Twelve Apostles Fire – 6 and 7 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 – 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

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 00

Large displays of beautiful blue Aristea capitata on the Apostles Spine.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 01

A significant difference to the October 2017 images with plenty green visible across the east facing slopes.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 02

The magnificent Painted Lady.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 03

Life 🐌 deep in the forest.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 04

Lovely view north towards the plateau of Table Mountain. Regeneration on the Apostles Spine is evident in the foreground.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 05

Cape Anemone.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 06

Pelargonium coming up in among restios.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 07

Watsonia coming up.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 08

Burnt out Protea.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 09

Slower recovery on the western slopes of the southern Apostles.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 10

Patches of unburnt fynbos contrast against areas of slow recovery on the northern and western slopes.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 11

Confetti bush.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 12

Agapanthus africanus.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 13

Toothbrush Fern.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 14

Aristea capitata.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 15

Watsonia borbonica.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 16

Looking good up on the flats.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 17

Crab spider with its catch, sitting on a Tinderleaf.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 18

Marsh Bulbinella.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 19

Agapanthus africanus.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 20

Empodium plicatum.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 21

Bobartia indica.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 22

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 23

Lobelia coronopifolia.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 24

Vibrant greens on the wet and shaded south facing slopes.

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 6 and 7 Month Update 25

An exotic pine which survived the fire stands out among new regrowth dominated by Bracken Ferns.

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

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4 thoughts on “Twelve Apostles Fire – 6 and 7 Month Update

  1. Pingback: Twelve Apostles Fire – 8 Month Update | Justin Hawthorne

  2. Pingback: Twelve Apostles Fire – 9 Month Update | Justin Hawthorne

  3. Pingback: Twelve Apostles Fire – 10 Month Update | Justin Hawthorne

  4. Pingback: Twelve Apostles Fire – 11 Month Update | Justin Hawthorne

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