During any trip, there can be the odd day when things go a bit flat, often for different participants for different reasons on different days. Judging by the few pictures I took, today was a flat day for me, although no particularly negative reason springs to mind. Selecting images to include on these pages, I struggle to find anything different to what I have shown already or anything that was so nice that it was worthy of repitition.
Perhaps the solid work on the Diaries, with only breaks to help out with Christmas shopping etc in the pouring rain is causing the flatness – who knows. No point in forcing the issue, I’ll share what we saw and have selected just two images. I can always come back later if something worthwhile springs to mind.
Yesterday, after leaving Port Nolloth, we had taken a turning north off the R382, Port Nolloth to Springbok road, some 20 km out of Port Nolloth, signposted to Lekkersing. The signpost mentioned Eksteenfontein, well into the Richterveld, as a second destination. From there we drove another 25 km for our first (and farthest) stop of the day S2680 and I see that the first images were taken around 12:30. I guess that one reason for the lack of images was that we had seen everything up to Lekkersing already. From memory we were looking for the Blackhill that from the email that David was quoting from, seemed such an obvious feature that we could not miss it. There were no sign posts to help us out and a farmer who overtook us in his bakkie (pick up truck) suggested that we may have already gone too far.
Looking through my images again, I’ve selected another picture, this one of Avonia sp.
Ignorance is a wonderful things, so I’ve filed any pictures of whitish Avonia under the name Avonia papyracea while the plant that reminds me of a can of worms (A. quinaria). I struggle with seeing the detail of miniature plants in the field. Conditions are often not ideal – too bright, too windy or a recurring mild eye infections causes tears to run down my cheeks. I should really take the time to disect plants to look for the minute details that give away the plant’s ID but I’d rather spend the time taking another dozen images. So inevitably I am a happy lumper. Today’s magnificent cameras sometimes help, allowing me to blow up images in the comfort of my home, with a book open alongside me to learn what details I should be looking for, such as the stipules (papery scales) of these plants. Looking at these here I am still none the wiser. Avonia albissima?
Anacampseros, the genus that Avonia used to belong to, is just as tricky for this newbie. We saw lots of plants in bud but never saw the flower open. Are they night flowering?
Finally an image to help you to understand that ‘plants growing on quartz patches’ does not always mean ‘quartz gravel’. Here the plants were growing on large quartz rocks and boulders.