The lower slopes of shady, narrow kloofs and gullies where the scree collects, are equipped to display spectacular sights of plant life. Permanent or seasonal watercourses usually uncover rocks that may test the skills of hikers and whatever animals move up and down the route.
Plants get trampled, but all traffic seeks the easiest route, marking and clearing it by gradual demolition of obstacles as the agreed way to go. Once the highway for all is born, including the occasional storm water, the plants off the track can grow undisturbed by passersby. They may be browsed in passing or their fruits picked, but they can grow in stature, serving as roadside beacons and adornment.
Tall shrubs thrive on water retained deep under the sand even where the flow is only sporadic. Their protective shade creates forest undergrowth conditions in the narrow ravine hollows. The vegetation here contrasts with that of the surrounding area: species atypical of the higher slope growth present surprises and wonderment; making up for all mishaps during clambering journeys.
This flowering Haemanthus albiflos was seen in May in a narrow ravine in the Rooiberg near Calitzdorp. It does not relish full sun as some other Haemanthus species do; always flourishing in shady spots. The bulb partly protrudes above ground as is its wont; the top part turned green as potatoes do in daylight.