Beacon Hill, pre-Xmas Party Hike, 6th December 2015

Report and photos by Rod Hart

From Eagle Ridge Estates eight intrepid hikers led by Carolee's chocolate labrador "Sundae" set off through the mist onto the Currys Post road towards Beacon Hill, then veered off onto what appeared to be termed the "10km" track through the Mondi plantation, some of which we had seen being harvested last December, now showing new growth. After looping back off the "10km" track we parted company with Brian, Carolee and Sundae as they returned via the quick route back to Eagle Ridge to prepare for the non-hiking guests that were due to arrive for the Xmas function.

Led now by Keith we climbed the embankment to start our ascent of Beacon Hill. Still not too many of the usual wild flowers putting in an appearance, but some good displays of Brunsvigia in various stages of flowering, Dave Sclanders also pointed out the Boophone disticha - Tumbleweed plant which Dave says he found out is a very large poisonous bulb which if eaten plant is capable of killing an ox, or if eaton by humans it apparently produces an intense hallucinogenic trip. Also believed to have healing properties, it is in great demand by traditional healers and apparently the Bushmen used it as part of the poison on their arrows. Thanks Dave for that information and pointing the plant out to us.

Pic 12: Up the embankment towards the beacon of Beacon Hill
Pic 13: First flower I spot
Pic 14: Brunsvigia (Candelabra) flower just emerging
Pic 15:
Pic 16: The Boophone disticha - Tumbleweed plant pointed out by Dave Sclanders
Pic 17-18: The trig beacon has lost it's shaft and vanes - most likely I guess now at a scrap merchant

Pic 19: Hairy little caterpillar - was seen speeding through the undergrowth
Pic 20: Another Boophone disticha - Tumbleweed plant
Pic 21-23: Brunsvigia(Candelabra) beautiful in full flower
Pic 24: With a bit of imagination - Dinosaur footprints
Pic 25: Misty view of Howick
Pic 26: Another Brunsvigia (Candelabra)
Pic 27-29: Brunsvigia bud that a caterpillar has been having a nibble through
Pic 30: Brunsvigia bud just creeping out from under the broad flat leaves

Towards the bottom of Beacon Hill instead of turning left and looping back to the Currys Post road, we continued down past the water reservoir (with "Friday" graffiti) to exit out into Lakeview Road from where we made our way back to Eagle Estates.

Pic 31:
Pic 32: Someone happy that is was Friday tries their hand at graffiti
Pic 33-34: