Flowers and Shrubs

Ufumene Game Lodge

A favorite destination for our family is the Ufumene Game Lodge. Ufumene is located in the Eastern Cape (South Africa) on the Cradock side of the Olifantshoek pass. The lodge is very family orientated, whether the kids go horse riding and the adults go for a long tranquil walk, its a place to relax and get yourself recharged.
The following photos are a collection of some of my favorites from the area surrounding the lodge:

Mother and Child. Newly born giraffe. Such serene animals.

Giraffe mommy and baby

 

This is a macro shot of a Lavender flower. I shot this with a 500mm Sigma lens with a 25mm extension tube attached so I could get in really close.

Lavender macro

 

On receiving my new Canon 7D mark II, the first thing that went through my mind was; how much noise am I going to get with a starscape. This was a 30 second exposure with an ISO of 4000.  I was truly impressed by the minimal noise that I got in this shot.

Starscape at Ufumene

 

This is an Hadeda Ibis, a pretty common bird in the Eastern Cape.

Hadeda ibis

 

One of the landscape picture I took of the surrounding area around Ufumene Lodge

Mountains At Ufunmene

 

One of the many birds of prey in the area.

Raptor

 

A beautiful sunset at Ufumene. Everyday has a unique sunset.

Sunset at Ufumene

 

One of the great animals to see when visiting Ufumene, is the Sable Antelope. They are magnificent animals.

Sable Antelope

 

The Cape Sparrow is one of the many birds you will encounter at the lodge. Ufumene is a birders’ paradise.

Cape sparrow

 

Another landscape over the small dam outside the lodge. It can really produce some stunning effects

Sunrise at Ufumene

 

Road to tranquility.  Another landscape shot with touch of HDR

Mountains At Ufunmene

 

Another shot off the dam. Love the clouds.

Dam at Ufumene

Limestone Sugarbush – Protea obtusifolia

The Protea obtusifolia or the Limestone Sugarbush belongs to the Proteaceae family. Other names for this include the Bredasdorp protea, limestone protea and limestone sugarbush. This is the white form of this Protea and they vary from white to vivid shades of red. The leaves on the rest of the plant are dark green, elongated and leathery. They grow upwards of two to four meters in height and usually takes the form of a large, roundish shrub.

Protea obtusifolia

Protea obtusifolia is a vigorous, robust species forming a rounded shrub and is easily raised from seeds. It  is a relatively long-lived, large bushy evergreen shrub and does well as a screening or informal hedge plant. It produces beautiful, long-lasting cut flowers during the winter months, still looking good after 20 years. Unlike most proteas it thrives in clay and alkaline soils. It is equally at home in acidic ‘fynbos’ soils. It is also tolerant of coastal conditions and withstands salt-laden winds. It is drought tolerant and requires little supplementary watering when established. It requires protection from frost.

Photo taken at the van Stadens Flower Reserve near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

References: http://www.plantzafrica.com

 

 

A Rose from Addo

Every year without fail, the Addo Rose & Garden Show will be hosted. As the name suggests, this takes place in a small town called Addo, in the Eastern Cape. This is usually hosted in or around the October time of the year. It’s a great outing for the entire family where one can look at and purchase many different kinds and types of roses and other flowers such as Orchids.
I noticed this particular rose because of its stunning colour. I used Gimp to remove the colour from the background just to enhance the rose some more.

Addo Orange Rose

The Treasure Flower Gazania

The Gazania, or Treasure Flower belongs to the family Asteraceae. It is a plant native to Southern Africa although one can find this plant species naturalised in Australia, New Zealand, and California. They are widely cultivated as ornamental garden plants. This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and birds and is also drought-tolerant. It needs; Water regularly; do not overwater. This picture was taken at van Stadens Flower Reserve, just outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Gazzania

Euphorbia Millii Splendens

Also known as the Christ Thorn or the Crown of Thorns, the Euphorbia Millii Spendens is a slow growing shrub with very spiny branches. The branches are a silvery grey color with brilliant red flowers which come out mainly in the winter. It is a succulent climbing shrub growing to 1.8m tall, with densely spiny stems. The straight, slender spines can grow up to 3 cm long. The sap from this plant is also moderately poisonous. The species name commemorates Baron Milius, once governor of Reunion, who introduced the species to France in 1821

Euphorbia Millii Splendens

Bugle Lily

The Bugle Lily or Watsonia is a genus of plants in the iris family, subfamily Crocoideae, native to South Africa. The genus is named after Sir William Watson, an 18th century British botanist. There are 52 species in southern Africa; all are perennial herbs growing from corms and producing erect spikes of showy flowers, and are adapted to a Mediterranean-type climate. The most common species in cultivation is the pink-flowered Watsonia borbonica and its white mutant Arderne’s White. These were crossed with Watsonia meriana and other species in the early 20th century by breeders including John Cronin in Australia and Luther Burbank in California to produce a wide range of cultivars. Watsonia has been eclipsed in popularity by Gladiolus and other bulbs, and is now neglected by the nursery industry. Native to South Africa, wild Watsonia was introduced as a garden ornamental to Australia in 1907 and was widespread by the 1940s. In the South-West of Western Australia, six species have become naturalised from garden escapes along rivers, wetlands and seasonally wet ground. Watsonia meriana is also a weed in New Zealand, Reunion and Mauritius. These pictures were taken at van Stadens Nature Reserve outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa

Bugle Lily

Bugle Lily

Bugle Lily

Bugle lily

Bugle Lily

Bugle Lily

Bugle lily

Bugle Lily

Bugle Lily

Bugle Lily

Red Beauty

While on a quest to search for spiders and other sorts of bugs for my website, we came across this beauty. It was hiding amongst the grass, but was not to difficult to see because of the contrast of the red flowers versus the green grass. Would really appreciate an identification as we have no idea what plant it is.

Red Beauty

Red Beauty

Red Hot Poker

The Red Hot Poker is native to Madagascar and Africa. It is also called Kniphofia, the Torch lily, and the Poker plant. It is a genus of plants in the family Xanthorrhoeaceae – subfamily Asphodeloideae. The plant grows to a height of 1-1.5m. The plants produce spikes of hanging, red-to-orange flowers which have flowering spikes of pale yellow, ivory, apricot, orange and red. All have long, sword-like basal leaves. It flowers from the bottom upward, and the bright orange flowers fade to yellowish green as they senesce, resulting in a two toned spike with orange flowers at the top and yellowish ones below.
Thanks to Firefly from The Port Elizabeth Daily Photo for permission to use this stunning picture.

Red Hot Poker