Monday, November 20, 2017

Calvinia to Sutherland (and more): trail of beauty....(a fossil post)

Zaluzianskya cf. villosa near Calvinia
I have quite a few of these "fossil posts": you see, although I have published hundreds (approaching a thousand!) blog posts, there are hundreds more I should have posted. And didn't. Sometimes because my pictures weren't good enough. Sometimes because there was too much to say: where to begin? I am a very lucky bastard and have been so many fantastic places--where to begin? This is a typical example--here you have a dozen or so pictures taken on a magical drive from Calvinia to Sutherland and south to Matjiesfontein, then back westward towards Worcester. I have published a few of the pictures from this stretch--which took only a few days. These are not all--but include a few of the gems I did see. This stretch of highway may be one of the most significant in my life and in my heart. I've done it four or five times now, always at a different time of year. This year was not an annus mirabilis for plants, but still pretty fabulous for me. In a perfect world I'd drive it another few times. Perhaps it a perfect world Trump would be impeached and he and Pence and Rand would all be removed from office. One can dream.

Arctotis sp. near Calvinia

Ruschia sp. near Calvinia with Hantamsberg behind

Arctotis sp.

Aptosimum spinescens

Wildfower displays in October near Calvinia

Wildfower displays in October near Calvinia (repeat for next several shots!)

Drosanthemum eburneum on the Roggeveld.
By the way, it froze at night. Hard. We were chilly as hell in our rooms in Calvinia! and later in Sutherland--in the equivalent of April in the northern Hemisphere. I love the light here: so much like the light of the Mediterranean of my Greek summers as a child and of the West where I'm blessed to live. I'm in Phoenix as I type this!

Aptosimum procumbens

Aptosimum procumbens

Cheiridopsis namaquensis

Cheiridopsis namaquensis
This has haunted me for several uyears now, for obvious reasons. I did check those fat seedpods (devilishly hard to break open, by the way). Not a seed in them. They were selling this at a sale in Southern California and it slipped through my fingers last winter. The less said the better.

Another Drosanthemum: your guess as good (or better) than mine

Only in South Africa (or perhaps Mexico--or maybe Turkey or China) could plants this stunning not be well known in cultivation or found easily in books or the web.

Aptosimum procumbens

Malephora sp. on the Roggeveld.

This one is also haunting me: it ought to be totally hardy coming from near Middelpos

Aptosimum procumbens

Hebenstretia sp. on the Roggeveld.

Romulea albiflora (dotting the clay of Komsberg summit)

Romulea albiflora (?) I think on Komsberg summit

Romulea cf chrysantha on Komsberg summit

Manulea cf chrysantha and Romulea albiflora

Aptosimum indivisum

Drosanthemum eburneum near Matjiesfontein

Matroosberg in October, on the road to Worcester from Matjiesfontein

A few days after I took this picture, I stood at the top of Matroosberg with a cadre of botanists from Kirstenbosch--one of the summit experiences of my life, and one that I have never blogged about.

Perhaps one day I might. But at least I finally got this thing out of my system (and into yours!)...

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