30 June 2009

Our English cousins

Marie-Anne and Jethro share secrets.
Wow - this is how they live in England. And we get a pile of smelly blankets on the kitchen floor if its raining (Dougal cant take a bit of wind and thunder!) otherwise our kennel is in the backyard. And just look at that BONE under the kennel.

29 June 2009

A march towards Red Hill

Today's walk started at Slangkop lighthouse with us in good spirits. Dougal had recovered from the trauma of being dragged out from under the land rover, put in the back and the door slamming by the time we got to Kommetjie. Thea, Paul and (SURPRISE!) Pauline were there, and then, Alice arrived. Joy and tail up! We zigzagged up to the ruins, and set off towards Cape Point through the scottie-height, rodent-rich fynbos. Here are Alice, Thea and Pauline ooohing and aaahing about silly plants when they could have been noticing skinks and mice (but no tortoises this time - still a bit chilly for them). You can almost see Cape Point along this lovely sandy track where we even met some dogs. (Including a Rottweiler that tried to eat us up but luckily its owner had it on a lead so it was saved from being savaged by us.)

After tea in the rocks we set off in the teeth of a strong, cold southeaster which just suits us Scots fine.

At Witsand road, inexplicably everyone turned round and went home except the Alpha Male and Food Lady. Maybe it was those spooky graves belonging to Sophia Bugdoll and some other strange names. The Alpha Male admired this smart old combi for a bit, then off we set at a smart Alpha Male pace over the road and along a new path.

On the march, the Food Lady just managed to sneak this photo of a butterfly on a Protea nitida flower. It is a Protea Scarlet (Capys alphaeus) that lays eggs on proteas, eats the protea and pupates in it too. The Protea nitida is growing on the brand new and very nice Hoerikwaggo Trail path from the reservoir near Witsand Rd to Red Hill. They are most unusual in being a multi-stemmed, dwarf from of the normally much larger wabooms. She also took a photo of this Blue Pipe - Gladiolus gracilis. We were pretty tired and hot (the nice cool wind had died down) when we got back to the Cobra Camp ruins where we had a drink and some dog biscuits. These old buildings are covered in rather boring graffiti. They need to take a look at Banksy's graffiti - some dude that Paul told us about who is famous for his graffiti in England. (We even found a dog blog that has something about him.)

We made it down to the land rover, and Dougal was actually relieved to be put in the back and hardly flinched when the door slammed. We were exhausted. (But that didn't stop us from barking at the ADT man when he came past on his bike and screaming at the Jack Russells going for a walk, and scaring the neighbours kid's on their bikes and ....)

On the subject of the graffiti artist, a final photo for the less intellectually refined of us...

22 June 2009

A misty Father's Day walk

The Food Lady told a fib and said that Sue was coming with visitors who liked to sleep late so we were starting our walk later. But Sue had no intention of coming and it was our long-legged human brothers that turned up! It was Father's Day and this was a special surprise for the Alpha Male. And he was surprised - he thought the house was on fire and the boys had come to call him! We set off in thick mist, but it started clearing a little so at least we had a bit of a view.
Destination: the elephants eye cave. Tea in the cave. There were lots of other dogs with their fathers and families too. Great fun! I tried to go off with a really interesting black dog and her family but the Food Lady came after me and hauled me back. But luckily there was a good picnic tea with rusks, poppy-seed cake (from the Meadowridge Common Cake Sale), cheese and Carr's Table Water biscuits, chocolate, dates and naartjies. A rather fluffy looking Dougal negotiating a stream on the way home.

Lots of pure white Common Sugarbush Protea repens all along the road for the Food Lady to photograph. (Protea repens was grown at Kew in 1774 and flowered around 1780, the first protea ever to flower in cultivation away from the Cape. It was also the first protea to have been grown outside in gardens in Australia, New Zealand and California from about 1890. It was the National Flower of South Africa up to 1976 and has inspired songs such as "Suikerbos ek wil jou he", which was composed on Lion's Head near Cape Town.) As we drove home through the sugarbushes, the mist closed in...

19 June 2009

Barking at Baboons

Much excitement today. We were walking at Groot Constantia with Jessie (otherwise known as BBJ or the Bad Bitch from Johannesburg), Jeannie (my mother) and Jamie (my brother) and we could smell something strange...
and after a while we came upon a whole babble of baboons!
This one was following us, and we were all barking and screaming with joy and excitement, but the spoilpsort humans put us on leads so we couldnt teach it a lesson!
But eventually he climbed right up on the roof of the cellars to get away from us.

