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 – 3 May 2018
“With the autumn rains falling nicely over Table Mountain we headed up onto the Twelve Apostles range to take a look at just how things are doing just over 6 months after the fire was extinguished.
The mountain was wet after recent rain and in the forest it was cold and slippery, making for cautious ascending. The vibrancy of the green moss and ferns were heightened as a result and the overall freshness in the air certainly gave the morning a typical winter feel.
Not long after morning tea we were moving from the unburnt forest into the fire affected area. Immediately the blue of Aristea capitata caught the eye in among the intense greens on the south facing slopes where recovery is incredibly fast. Restios, mountain cypress, pelargoniums, confetti bush and cape myrtle were among the first species I noted which were coming up once more on the forest margin.
Bobartia indica continues to add notable yellow to the mountainside as the Iris thrives post-fire. The pretty Gladiolus carneus (Painted Lady) is also making an appearance and the odd Watsonia borbonica gave a splash of magenta here and there.
The Marsh Bulbinella was blooming in the wet area on the spine and nearby the similarly coloured Hermas villosa was also in flower. The latter had a well camouflaged Crab Spider on the flower-head with its fresh catch.
Recovery on the drier western slopes is considerably slower and that can be seen in the images.
Here’s a list of what was in bloom in the burn area hiked:
– Bobartia indica
– Lobelia coronopifolia
– Gladioulus carneus
– Salvia africana-caerulea
– Anemone tenuifolia
– Berkheya rigida
– Watsonia borbonica
– Aristea capitata
– Agapanthus africanus
– Hermas villosa
– Bulbinella nutans
– Empodium plicatum
– Corymbium africanum
– Oxalis sp.
Signs of animal activities were dominated by porcupine: droppings, tracks and of course hundreds of holes where they’ve dug up bulbs and fleshy roots. A good amount of Klipspringer tracks indicated that they’re doing well in this regenerating area.”
Original post HERE
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
4 Month Update can be viewed HERE
5 Month Update can be viewed HERE