Observations & historical notes
fungi-cum-algae for google
Atlantic Seaboard Backtable lichen, Table Mountain National Park, Sept ‘21.
Asthetically lichen has drawn me to photograph it, and I'd planned to post a few layman’s notes about it (mainly in order to pander to Google’s hunger for content, and so keep this site organically favoured by its ol Algo.)
But the closer I get into what is and isn't known about this most ancient of earthly stuff-dare-one-call-being - the less sure I’ve become about what to write.
TABLE MOUNTAIN'S PORCUPINE RAVINE
Can you do Shinrin Yoku in Cape Town?
DOING IT OUTDOORS:
1 January 2021
BEYOND THE PANGOLIN
WILD CHANGE TO MEAT SAFETY
The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development's plans to expand the list of species including eland (above) for mass consumption despite experts' warnings. In here.
RED-D SEASON 2020
The Cape's iconic flower currently in bloom, thrives only in certain high mountain conditions. Read on here ...
DEPARTMENT OF JETSAM & FLOTSAM
Condoms and dead whale litter the Cape of Good Hope Reserve - What's going on?
DANCE OF THE DUNG BEETLES
ON THEIR HISTORY, BIOLOGY, AND & CULTURAL MEANING
Scarabs bewitched ancient Egypt. Now their existence is under threat. Two local academics entwine biology and history in a book - about belief in magic, scientific discovery, and how Scarabaeodea have continued to inform our view of the natural world. An unusual and informative read.
THE LOCAL 'INSECTAGEDON'
South Africa, like many other places, is also experiencing a sharp decline in insects numbers. How bad is it?
Of Termites & Fungi ...
and Eugene Marais
An Interesting Discovery in the Cederberg
All that glisters ...
POACHER: IN THE ABALONE UNDERWORLD
Local environmental / social stories rarely get told as well as they do in this book.
TABLE MOUNTAIN HISTORY:
A brief history of Cape Town's early laundry workers at the Platteklip Stream & creation of its Wash-houses.
The Wash-houses on Platteklip Stream are now a National Park guest house close to the heart of the city. Read their backstory here.
7 Feb 2018
5 Feb 2018
Update: Crime on Table Mountain
Although there's an alarming rise in recent incidents, there are still places in Cape Town to hike in relative safety. No hiking guide in their right mind would knowingly go into risky territory. But on any mountain safety is never guaranteed, even if you avoid the obvious, or even vaguely possible hot-spots. However, some of the nicest hiking areas are not among them.
TABLE MOUNTAIN WILDLIFE:
Forest Shrew spotted above Skeleton Gorge. An unusual sighting. Known as nocturnal (others say they are active during the day) this one was quite unconcerned about the humans about. If it had, it would, apparently, have given off a strong diesel-like odour. But would that stop really hungry predators?
Food: insects, larvae, beetles, earthworms, small geckos and frogs
Nest in shallow burrows lined with soft grass
Four babies per litter, born in summer.
17 January 2018
Drill Baby, Drill: The Mother of all Problems
There will be an impact on the local environment from the various plans to stave off the water supply crisis. Desalination produces excess salt. With tapping into the aquifer the water-table will surely drop, with the high ground possibly hit first - meaning Table Mountain. The impact will not just be on biodiversity, but possibly on the availability of fresh food. It's an unenviable task for Cape Town's leaders. Read more here.
TABLE MOUNTAIN WILDLIFE:
A sit-and-wait predatory rock-dweller with a nasty bite. But retreat is its first mode of defence.
The Cape Crag Lizard, is a protected species.
15 January 2018
Crime on Table Mountain
Crime on the mountain needs to be dealt with urgently. Read more here ...
3 Jan 2018
On Lion's Head a young adopted dog's enthusiasm for the walk got the better of her, leading her to danger and in need of rescue. She spent the night half way down a cliff on a precarious ledge, with her carers worried for her safety.
28 DEC 2017
VISIT THE ELAND BUSH-TAMERS OF CAPE TOWN
The Eland, an iconic Cape species, whose cultural significance stretching back into Khoi San culture, is experience a revival. An environmental & training programme, the Gantouw Project, has re-introduced them to the city.
Insect Survivor & Floral Thriver
Cape vegetation needs periodic fire. They started naturally by sparks formed in rock falls; or lightning. That was before humans turned fire into technology, weapon, an essential element in candle-light romance.
Nowadays humans start most veld fires.
It's unknown how the wildfire started on Table Mountain's western flanks in October 2017.
Here are some thoughts and pics of the devastation taken in the weeks following the blaze.
TABLE MOUNTAIN HISTORY:
Woodhead Reservoir & The Table Mountain Dams
Cape Town's early water issues. The creation of the dams on Table Mountain.
RASTAFARIAN WILD HARVESTERS ON TABLE MOUNTAIN
Some invertebrate beings
Nature's Great Gap-Takers feeling the Squeeze
The Mountain's Limbless Reptiles
A rare sighting of an adder. Video here.
21 Table Mountain Maps
to help better understand Cape Town
On an early scramble - this shoe. There was no-one ahead of me ...