Last week Belle’s babes (and guys) planned to walk in Vogelgat. We were delighted to find Belle at the start of the walk on Wednesday morning. She had come to remind us that it was post fire orchid time and proceeded to tell us where to find the rare black orchid – Acrolophia ustulata, and also Holothrix cernua. Belle had previously found the orchid on the side of the path at Leopard Ridge just before Miracle Kloof in 1987. Priscilla actually found the first black orchid in Fernkloof that year and that alerted her to look in Vogelgat.
We set off in high hopes and before going 100m we found beautiful blue orchids –Disa purpurescens – a first for most of us. This spurred us on and before too long we came to where we had to search. We were so excited when Robert, Ion Williams’ grandson, spotted the first two plants of Acrolophia ustulata, which were still in bud. A more thorough search found another three specimens where the flowers had opened. The plants are only about 8 cms tall and the flowers less than 1cm in size.
Subsequently we also found the Holothrix cernua just where Belle had told us to look. We also found lovely specimens of Disa bracteata and a Satyrium species.
Good weather and many spring flowers in bloom made for a very enjoyable walk.
Article by Margaret Stanway