27 July 2009

Getting high on Hoerikwaggo

Feeling perky today - no tummy troubles and Alice is back again! Set out in two cars with Sue, Katta, Richard and Pauline, and dropped a car at Silvermine on the way to Noordhoek Beach. Got a bit lost looking for start of trail....

...but then found the path thanks to very nice man at Monkey Valley. (Next time we will know to go right to the end of the beach.)

Then we just kept going higher and higher and every twist and turn was another "oooh" and "aaah" from humans.

Very welcome tea with lots to eat at the top of Chapmans. You cant see me in the pic as I am comfortable at Sue's feet. Saw lots and lots of other dogs so that Dougal got a bit rattled and had to go on his lead.
We left all dogs and humans behind on Chapmans Peak and headed down the other side and then all the way up again to Noordhoek Peak. It was quite a walk.Luckily there was lots to drink.
Alice and Food Lady found interesting flowers to photograph: lots and lots of Table Mountain Hairy Heath Erica hirtiflora. And a Cape Snowdrop, Crassula capensis. There were quite a few of these little Granny Bonnet orchids, Disperis capensis that are thought to mimic the nectar-producing flowers of Polygala bracteolata to trick the rather stupid carpenter bees (the staffies of the insect world!) into thinking that they have nectar, but they don't. Carpenter bees (which are very common on Table Mountain and important pollinators) also steal pollen from long-tubed ericas by biting holes through the side of the flowers and it is thought that the sticky coating on some ericas clog up the mouthparts of the bees preventing them from stealing too much precious nectar. Here are Pauline and Alice inspecting the sticky flowers of Erica physodes, the Sticky-flowered Heath on Noordhoek ridge.

Richard didn't find too many birds and luckily the black eagles were not there today,

but as he saw some horsefish when he went diving, that made up for not seeing too many birds.
Last stretch - and look at the smoke from all the tantalizing braais! The humans (some of them at least) were looking forward to a cold beer at this stage. But we still had lots of barking to do to let the neighbours know we were back.

Next Sunday's Route

20 July 2009

The Other Grootkop

Last walk it was Grootkop above Simonstown, and this weekend we saw the other Grootkop - above Oudekraal - in the distance. Here we are having just crossed Woodhead Dam wall.

Up Cecilia and down Kasteels with a tummy ache

The humans set out in two cars, and drove up windy roads and back, leaving one car half way up the mountainside and driving some more till I threw up in back. But I felt fine when we got out at Cecilia Forest and met up with Sue and Katta and Pauline. Sadly Alice was not here even though she badly wanted to photograph grey tree pincushions. Here is me leading the way up Cecilia Ridge - you can see the road far below.
And here is me waiting for everyone to catch up.
After a stiff climb, we broke for tea on breakfast rock. Here are the Alpha Male, Sue, Katta, Pauline and Dougal and me. I was not feeling at all hungry at this stage which was funny because normally I really look forward to tea but I drank a lot of water.

Then it was more climbing ... here is Dougal waiting politely for Katta to pass ...

...until we reached The Great Dog Road on top of the mountain and saw some interesting dogs like this black one that was so scared of us tough Scots that it lay down on the road!
At the Woodhead Dam I started to feel sick again and had to keep stopping to hurl in the bushes. Most unpleasant!

Here I am at the top of Kasteelspoort. When we were about half way down, the Alpha Male had to carry me the rest of the way because I really wasn't feeling great. I didn't even feel like eating when we stopped for cheese and biscuits.
Near the Pipe Track, Alice’s Grey Tree Pincushions were all over the place and the Food Lady took some photos of the buds just coming out. They are Leucospermum conocarpodendron subsp. conocarpodendron and only occur on Table Mountain on these granite slopes.
Sue, Pauline and Katta back on the Pipetrack. I was pleased to get back to the car. Really not feeling my usual self. Then it was off to the - shiver and shake - vet for me but Russell (Lucy was away in Malta) couldn't find anything really wrong and I am now feeling much better. I even ate a piece of rusk…

17 July 2009

My big human brother

Sitting in front of the fire with my human brother who had just come home from Plett and came to supper.

14 July 2009

The outside cat

Gremlin trading insults with Dougal.

Its still raining and cold. We did a short walk with my best friend Gus in the Greenbelt. Where we normally cross was a roaring flood and, having been washed down this stream once before, I was taking no chances today! Here I am hesitating. Luckily there is a bridge a little upstream.
Poor Gus is going blind so he is on the lead. He fell into a canal the other day so his human is taking no chances either.

The raging river in the Greenbelt.
Now the humans want to go up Table Mountain on Sunday and look at the mountain streams in full spate.

12 July 2009

Rainy Sunday

No walk today. Rain coming down hard and wind swirling around making Dougal wimpish. Look at him on their bed!

Looking out on rainy garden. Feeling bleak.

Foodlady on computer ... but look what I see....

THIS is what they were doing yesterday when they left us at home - visiting Arabella and Aidan in Greyton. Here are the two blue roan spaniels who I am not allowed to meet because Dougal will most probably fly at Aidan.
Here they are having a WALK WITHOUT US.
And exploring the river with Omie Domes WITHOUT US.

And here is Opie Dopes.

and the Alpha Male with the glorious prospect of a delicious lunch while we were at home in the kennel. Its not fair!

And now its raining even harder.

08 July 2009

A windy Wednesday walk

We were allowed on this Wednesday's walk above Chapman's Peak Drive! Happy happy day. You can just see me trying to keep up with Haj at the back there. It started off warm (we were glad we had had those hair cuts) and breezy but
it got more and more windy and on the way down to the car the Food Lady put me on a lead in case I got blown off the cliff. (So I cant be all that fat!)
Then Haj came back in the car with us! I love Haj but he doesn't really take much notice of me. Dougal was well behaved which is amazing. Perhaps he was tired.

Red Hill and Red Grasshoppers

Set out in the Land Rover with Lucy, Richard, Alice and the humans and parked high up on a Red Hill (except it wasn't really very red!) above Simon's Town. Simon is in Plett so again he passed up a good chance to come to his town. Looking back almost made us giddy.
Us waiting for them on the path to Grootkop (which is the smaller of the two Grootkops on Table Mountain. The other one is near Camps Bay).
Alice took this photo of Liparia parva which is only found on the Cape Peninsula and nowhere else. We were quite interested to hear that it is pollinated by rodents at night. Lucky for the flowers we couldn't find any rodents here even though we tried hard. They must have good hiding places.
Exploring caves, cracks and ledges of Grootkop.
Here is rock that looks like one of the cowsharks that Richard and Lucy were diving among the day before.
A red splash on Red Hill, another plant that only occurs on the Cape Peninsula, Gladiolus bonaspei.
Tea and rusks (and dried fruit for humans) at Kleinplaas Dam. What an exciting place! We both had a dip. After tea we set off round the dam where we met some other dogs...
... a malachite sunbird - a bird of the fynbos....

...and a red grasshopper on Red Hill.
The humans asked if we were interested in it but we declined because we could smell that it was BAD. And apparently it has caused deaths in dogs - probably Jack Russels who would be silly enough to eat a RED insect. They are "pyrgomorphid foaming grasshoppers" and they cant fly, and they store cardiac glycosides from the milkweeds on which they feed - an attempt to repel Jack Russels.
Alice was suffering a bit from a sore back, so we were quite glad when we reached the car again which was still in one piece under the Big Tree on Red Hill Drive.