Flowering Noors

One of my favorite things about driving through the Karoo Heartland during the winter is seeing the aloes in bloom. But there is another Karoo succulent that grows between the aloes that most people don’t really notice called Noors. The Noors is a type of euphorbia and found especially around the town of Jansenville. They are smallish, thorny plants with milky sap and the reason that the region is called the Noorsveld.  

The origin of the name noors is uncertain but is believed to originate with the British whom the prickly plant with its yellow flowers reminded of gorse.  It is supposed that “gorse” evolved via Dutch speaking settlers into “noors”.

The noors is frequently chopped as fodder for stock with the result that Noorsveld farms can carry one unit per morgen compared with one unit per three morgen in Karoo conditions where the noors does not occur.

Rearview sunset

A week or two ago I had to go on an urgent work-related road trip and popped into two of my favorite villages, Nieu-Bethesda and Hogsback, before heading down to East London for the night. It was literally whistle-stop visits with no sightseeing. All business. Barrelling along the N2 between King William’s Town and East London the sun was setting behind me and the best I could do was snap a pic in the car’s side mirror at a hundred and mumble mumble kilometers an hour.

Beached citrus

A couple of weeks ago a number of containers full of export oranges fell of a ship in Algoa Bay during a storm and those oranges have now made their way to the beach, washing up along the Wild Side, Schoenmakerskop, Sardinia Bay and, in this case, landing up in a rock pool at Beachview. Unfortunately the time these fruit spent in the ocean means that they aren’t good for human consumption anymore and people are discouraged from picking them up to eat.

Langkloof Proteas

The Tsitsikamma and the Langkloof is linked by a short pass over the mountain between Oudebosch and Kareedouw on the eastern side. The pass only has 7 bends, all of them are minor. It does offer sweeping views of the Tsitsikamma mountains to the left (west) with the green valley on the right dotted with dams. The vegetation changes very suddenly as one crosses over the top and you enter the Langkloof. 

After a day in the Tsitsikamma I decided to detour via Kareedouw before heading back to Port Elizabeth and just had to stop on my way down to the town to take some photos of the beautiful proteas flowering right next to the road. The important thing to always remember is that you are not allowed and should never pick the flowers to take home with you.

The road past Beachview

How about a little roadtrip around PE? Start on the beachfront and follow Marine Drive along the Wildside to Schoenmakerskop, around to Sardinia Bay and then onto the Seaview Road to Seaview, Beachview and Maitland (perhaps as far as the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve), before returning along Kragga Kamma Road to Port Elizabeth.

This is what the road past Beachview on the way to Maitland looks like. Views for ages.