Walking with me, the Ungardener is limited to about two hours. With FREQUENT stops for yet another flower. And I me myself, like to walk, on the level, on the jeep track, so I can look at bugs and flowers. He would like to go further, along the river, a full day hike. Andre our Computer Man had never been up to the Wilderness Area. Last Monday, Computer Man and Ungardener hiked towards De Tronk along the river, returning via a very steep uphill slog on my jeep track.
|Hiking in the Groot Winterhoek in August|
After the fire, after the rain, the hard sandstone is cloaked in green.
Follow the glaring white quartz, where other boots have stomped the puddles before you, and eroded the plants.
Blazing colour from the Leucadendron proteas.
|Leucadendron in the Groot Winterhoek|
Computer Man hiking in the Groot Winterhoek. Stop for lunch at the low level bridge, a ford, slightly under water.
Our Olifantsberg flow into the Cederberg. Famous for rock formations, especially the Maltese Cross (his picture ISN’T the Maltese Cross). Top left you can see Computer Man for scale.
(Travelling over the course of a year to 31 of South Africa’s most special nature reserves and national parks with yearinthewild new-photos-of-Maltese-Cross-in-Cederberg)
This buck, with tall ears and long nose, looking disconcertingly like a donkey, is a female grey rhebok.
Instead of looking up at the Olifantskop, stand on his head, and look back down at our town of Porterville. In the centre, the spire of the Dutch Reformed Church rises.
I hate that poisonous yellow, but the Ungardener feels it brings colour into the landscape. Fields of oil-seed rape (from the Latin for turnip!), more easily called canola (combination of Canada and oil!!). Thanks Canada, I will never see a tub of canola margarine in quite the same way. I don’t do margarine, but I do love words.
To the right Porterville, to the left Monte Bertha. In the foreground the wheat silos. Large building left centre is the Porterville Winery. And there, beyond the Piketberg ridge in the distance, is Moutonshoek, where they plan to mine for tungsten. Destroying farming, and the Verlorenvlei RAMSAR wetland.
For Cape Town readers, this is where your tap water comes from. Flowing down, over and thru the rocks to the Voelvlei dam.
Our World Heritage Site. Water. Fynbos. Wildlife. Fresh air. Nature and beauty, which is worth nothing, because it costs nothing.
words by Diana of Elephant's Eye
- wildlife gardening in Porterville,
near Cape Town in South Africa
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