Sani Pass to Howick: the Little Berg
|Cyperus obtusiflorus v. flavissimus|
|Hypoxis sp. (close to hemerocallidea)|
A meadow full of Themeda: we'll be seeing some lovely specimens up close soon of this outstanding grasss.
|Protea roupelliae in the foreground|
I know this protea is found far beyond the Drakensberg, but it is so emblematic of the "Little Berg" I always associate it with these foothills. It was heartbreakingly lovely up against the green green hills dotted with giant tree ferns. These mountains are hard to beat!
|Protea roupelliae (again!)|
|Protea roupelliae (and yet again!)|
You can't really blame me for dwelling on this a bit, can you?
I haven't had time to figure out which one, but this is South Africa's rather too modest representative of the Rosaceae. When you see the flowers in the next frame you'll see what I mean. They characterize Fynbos, which is why many consider the Drakensberg to be an "Afromontane" cousin to the West Cape's Fynbos (many shared genera like Protea, Erica, Passerina, Watsonia etc.) The sort of thing only biogeographers could salivate over....
I think it's a rather statuesque thing, with a habit rather like a conifer...
I can see you yawning from here, so I'll move on...
|Senecio oxyriifoliusie!) (thanks for the I.D., Ernie!)|
|I think the flowers are very cute!|
|Had to show two more P. rouppeliae...|
|Karel De Toit|
|Now THIS is a Themeda|
A miserable picture of Cyphia, a vining Campanulad. Haven't quite figured out the focus on my dang camera!
|A wonderful mystery grass along the road (very pink)|
How, prithee, am I supposed to pick between these two? They both epitomize the landscape there I've come to love--the wonderful "platberg" (table) mountains, the green green hills, the blowing grasses and the puffy clouds. Really, the Drakensberg are Heavenly.
|Karel photographing a Rubus|
|The pine woods are not so attractive when they're cut...|
|A delicate Lobelia|
|Closer view of the Lobelia above|
|One of the hundreds of orchids in the Drakensberg environs|
I was countermanded and we drive perhaps an extra unnecessary sixty miles through pea soup fog almost not be able to see the famous falls at Howick. End of conversatrion...
I was able to get a picture of this rather charming way sign..
Imagine Daphne cneorum on steroids--on stilts--growing thirty or even forty feet tall. WOW!
And we returned to Howick falls the next morning--and fortunately the fog had lifted (mostly) so we could glimpse the falls and shop a few minutes (and get a decent cup of coffee! Our wonderful lodge the day before only had instant--I need to talk to them before I go back. Which I hope I shall)...
We have but one more day and two more hillsides, and I shall have completed the circuit of the Drakensberg for you. I have been blessed to visit mountains on five continents--but there is something about this range that is very near and dear to my heart. I hope you too are becoming smitten!