Fynbos, fire and rebirth

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 man-inferefered 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.

Drought stricken forests, Newlands, Cape Town

A morning walk up the side of Table Mountain into Newlands Forest, just a day after some rain finally hit the drought stricken Cape Town. Our hope was that there would be some water in the small streams that flow through the forests, but the rivers were mostly dry, with very little water in those that did have. We’re down to the last dregs of the supply dams, desperate for the arrival of some winter rain.

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An old wall from the canal to the woodcutters shed.

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The mid section of the stream on Woodcutters path. No water in this section or above.

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Sentinels guard the river bed waiting for the rain.

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Felled pines lie forgotten by the cutters, but not by nature.

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Roots growing around and over rocks. The immovable become encased, trapped.

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Every which way one can go.