29 April 2009

A week away WITHOUT us

On your marks..... Get set....
These are the Robartes' dogs - Gambit (the MOST handsome)and the other Airedale Tombi, Tikki (the soprano-voiced Cairn terrier look-alike on the post below) and Snoopy (a Maltese-Jack Russell). Seeing I had no real wish to visit them at Lions River, they can be my blog pals. I hope they send me some messages through Tammy (one of my favourite humans in all the world).
The humans had great fun - picnics in the night - this is Tammy with the Snoopdog...

... shops - Tammy and a silly bull dog (there were no Scottie dogs in the shop apparently)...

and FANTASTIC mountain walkies. Its NOT fair.
PS. The Alpha Male is in this photo, he is just a speck in the distance - far ahead where he likes to be.

My pen pal Tikki singing

21 April 2009

Stay-in-bed Sunday

Sunday was a wash out. Not only was the Food Lady sneezing and sniffing, but the weather was drizzly and cool. (Cool! I love a bit of cool and drizzle!) but they decided to go back to bed, and to add insult to injury, they then left us at home and went out to lunch - ALL AFTERNOON. But on Monday the FL relented and took us for a nice walk in the vinyards right up the side of the mountain. Here I am in the vinyards. The Swear Word Mountain (Vlakkenberg) in the back ground.
The Foodlady started photoraphing these brilliant orange Erica versicolor plants that were growing wild up here, right on the edge of the vinyards.
A pretty fountain bush, all washed in the rain from yesterday. It is a member of the Bruniaceae family but the FL doesn't know which one it is.
Almost still a bud - a green protea, Protea coronata. Lots of them grow up here too.

Down again, and we had a lovely time chasing the squirrels, and a Great Dane. We like this kind of weather! It makes me feel like ....biting Dougal.

13 April 2009

Barking spiders and an exciting walk along Noordhoek Ridge

As the weather was good, but the Alpha M still recovering from a cold, and Dougal still recovering from a bite in the back leg during a dog fight, we decided to do a gentle walk above the Silvermine Dam. We set off, most promisingly, past lots of dogs and along a nice path overlooking the dam and car park. Then the humans started losing it. A bark spider they said. But they didn't know it was that car-load of crazy spaniels they could hear barking way down below at the dam. NOT a spider. Even though it was a mammoth spider, it was not barking!
We carried on and found a nice tea spot at a trig beacon (at 689 m) with two black (or Verreaux') eagles soaring below.
The humans were quite excited. They said that a black eagle could take Dougal and me out but just let it try! We would snap its ugly yellow face off.
The Foodlady did an Easter egg hunt for us (you know all that stuff about surrogate children...) but we don't really like chocolate and preferred the Beano biscuits and rusks.

Then things got out of hand. I think it was the lovely cool fresh air and being 689 m high but they set off along this path that took us down into dips and up quite sheer rocky cliffs (for scotties anyway). We got to Noordhoek Peak (754 m!) and continued along till we came to the viewing platform above Blackburn ravine.
In the end I was the one who got tired - and the Alpha Male and Dougal were fine.
The Foodlady was puzzled by some ericas she had never seen before and took some photos. They turned out to be Erica nevillei that is found only on Noordhoek ridge and one or two other spots nearby.

10 April 2009

I just couldn't resist a kiss - Arti is so cute

Sunbathing...and other kinds of bathing

They tricked us today.
Just to get us off our guard, they took us to the beach where we saw lots and lots and lots of dogs. Great great Danes,
and small Jack Russells that Dougal beat in a race even though he had a sore back leg from getting bitten in a fight down the road two days ago.

Dougal sunbathing.

So we were a bit taken by surprise when we got home and didn't manage to hide before they grabbed us and BATHED us! Although it does feel a bit better to be rid of a few fleas now.

06 April 2009

Blue balloons and a bouncy boat

Today lots of balloons, a huge ship and lots of little girls arrived. It was Sophie's birthday. What a wonderful surprise.

Here is me with my friends Sophie, Emma and Jodie.
And me trying to climb on to the Jumping-ship.

05 April 2009

Misty mountain hike

Uh oh! Things not looking too good! The weather forecast was promising, but it was horribly humid when we set off up the mountain, and I almost gave up – hence the ignominy of being carried.
But luckily, tea and rusks and a lovely cool mist that suddenly crept up towards us on breakfast rock made everything better.

We made it to Camel Rock in record time, but there were so many other people there – including a monkey boy called Robbie who climbed up to the top – that we decided to retrace our steps and take a path to the side where we had a water stop and a rest on some fantastic rocks overlooking Orange Kloof.
Alice and the Alpha Male admiring the view…
…while we found some interesting droppings to sample in a crack in the rocks, and a few good lizard and mouse smells to investigate.

Scotties on the way home.
On the way down the jeep track and back into Cecilia Forest, we saw lots of dogs, including these two snauzers that are running away from Dougal because they could sense he didn’t like little dogs who think they own the mountain!
Pity they didn’t see this giant Scotty rock we came across earlier!

Foodlady found this little spider making short work of a Noctuid moth on a fonteinbos - Psorlalea aphylla. The spider is a Thomisidae (Crab spider) see http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/arachnids/spiders/thomisidae/index.htm

01 April 2009

April Fools Walk

Today we were allowed on the Foodlady’s Wednesday Walk. What a treat – I got to see Haj again although SHE kept me on the lead all the time too because of CAVES. We walked up from Boyes Drive and up and up some quite tough boulders for us.
We were not too keen to look in there with all the talk about boomslangs and devil's pits! There were lots of caves and even Dougal was on a lead in case he chased dassies into a cave. Apparently the caves are FULL of Jack Russell skeletons.

Most appropriately, as today is the 1st April, we saw lots of April Fool flowers in the board walk forest. The April Fool flower, Haemanthus coccineus is also called a paintbrush. Its spotted and barred stem distinguishes it from the other paintbrush that grows on the mountain.

The Wednesday Walkers walk fast and there is no tea and rusks. But the Foodlady snuck in a few photos of flowers. This tiny little flower is a protea, called the Peninsula silkypuff, Diastella divaricata ...
and this is a ninepin heath, Erica mammosa, in one of its many colours.

Back home and dreaming of walks on Table Mountain....