On Sunday, Rene and I went out to do the annual winter waterbird count (Part of the CWAC project in South Africa – http://cwac.adu.org.za). Unfortunately when we arrived at the site, the fog was so thick that visibility was too limited to count the birds.
Before we moved off to the next site, we managed to wonder around in the area a bit, taking advantage of the fog and the forest to get some shots.
The fynbos plant kingdom is the smallest of this planets 6 plant kingdoms, and is endemic to the Western Cape province of South Africa. This is a fire driven ecosystem, requiring fires at varying frequency from every 5 years up to every 30 years. In a natural environment, most fires are caused by lightning strikes, but in the modern human intervention environment they tend to occur far more frequently then is ideal. In the Table Mountain National Park there are areas that burn every year, usually caused by cigarettes thrown from passing cars.
But, from these burned areas, new life erupts. Today we visited one such area, burned just over six months ago. New life abounds.
After a short reprieve from the drought gripping the Western Cape of South Africa, the rivers on Table Mountain are finally flowing again.
Today’s venture was into Cecilia Forest. Although it cannot be called a forest anymore, with most of the pine plantations being cut down to allow the natural fynbos to return. In the ravines, there still remains remnants of the original mountain forests and it’s there where we find the small rivers flowing after the rain.
In those small pockets of remaining pines, various mushrooms can be found amongst the pine needles.