19 September 2009

Elsie's Peak

Date: 19 September 2009

Location: Fish Hoek

Walkers: Michele & Helen

**** Route plotted here ****

We started this walk from Mountain Road in Fish Hoek. The path across the hillside to the ravine steps was rather overgrown!

But the views down to Fish Hoek were lovely!

I think this pincushion, seen on this lower slope, is Leucospermum cordifolium.

Once on the stepped path it was an easy walk up the hill and not long before we reached the plateau. From here we followed the path to our left, signposted to Elsie's Peak.

The led us up between the rocky outcrops and large proteas.

There were lots of wild flowers on the mountain. Some I've already seen and identified on other walks earlier this month. For example: the pretty painted lady Gladiolus dibilis, Hebenstretia, Geissorhiza and Adenandra.

There were also lots of new ones too! This is Crassula fascicularis, just starting to open up.

I thought that this might be a lobelia, but no, it is actually Nemesia affinis. It's about the size of my fingernail.

And this is Salvia africana-caerulea. It is known as blue sage, and apparently has medical qualities like the other sage varieties.

These are both Polygala. I think the one on the left is Polygala garcinii. The other one looks like it might be another variety doesn't it? Such a strange-looking flower!

Another odd one is this small shrub called Serruria villosa, common name golden spiderhead. It is soft and velvety to the touch.

I reckon this the flower of one of the Agathosmas. Don't know which one though - they are very hard to tell apart. Update: Stilbe ericoides

Daisies were out. Lots of large white ones and masses of purple Felicia.

Gazania pectinata too, surely the brightest of oranges.

Look at the thorny leaves on this creeper with the daisy-like yellow flower. It was vicious... eina! Update: Gotcha, this plant ID'd as Cullumia setosa.

Yes, yellow flowers... lots of those! This lovely thing is a Moraea, possibly Moraea neglecta.

And this yellow flower could be Romulea Flava.

While these yellow ones are Ixia odorata, Moraea ochroleuca and... hmm, perhaps another type of Ixia? (Update: nope, it's Wachendorfia paniculata)

Most abundant of all the yellow flowers, however, was the yellow pincushion. It was everywhere on top of the mountain!

Another flower we saw a lot of was the blue moraea. Very hard to photograph in the breeze!

We also spotted the fuzzy Trachyandra hirsutiflora.

It wasn't only flowers we saw. Mr Hairy Caterpillar caught our eye.

And we watched Mr Dung Beetle at work on some stinky dog poo.

After much dawdling we finally reached the peak itself!

The summit area was fragrant from the scent of Coleonema Album, confetti bush. It's in flower, although of course it is the leaves not the flowers that have the sweet honey smell. Also on top was masses of Erica imbricata, a rather distinctive black and white erica variety.

The views down to False Bay were fantastic! To our left we could see Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay, St James and Muizenberg, and on our right we could see Glencairn and Simonstown. Whales in the bay!

After taking in the views and having a bite of lunch we made our way back via the circular route. From this path we got more fabulous views, this time towards Noordhoek and Chapman's Peak. We rejoined the main path and headed down. Good walk!

(Photos by Helen)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures! Thank you