With those Vargas girls in the foreground, it's hard to look at anything else, but there are so many other things to see at Strandfontein!
The marshy dikes were rich with bulbs, all in frenzied spring bloom.
Glorious thing. And don't miss the beetle halfway down the stem. You'd swear it was a hummingbird-pollinated flower, but it's probably after sunbirds.
Her name is Ruth, but we were all calling her Rootie, as her family does, halfway through the trip. She has the same tendency to go plunging in after things that I do. So we were up to our necks in wild gladiolas. Fantastic!
Rootie set this shot up and I poached it. Sour figs, as purchased, and the ice plant flower that becomes a sour fig when it goes to seed! The plant, Carpobrotus edulis, also known as sour fig, highway ice plant, Hottentot fig, or pigface, creeps prostrate across sandy dunes, and it's quite common. We saw chacma baboons eating the flowers and developing fruits. I was concerned about the sour fig harvesting until I saw how many of the plants were on the dunes. Reading a bit, I learned that it's a horrid invasive in California and the Mediterranean, creating ice plant deserts on dunes. It's given to invading on disturbed sandy soil. I still think it's cool that somewhere back in time, somebody figured out you could dry the seedheads and get a delicious treat out of them. Wonder if anyone eats them in California? Perhaps we need to graze more.
It's not hard to see why Strandfontein has such fabulous bird life. That's a bay right there, and the wetlands are the silver line inland, near the horizon.