A walk in the woods

For our final photo walk, Riekie and I (see previous posts here and here) and Rosie (the dog) went for a walk through a nearby forestry plantation. The day had started off pretty dismal – cold and raining – but it cleared around 9 a.m. and we were then able to go out.

A typical forestry road with planted Pine trees

Our walk started at the forestry station. Although the plantations belong to a local forestry company, they have opened up their forestry roads and paths to the public for recreational purposes. People use these for mountain biking, dog walking, hiking (various hiking trails going up into the mountains, start down at the forestry station) etc.

The plantations, as the name implies, are comprised of planted trees which are later harvested. However, there are also areas of indigenous forest* interspersed between the planted compartments and in the riverine areas. These are naturally growing forests of local hardwood species. The nearest we have to a “jungle” in the Southern Cape. On the mountainside above the tree line, we have our naturally occurring Fynbos vegetation (natural shrubland or heathland vegetation occurring in the Western and Southern Cape).

Natural forest area

It was really a beautiful morning out amongst the trees. The recent rain meant everything was cool and fresh, with water still dripping off the vegetation. For the most part we walked in the shade of the trees, but occasionally we came across clearings where the sun shone brightly and it was quite a lot warmer. It was very peaceful, although certainly not quiet. The forest birds and insects and frogs were out in force, providing a chorus of sounds so typical to forests.

Tiny water droplets hanging on the ends of foliage like a million little fairy lights.

Coming out of the shade of the trees into a sunlit clearing.

The circle of life is very evident in the forest. Next to little green seedlings are old, rotten and decaying stumps and foliage.

A log disappearing under the forest undergrowth.

What looks like a piece of burnt timber becomes home to moss, lichen and other organisms.

Although we did not cross any rivers on our walk, water was flowing down the mountainside in little streams.

A massive rock wall creates a little "waterfall" from the water seeping down the slope.

A forest rock pool at the base of the cliff.

 And what would a forest walk be without a spider or two . . . It was very difficult photographing spiders in the forest gloom. Thank you to Riekie for allowing me to use two of her spider photographs.

The spider's web was so beautiful with little droplets showing up the individual threads. (©Riekie Coertze)

A close-up of the spider above. Some kind of Orb web spider, I think. Any ideas? (©Riekie Coertze)

Thank you for visiting us here, Riekie. Your visit was a real tonic – I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as much in one week! I look forward to our next opportunity for a photo walk.

[*See this article by Theo Stehle (a forestry scientist): Indigenous Forests of South Africa]

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Categories: Nature/Environment, Random

Author:lisa@notesfromafrica

I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at https://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com and http://southerncape.wordpress.com (my photoblog)

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25 Comments on “A walk in the woods”

  1. May 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    I love photo walks like these… and am so chuffed you and Riekie had a fun time throughout her visit. Thank you so much for sharing that, Lisa. 😀

    • May 8, 2011 at 7:01 am #

      It’s a pleasure! I’m hoping that we don’t have to wait too long before Riekie shares some of her photos. She did really well with that new camera of hers.

  2. May 7, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    How wonderful nature is, isn´t it? I loved the pictures and your walk … it´s something I really enjoy!

    • May 8, 2011 at 7:02 am #

      Thank you! I had a brief look at your photos from your last trip. They’re amazing – much more impressive than mine.

      • May 13, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

        oh! I don´t know why I never see if somebody said something on my comment … I´ll have to learn how it works here!!
        They are different places, both beautiful and amazing in their own way!!

  3. May 7, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    How lovely! I really like the spider photos.

    • May 8, 2011 at 7:03 am #

      Thanks! Yes, I like the spider photos too – Riekie is really good at those macro shots.

  4. May 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    Stunning photos.

  5. May 7, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    Sounds like another great walk. The photo of water droplets on the web is beautiful, and the close up of the spider, amazing. Glad to hear you had such a fun week!
    Kathy

    • May 8, 2011 at 7:06 am #

      It was a lovely walk. I enjoyed the coolness of the forest and not having to walk in the bright sun all the time. The spider shots are special – I don’t think Riekie (even with her macro talents! 😉 ) would have been able to photograph the web that well if it was completely dry.

  6. May 8, 2011 at 5:14 am #

    I love the compositions of your shots, Lisa! Pretty neat.

    As I had loads of fun with you guys, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it too. And the laughs were great 🙂 (Im)patiently awaiting our next visit 😉

    • May 8, 2011 at 7:08 am #

      Thanks and thank you for the loan of your compact camera. It takes such good quality shots – I especially like the colour reproduction. I managed to get some good shots despite Rosie’s efforts to pull me off balance!

  7. Estie
    May 8, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Love the spiders. Saw some in Kirstenbosch yesterday. Good to catch them like that!

  8. jacquelincangro
    May 8, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    That spider close-up is incredible. Rieke is a great photographer. The tiny droplets on the web look like little diamonds.
    You inspired me to document my walks with Reggie! I took photos of our morning walk on Friday.

    • May 9, 2011 at 8:01 am #

      Yes, Riekie is a great photographer! Something I realized after going for photo walks with her is that I often photograph things to identify them i.e. just a boring view of the flat object. Riekie photographs things from different, more artistic angles.

  9. May 9, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    I love the pics Lisa- they made me want to be there- and I actually felt like I was walking along with y’all. Just stunning pictures of a beautiful place.

    • May 9, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

      Thanks! I feel very privileged to go for walks like this so close to where I live.

  10. May 10, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    Nice pics! Love the water droplets and the spider.

  11. May 11, 2011 at 6:51 am #

    It certainly looks like you two had a great time! I like the shot of the water droplets hanging from the trees. What kind of camera was Reike using? That spider shot is really clear.

    • May 11, 2011 at 7:09 am #

      Riekie was using her “old” camera for those shots – a little Canon Powershot A470 which is a tiny compact camera. I’m totally amazed with the macros she takes with it. I borrowed it during the time she was here, and although I did get some good photos, I didn’t manage to do any good macros so handed the camera to her for the spider shots!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Photo walk: forestry plantation « clouded marbles - May 14, 2011

    […] concludes my posts on the photo walks that Lisa and I took this month.  They were all enjoyable experiences and the cherry on top of our first […]

  2. orb spider web « Blog Archive « clouded marbles' kiekies - May 14, 2011

    […] rain made it easy to capture detail of this web.  Please visit Lisa’s post to see the macro of the spider. › LikeBe the first to like this […]

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