What is Renosterveld?

What is Renosterveld?

Renosterveld is also part of South Africa’s Fynbos Biome and the CFR. However, it is notably different from Fynbos vegetation in several ways. Firstly in contrast to fynbos it occurs on relatively fertile soils, predominantly derived from shales although can also occur on silcretes and other lithologies. Members of the three dominant plant families in fynbos: the Restionaceae, Proteaceae and Ericaceae are mainly absent and instead renosterveld is dominated by shrubs predominantly from the Asteraceae family as well as various C3 grasses and C4 grasses.

Out of the ashes: Notes on the March 2015 Cape Town wildfire

Out of the ashes: Notes on the March 2015 Cape Town wildfire

In the Mother City the mountains are ablaze. It is late summer. Four days ago the fire started in Farmer Peck’s Valley adjacent to the seaside suburb of Muizenberg, known for its surf and sharks. Sitting here at home it is 42°C and the sound of helicopters are a constant background alongside the low hum of the city of Cape Town going about its daily business. The fire spread quickly and gained strength owing to strong southeaster winds typical of Cape summer weather grounding helicopter crews and leaving ground-based fire teams to fight the blaze.

Exploring the West Coast on one leg

Exploring the West Coast on one leg

One tends to take the functionality of the human body for granted. Life goes on, one day to the next until suddenly something changes, pulling you up short and forcing you to re-evaluate. One fateful day in August 2012 I was knocked down by a car, thanks to the strange Capetonian paradox of a traffic light that was green for cars and pedestrians at the same time. Suddenly for nearly two months I was to be a parcel, only able to go where I was taken. For the next six months climbing mountains was forbidden.