28 December 2008
Last Sunday we went for a walk in Cecilia forest, but it was quite hot. We saw lots of blue flowers and the Food Lady was a bit sad because she dropped her camera the other day and broke it and the shop says they can't repair it. She was using Simon's camera which is not very good. Here are two pictures of a blue sceptre (Aristea capitata) and comb flower (Micranthus alopecuroides) both growing in the pine plantations.
The previous Sunday we went to Daisy (a house) and got COVERED in burrs. Here is a photo of Dougal full of burrs. We went for a nice walk up the hill behind the house, and the Foodlady took lots of photos (before the camera broke) including these funny brown flowers called Jamesbrittenia albomarginata. (James is the name of Dougals worst enemy - a black schnauzer with too much attitude.)
08 December 2008
19 November 2008
Sue set a rather cracking pace up what the humans call the ‘mule track’ (though I think they meant mole, and I have never seen a mole walking on a track and besides, moles are pretty blind). Not even I could keep up with her. Perhaps she was scared of seeing a giant mole and didn’t know that Dougal and I would soon sort it out! Our humans and Alice and Paul were also there. We all managed to make it up the mole track and collapsed in the coolth of Amazon Forest. I managed to find a treasure trove of tidbits under the seated area of the boardwalk, although my humans did not share my joy and muttered about littering. We had quite a feast with Alice's Chelsea buns, Paul's dates, Sue's biscuits, Alpha Males's wine gums and the Foodlady's rusks.
The Foodlady put these two flowers on the blog. One is the Cape bluebell or Wahlenbergia capensis, and the other is the kaneeltjie or Pelargonium triste, that has a distinctive smell of cloves suggesting that it is pollinated by long-tongued moths in the night. (But not moles or mules).
11 November 2008
Another new walk for us at Kommetjie.
Sue, Lucy, Richard, Thea, our humans, Dougal (and, of course, me) set off along this path towards the Slangkop Lighthouse that had a dog for ever 50 m or so! What joy.
Then we veered up onto the mountain and zigzagged our way up to a motley collection of buildings that used to be a radar station in a far off human war. The humans got a bit anxious because the buildings are perched on the very edge of the cliff. They snapped on our leads and dragged us off - then let us off again on a path that was just perfect for us heath-loving Scots.
Even the pincushion bushes were really low down (they are special creeping ones called snake stem pincushions Leucospermum hypophyllocarpodendron) and it was easy to chase mice and, joy of joys, TORTOISES! I even got to have a quick chew of one before it was confiscated and I was most unfairly ticked off.
There were lots of them in all shapes and sizes.
Check this bagworm! Like tortoises it carries its house round on its back. Its actually a caterpillar of the moth family Psychidae.
We stopped for tea and rusks near a rocky outcrop with a shady cave for us.
Here is a rare photo of the Foodlady.
The Foodlady was quite excited to see this little plant with a fun name of bloucabong (Lapeirousia corymbosa).
Coming down again was hot and thirsty work, and we took advantage of any shade we could find.
Back at the beach, the humans had a good look at the Hoerikwaggo Trail tented camp near the lighthouse (the Foodlady has more about that on her blog http://veldfloraed.blogspot.com/2008/11/hoerikwaggo-trail-tented-classic.html but we Scots were too hot to even take much of an interest in the boardwalk dogs. A quick cool-off in the cold Atlantic was most welcome too - although we don't really enjoy water that creeps up on us and then mysteriously disappears.
For more information about the walk, Cobra Camp and the Slangkop Lighthouse, go to http://www.hikecapetown.co.za/bestwalks/EWCobraCamp.htm
03 November 2008
We had tea in the throng, and then said goodbye to half of the party who had to go home to lunch. The Foodlady and Alpha Male then walked us up to the Constantiaberg mast - which at 928 m is almost as high as Maclears Beacon (at 1087 m it is the highest point on Table Mountain.) The tip of the mast up here is actually the highest point on the Cape Peninsula - 60 m higher than Maclears Beacon.
The Foodlady was taking a photo of raindrops on a funnel-shaped spider web in the path when a spider came running out but unfortunately it was so tiny it was difficult to photograph (or eat) but you can just see it in the photo in front of its tunnel. According to Norman Larsen (an arachnologist at the South African Natural History Museum) it is Euprosthenopsis pulchella - a very common dark brown spider with dorsoventral "GT" stripes.
Coming back to the Silvermine dam via the top of Blackburn Ravine we bumped into lots of dogs which was just the best (although with Dougal one is never too sure when a situation could just get out of control). This one here (top) had just arrived from TEXAS, in the USA.
For more information on the spider, go to http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/arachnids/spiders/pisauridae/euprosthenops.htm.