Over the weekend, two weeks after #wildfires swept through the #GardenRoute, a few of us did a 20km hike through the mountains.
We stuck to paths and pioneered new routes, hiking where it hasn't been possible for over 20 years. We recorded 20 species of birds, found one burnt reptile (possibly a legless lizard), one burnt Rain Spider, one Vlei Rat and one Golden Mole. Both the Mole and the rat had died post fire, probably from dehydration as they were more than 2km from a seep or stream. We did see plenty lizards on the rocks and in crevasses. Even a fresh Gennet scat. Though there weren't many, there were green spots in the landscape and forested kloofs, one of which was an oasis and welcome break from the relentless heat. A critical assessment of bird life in aged Fynbos is definitely lower than in primary and secondary stage Fynbos.
In terms of mammals, it is possible that larger species have a naturally lower population density in old Fynbos. I suspect that larger mammals ran to safety during the fires.
At Woodville a few days after the fire we had good sightings of Bushbuck which I suspect was an influx of animals that have taken refuge in the unburnt forest.
The slower species of reptiles would have perished in places. But, they like the Fynbos, have have existed with fire for eons and, as a species, will recover as the food supply flourishes in the fynbos regrowth. The nutrients have been recycled for the next 30 years.
Some extra shots of our South Africa trip. Most of these are from our drive from Knysna to Cape Town, including a detour through the Outeniqua Pass. The pass had been closed the day before due to wildfires, which produced smoke and haze throughout the Garden Route. Crazy!
Fire and rejuvenation. The landscape on the Outeniqua Mountain range after the recent wildfires that burnt over 100,000 hectares of Fynbos, pine plantations and exotic wattle in the #GardenRoute.
Less than two weeks after the fire swept through this area the Restios, Watsonia and various geophytes are already resprouting.
The seed cone of a Protea cyneroides is flared open and all the seeds have also been distributed by the wind. Fynbos is a fire climax floral kingdom and species like the Protea cyneroides retain their seeds in a cone on the plant for up to a decade. When a fire burns the plant, it dies and a few days later, once the fire has passed through, the cone opens and releases the seeds.
7 807:30 AM Nov 10, 2018
To the mountains we go! Tomorrow you can catch us at the Outeniqua Family Market with our South African Scratch Map - if the last couple of days are anything to go by it's sure to be a great day 🌄
Join us from 08h00 -14h00 for some fun in the sun
"You have been assigned this mountain to show others that it can be moved" ⛰
2017 was the most difficult year of my life....I never thought I could learn so much in such a short space of time.
It was tough because it showed me how to lose in life.
Lose friends, lose love and dreams and long made plans, lose family but worst of all I lost myself.
The biggest mistake I made was losing myself and expecting someone else to find me.
So this year is going to be about peace, kindness, building dreams and discovering myself all over again 💙
New Years resolutions aren't really my thing but I believe in learning and growing into something better.
2018 lets be good to each other, I have some amazing plans for you..💙
On Thursday 25/10/2018 driving from PE to George in the Langkloof we could see the fire from a distance! Today the fire is still burning coming down the mountain!
Faith makes all things possible. Hope makes all things work. Love makes all things beautiful. May you have all three.