Twelve Apostles Fire – 11 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 – 21 September 2018

“During late September I spent a day hiking the Twelve Apostles spine from Hout Bay to Cape Town with the bulk of my time within the fire affected region.

The previous days’ rain had now cleared, the streams were flowing, footpath freshly saturated and the landscape glistened shades of vibrant green. Initially there was total cloud cover and an icy chill in the air, before warming up beautifully.

There is now a wide variety of species in flower (57no. recorded across 27 families), or in bud, and the next few months will look spectacular! Dominant species across the spine include Cape Anemone, Star-eyed Aristea and the striking Witmagriet. In damp areas you’ll find Bulbinella nutans & Sterretjies in abundance. A seriously impressive sight.

Here is a list by Family with the number of represented species in flower (and in bud) within each:

– Daisy (10)
– Iris (9) 
– Bellflower (4) 
– Orchid (4)
– Sutera (3) 
– Aloe (2)
– Carnation (2)
– Erica (2)
– Protea (2)
– Ranunculus (2) 
– Agapanthus (1)
– Sedge (1)
– Hyacinth (1)
– Stargrass (1) 
– Cyanella (1) 
– Bloodroot (1)
– Citrus (1) 
– Hibiscus (1)
– Oxalis (1) 
– Penaea (1)
– Fibre Bark (1)
– Polygala (1)
– Ice Plant (1)
– Brunia (1)
– Stilbe (1)
– Mint (1)
– Phylica (1)
*based on what I saw over a 7 hour duration, covering around 14 km across the burn zone.

I didn’t encounter much in terms of animal life as per my last update. Signs of caracal, porcupine and mongoose in terms of scat and/or diggings were all I’d noted until mid afternoon when I encountered three magnificent Klipspringers at close range moving between young and old fynbos. At two sites I had noted spoor (one pre-rain a couple kilometres away, and the second was fresh – just minutes before the antelope sighting).

Until the next update…”

Original post HERE

#12ApostlesFire - Justin Hawthorne - Table Mountain - 11 Month Update 00

The now green west facing slopes of the southern Twelve Apostles 11 months after the big fire in October 2017.

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In certain areas you’ll find plenty vibrant yellows with Moraeas, of the Iris Family, in bloom.

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Another absolutely beautiful Iris, the Star-eyed Aristea, is the stand-out bloom at present!

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The distinct footpath through thick regeneration along the flats of the Twelve Apostles.

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A panoramic shot from Judas Peak clearly showing the young Fynbos across the southern Twelve Apostles range.

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It’s getting more colourful each month. Over the next couple months the area should be at it’s best.

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A good contrast between old (left of path) and young (right of path) Fynbos.

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Young Fynbos.

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Mid-morning break with a view.

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A typical post-fire sight along streams: dense stands of Senecio rigidus.

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Lunch spot during the Fynbos regeneration observation hike through the 11-month old vegetation.

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The fire surviving Tree Mimetes in flower with Chapman’s Peak in the distance.

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The view south from the slopes of Grootkop.

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A common sight: Witmagriet.

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Agapanthus in bud.

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Fresh Klipspringer spoor.

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The delicate Lady’s Hand.

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Fixed gaze with a male Klipspringer.

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Rocky plataeu on the Twelve Apostles.

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View south over Hout Bay from Judas Peak.

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Gorgeous young Fynbos on the flats.

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The pocket of indigenous forest which survived the fire (as expected) is clearly evident in the centre of the image.

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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

6 and 7 Month Update can be viewed HERE

8 Month Update can be viewed HERE

9 Month Update can be viewed HERE

10 Month Update can be viewed HERE

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