in nature. It was abundant in gardens there, however! Above, one of many at the lodge at Semonkong.


My good buddy, Bill Adams, is here seen mimicking the pose of the Aloe rather dashingly, don't you agree?

A wonderful little Sutera growing wild nearby...
Of course, Phygelius grows everywhere in the Drakensberg--but not often so picturesquely as it did across from the Lodge.

Taken with a telephoto from forty or so feet below! Most A. aristata were in plump green seed, but this one had a late flower still!

Growing much like D. cooperi does at Oxbow, this rather delicate, twiggy delosperma was tucked here and there all over the cliff. I don't have a clue what it is--except that it looks more like floribundum than any of the usual Drakensberg spec…