03 November 2008

Elepant's eyes and spiders

Yesterday Sue, Lucy-the-vet, Richard, Alpha Male, the Foodlady, Dougal and I went in search of an Elephants eye which was crazy because we only found this HUGE cave which was filled with people and a rather hyperactive staffie.

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.

It was lovely and cool. We saw some amazing furry proteas called the brown bearded protea, Protea speciosa.

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.

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