Twelve Apostles Fire – 4 Month Update

In mid-October 2017 the Twelve Apostles range of Table Mountain burnt over the course of 5 days in dense alien vegetation on the privately owned lower slopes and in old stands of fynbos within the Table Mountain National Park.  It was a somewhat unusual fire in that it occurred in spring, before the typical Cape fire season. No human life was lost, and no notable damage to infrastructure was suffered. At the end of the day what we know as the #12ApostlesFire was a good ecological burn. I have been monitoring the fynbos regeneration and wildlife activity within the fire affected region and regularly visit the Twelve Apostles to observe changes to the landscape.

Scroll down for the details and images contained in the next update.

Cape Town – 7 February 2018

In this post I take a very quick look at how the mountain slopes are regenerating 4 months after the big fire on the Twelve Apostles range of Table Mountain.

The striking yellow inflorescence of Bobartia indica is unmissable as these tall Irises flower abundantly across the burnt slopes of the southern Twelve Apostles. Thrown in the mix you should see another Iris, the magenta-pink Watsonia borbonica dotted here-and-there along the Apostles Spine.

Lobelia coronopifolia, Erica cerinthoides (Fire Heath) and the bulbous Haemanthus sanguineus (Paintbrush Lily) are all flowering beautifully in certain areas, and other gems such as Disa graminifolia (Blue Disa) and Tritoniopsis triticea are emerging. One is still seeing Agapanthus africanus in bloom too.

Fire surviving specimens of Crassula coccinea in the rocky outcrops continue to add intense splashes of red. This is another of the red summer blooms attracting the Mountain Beauty Butterfly (Aeropetes tulbaghia) to carry out their pollination.

Regeneration is slower on the exposed western and north facing slopes (from Llandudno Corner through to Woody Ravine above Victoria Drive).
However, on the south and east facing slopes as well as the wetter flats you’ll see vibrant greens, dominated by Bracken Ferns, as regrowth is notably faster (think the Apostles Spine and the slopes running from Myburgh’s Waterfall Ravine northwards to Woodhead Tunnel and into Disa Gorge).

In my next update I will be covering a fresh part of this burn region and am excited to go out to view the regeneration. It will be an in depth update with far more content and observations. I’m looking forward to sharing this with all!

Original post HERE

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 4 Month Update 00

In among the green Bracken Ferns emerges this striking member of the Amaryllis family, The Paintbrush Lily. *it goes by a number of common names!

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 4 Month Update 01

An unburnt terrace along the Twelve Apostles.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 4 Month Update 02

The incredible Blue Disa orchid in the burnt area.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 4 Month Update 03

Slowly but surely the slopes above Victoria Drive get splashes of green.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 4 Month Update 04

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 4 Month Update 05

The Fire Heath is flowering beautifully at present.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 4 Month Update 06#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 4 Month Update 07

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 4 Month Update 08

The Paintbrush Lily.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 4 Month Update 09

Spring Buttress.

The Slopes Of Table Mountain Burn can be viewed HERE

The Night Scene Above Hout Bay can be viewed HERE

The Burnt Western Slopes can be viewed HERE

The Fire And Forest Divide can be viewed HERE

1 Month Update can be viewed HERE

2 Month Update can be viewed HERE

3 Month Update can be viewed HERE

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2 thoughts on “Twelve Apostles Fire – 4 Month Update

  1. Pingback: Twelve Apostles Fire – 5 Month Update | Justin Hawthorne

  2. Pingback: Twelve Apostles Fire – 6 and 7 Month Update | Justin Hawthorne

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