15 June 2009

Up Muizenberg Peak

A later start this morning as we thought it might be too wet to walk. But it wasn’t. I was feeling just a bit off colour – I think it was the leg of lamb the neighbour gave us – but perked up when Alice arrived (even though at first she and the Alpha Male were pretending to be Dougal and his black schnauzer enemy when they says rude things to each other).
Douglas also joined us today. We scotties admire him as legend has it that he once picked a cat up off their dining room table and turfed it out the window into the swimming pool. The cat survived and his sisters didn’t talk to him for a few days but we think he is to be looked up to for that. So we are very deferential in his company. (Although we bark and ferociously chase his boys when they bring their skateboards to our house!)
We set steeply off up Muizenberg Mountain, turning left at the top to get to the peak which is 507 m high. Alice spotted an interesting brown Gladiolus maculatus in flower (Graham Duncan from Kirstenbosch says its smell reminds him of Bovril). We had tea just below Muizenberg Peak, and this is Dougal looking anxiously at the antics of the Food Lady and Alice as they teetered on the edge photographing Gladiolus priorii.
See what I mean! No wonder Dougal looks worried.
This is Gladiolus priorii.
Here is me safely with the Alpha Male. This is us all having tea. Doug is either explaining the art of catching a really good surfing wave or an interesting manoeuvre in a helicopter.

There were lots of colourful Erica nudiflora flowers all around,
...and on the way down Farmer Pecks Valley, we also saw this flower which has the oddest name of Dogface! (Alice’s photo.) Trichocephalus stipularis.

09 June 2009

Winter morning in Wynberg

Quite often we join Charlie and Mischief and their human mother, Margie, for an early morning walk at Wynberg Boys High School which must have one of the most spectacular settings in the world. This morning was so beautiful that the Food Lady bought along her camera. You can see Table Mountain in the background and me in front - on the cricket pitch where Jacques Kallis played (although now it's a very soggy hockey field full of hadedas - good to chase - becuase it's winter).
Two noisy Egyptian Geese keeping a leery eye on my sharp teeth!

Stan has me stumped over the six-minute-an-hour bark limit

I have met this distinguished Stanford terrier - luckily on a lead (for my modesty!) - while walking on Table Mountain and I fully concur with his confusion about how often we can bark in Cape Town.
(FL says you can save these two graphics - right click and save as - and then you might be able to read them from your computer)

08 June 2009

No other dogs on Noordhoek Ridge

We set off in chilly, not entirely dry weather, (but certainly drier than last Sunday) with Sue, Thea and Alice (and us and our humans of course) from the Silvermine Dam, up Crassula Edge and along the amphitheatre path. Looking back to Cape Point. Check this barking dog. Looks like Mischief the spaniel. While waiting for Alice to catch up, I practiced my rock jumping for the path ahead. We then turned up the Dragonback Passage path that took us to a windy road (where you have to dodge mountain bikes) and then up to the skyline path.
On the way we saw lots of Erica coccinea, the red or tassle heath.
and quite a lot of this bright and beautiful Erica physodes.
Tea and rusks, Sue's crunchies and Thea's cashew and peanut brittle in the chilly (but mostly dry) breeze on the Skyline path on Noordhoek Ridge.
Us two pretending to be in the heather-clad highlands that the Food Lady insists on telling us about. (She even played us some bagpipe music once that made Dougal howl in anguish!)

A tough climb for short-legged scots but we have done it before and it was a cinch. Here is Sue who was a bit alarmed at the steepness of the path, but we went ahead to show how easy it was (with a bit of help from the humans!) Then it was down to the boardwalk/lookout over Blackburn Ravine, and back along the path where we saw lots of other dogs at last. A walk is not entirely satisfactory unless we see a few other dogs.

06 June 2009

And a good thing too...

....although we scotties prefer to jump out of car windows as my mother once did in Avery Ave. She saw a squirrel and had to get out quickly. Luckily she was unhurt and lived to have me!

01 June 2009

A sad and sloshy day

It has been raining for ages and ages but we decided to go for a walk anyway. Just look at the water pouring down the car window. And look at Dougal cowering in the corner - he HATES the door slamming. He really is such a drip.
We set off for Silvermine, and joined up with Sue and Katta - both of whom were kitted out for very wet weather.
This is the path, not a river! But we didn't mind - we love this kind of weather.
Sadly, it was too wet for tea. Here are Katta, Sue and the Alpha Male in his dayglo raincoat on Crassula Edge looking over Noordhoek and back down to the reservoir.
Down there in the rain and mist you can just see the sweep of Long Beach where the day before a whole lot of False Killer Whales beached themselves and despite the efforts of hundreds of humans, they just kept coming back up to the beach. Eventually they had to be euthanased because they were suffering so badly. There were lots of photos on blogs and websites, which the Food Lady has added in below.
This photo was from a website called travelblog.portfoliocollection . You can see the mountains where we were walking on Sunday in the background. Lots of people are trying to get the whales back into the sea.
Another photo - this time from the News24 website - shows people trying to persuade this crazy whale to get back in the water. No-one seems to know why they do this.
Anyway, back to the walk.
It got rather wild on the top, so they decided to turn back. Dougal and I were very disappointed in these drippy humans! We were just beginning to have fun.
On a very bedraggled plant, the Food Lady spied some wax scale insects (Ceroplastes) that she photographed for someone who is interested in this sort of thing. Looks like something she would shout at me for smelling, let alone tasting!
When we got home they went off to see Madam Butterfly (a human not an insect this time) and they came home sniffling and bleary eyed because it was such a sad story.
Hoping next Sunday will be sunny and cheerful.