30 January 2009

Sundays walk - my proposal

Cecilia Ridge

Proposed Route for Sunday

Start from Cecilia car park, at 7h30, up past the waterfall (or we can bypass it and go via the Kirstenbosch steps) then up the rather steep Cecilia Ridge. At the top of the ridge we are close to De Villiers dam and from here we look up to Klaasenskop, which I think you can walk up to. There are panoramic views south over the Cape Peninsula, with Orange Kloof and the Hout Bay below. Also apparently nice cracks and yellowwoods to explore. The route down is an easy stroll along the jeep track before we turn off down the pine path (Robbies walk) and back to Cecilia. Should take 4-5 hours.

19 January 2009

Lost on Maiden Peak

I am in the dogbox! And just because they were all going so slowly and I just ran on ahead to catch up with some delicious smells wafting on the wind. The humans thought they had lost me for good and were mighty cross when they eventually caught up with me. So it was on the lead for me for the rest of the walk - and if the Alpha Male has his way, for every other walk we ever do. (The photo shows us on Klein Tuinkop.)

Katta (a human not a cat thank heavens!) joined us today, as did Thea and Sue and Alice. We overshot Bertie's Balcony which was a shame because although I never met Bertie he was a mighty fine dog by all accounts. Anyway we trudged up Klein Tuinkop, me on the lead, and had tea and rusks (and the humans were scoffing the most delicious nougat, crunchies, fruit and biscotti) then cut down through some strange and forbidding rocks and joined the path back to cars. We saw a few dogs on this road but the Alpha Male was not in the mood to let me linger!

There were hundreds of these beautiful watsonias which are a bright orange form of the endemic Table Mountain Watsonia, Watsonia tabularis, (even I can see that the scientific name alludes to Table Mountain!) and also lots and lots of these pretty little blue flowers called Aristea africana, the flowers apparently only last for one day.

11 January 2009

Boardwalk bunscrum

Oh joy - the humans actually took us somewhere where there were LOTS of dogs. Alice was with us today which was my best - I LOVE Alice - but I miss Georgie a lot. Sue, Lucy and Richard came too. We walked up from Newlands Forest to the contour path and had tea on the boardwalk which was fantastic because half of Cape Town and their dogs joined us. There was even a HUGE hairy Newfoundland! I just didnt know which group to join. Dougal was his usual grumpy self and after snarling rudely he was put on the lead to cool off a bit.

There were lot of ericas making a purple haze on the mountain slope - apparently they are Erica hirtiflora or the Table Mountain Hairy Heath.
This picture is of Sue with another type of erica called Erica abietina subsp. atrorosea or the Red Heath.
Back down near the car park we saw a pretty tree called Ochna serrulata or the Mickey Mouse Bush. Apparently the Rameron Pigeon or the African Olive Pigeon as it is now known (that we saw a bit higher up earlier on) enjoys eating the fruit. For more about the tree see http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantnop/ochnaserrulat.htm and for more about the pigeon see http://fernkloof.com/species.mv?80

07 January 2009

Rainbows, snails and looong walks

The humans took us back to the Land of Burrs for a whole week.
We had a rather fun first night with Arti and Gabriel, but their parents looked a bit tired and lacking in sleep. Gabriel and I had a lot of fun in the wind on the beach, and back home, Arti and I vied for Arti's soft baby blanket that has a lovely padded rim - perfect for me.

We went for lots of long walks, and the highlight was a close encounter with a seal on the beach. We thought it was dead, but as we got up to it it leapt up, barked at us and flopped back into the sea. Dougal was keen to get to grips with it, and I am keen to do whatever Dougal does, but our humans started yelling, and so we thought it prudent to just stay just out of reach of it.
It was quite rainy and windy, and we had some wonderful walks up and down the coast, until I was quite walked out.

We also saw this HUGE snail that came up to the cottage door. There were lots of them in the dunes too. (They are giant African land snails, Achatina zebra, indigenous to South Africa.) And a few really spectacular rainbows.