Saturday, October 14, 2006

An interesting tree walk with the Western Cape Woodturners

When does botany and woodturning intersect? During a hike to learn about the trees from which wood is harvested. I went along on an interesting tree walk with the Western Cape Woodturners. Dennis and Gigi Laidler hosted the walk and they are a rich source of information. Thanks, Dennis and Gigi!

On my way up to the car park I spotted this helmeted guinea fowl perched in a tree. It was making quite a lot of noise.

Here's most of the group. We walked up to the contour path and looked at lots and lots of trees along the way. I don't have very many pics of the trees, but we saw ones such as hard pear, wild peach, cape beech, cape chestnut, assagai, and many, many more.

Dennis was pretty good at sharing his knowledge with us.

Wood lice inhabiting a stump.

Fruits of the hard pear, which isn't a pear, but the wood is very hard.

Cape Saffron showing the orange bark, which only appears in the understory.

The roots of the Cape Saffron engulfing a boulder.

A typical habitat on the flank of Table Mountain above Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden.

The group on the contour path at Skeleton Gorge waterfall.

The falls without the people.

Backside of a glow worm larvae.

The underside of the same.

I think this is a cypress, but I can't remember for sure. It's a tree that was sent to H. H. W. Pearson, the first director of Kirstenbosch, but it arrived after he died. So, it's planted next to his grave site.

The gravesite of Professor Pearson. He died in 1916.

This is some very weird fungus that smells bad and probably has some interaction with insects.

You can get a perspective on the size in this picture. That brown stuff is excreted from the fungus.

We walked through a wetland area and saw one of the four Dawn Redwoods planted in the mid-1940's.

Here's a Cape Bulbul spotted up on the upper path. This little guy has a good set of lungs!

Another Spotted Eagle Owl found in another part of the garden. We also saw the one I photographed yesterday, so we saw two of them today. Pretty cool!


Dennis Laidler said...

Andi the red fungus is called Aseroe rubra and it's an alien from Australia - I've put more info about it on my blog at

Dennis Laidler said...

You can find out all about the very interesting Dawn Redwood at

Dennis Laidler said...

The 'cypress' next to Pearson's grave is and Atlas Cedar - see:

Andi Wolfe said...

Thanks, Dennis!

Anonymous said...

Your photos are absolutely spectacular! How fortunate you are to have the opportunity to see these wonders of nature up close and personal.
BTW....a belated happy birthday!