Hiking the Whale Trail with Foldscope.

After many months I finally had time to play with Foldscope again. Dried flowers which I daily collected on our 2018 Whale Trail hike in the De Hoop Nature Reserve on the southern coast of South Africa, were mounted and interesting floral features captured with the low magnification lens. The trail runs through the indigenous Fynbos biome with species of Protea, Erica, Mimetes and Helichrysum, many of which are endemic to the area, in abundance. I limited myself (mostly) to one species per day. On my Tankwa trail I realized it’s over-ambitious to aim for ‘microscopy time’ at the end of a long day’s hike with minimal battery life on your phone. However, carrying a couple of envelopes in which to collect and dry flowers, provide an easy (and lightweight) solution.

Day 1: Potberg hut. Euryops species (Asteraceae).
Day 2: Potberg to Cupidoskraal. Protea species (Proteaceae), dry floral parts.
Day 3: Cupidoskraal to Noetsie: Podalyria speceis (Fabaceae): petals in white and dark red.
Day 4: Noetsie to Hamerkop: Erica species (Ericaceae), anthers protruding from floral tube.
Day 5: Hamerkop to Vaalkrans: coastal fynbos, species of Erica and Fabaceae, trichomes (plant hairs) on floral sepals.
Day 6: Vaalkrans to Koppie Alleen: ‘Everlastings’/’Sewejaartjies’ (Helichrysum and Syncarpha species), were abundant along the trail. Day 2 surprised us with fields of white Syncarpha vestita, a tall species with brilliant white floral heads, which mostly flower after exposure to fire. Images are from floral petals and trichomes on sepals.
Starting out on day 3, leaving the mountain fynbos for its coastal version- and an abundance of whales along the way!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. dorithockman says:

    Great post Lydia! Its so good to find another South African Foldscope user! I’m very jealous that you have done the whale trail!

  2. Lydia-Marie Joubert says:

    Indeed @dorithockman! I was also not aware of the Foldscope workshops as per your later post. You may also be envious of my Tankwa Camino hike 😉 https://microcosmos.foldscope.com/?p=21530

  3. Manu Prakash says:

    Ha ha. It’s so wonderful that both of you – who are inspiration to me in many ways – got to meet online. Both of you should get together and do a foldscope power session sometime!

    These moments make me so happy.


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