30 October 2009

Lucy two

On Wednesday we were allowed on the walk in Cecilia Forest. Litchi was there, and Belle the sausage dog and Kiara the Doberman who ignores me, and I met a new friend - a Maltese called Lucy. She is good fun.
Lots of flowers but not much time to photograph them with the fast-walking gels. This is a pale blue form of Geissorhiza aspera the blue satinflower.
There were also lots of these huge spikes of yellow flowers called Wachendorfia thyrsiflora growing along the road. This is Robbie and Lucy. You can just see Litchi behind Robbie. Litchi got lost for a short time, but at least it wasn't me getting lost this time!

27 October 2009

Not a very relaxing weekend!

Last weekend wasn't quite what we had in mind. Dougal and I had to spend a good part of Saturday in the car because Dougal wanted to take Aiden's feet off when they met over the stable door in Greyton. Then late in the day we picked up some gorgeous smelling fish and chips at Agulhas and drove to Daisy to find that some rather smelly humans had been living in the house. This rather threw the Alpha Male and the Foodlady and all thoughts of eating the fish went out of the window until much later when they had cleaned the place up. Very early the next morning we had a visitor - Winston from up the road - who joined us for a swim at Papkuil. The FL has been muttering darkly about us being banned from there but there were no sinister notices and we had a wonderful swim... and a lots of rodent hunts.
There has been quite a lot of progress with the building of the SANParks camp at Pietie se Punt. Some thatched houses, lots of workers lounging about smoking cigarettes on big trucks, and this HUGE road linking the fisherman's cottage on the point to the new campsite. The humans wondered if it was to accommodate a few hundred tour buses that SANParks hopes will come here to brave the wind and storms. You can see the thatched buildings in the distance.

The rest of the day was more cleaning and more time in the car going to the police with all the stuff that had been dumped in the cottage by the lowlife squatters. A neighbour said they were perlemoen poachers who had been burgling all the houses around here. He said they had been arrested. We just hope so!

23 October 2009

Dogs walking all over the Lion's Head

We were lucky again this Wednesday.The Food Lady, feeling very guilty because she should have been working, decided to join the Wednesday walkers for a trip up Devils Peak saddle and dogs were allowed. When we got there, it was blowing like the devil, so they moved across to Lions Head which was remarkably free of wind. I think the Lion got up and wrote a rude message on the notice board because it must get sick of being walked all over by dogs. Hudge and us two couldn't quite make it to the top, but it was good to almost get on top of a big fat cat's head. Here we are on the way back. There were lovely flowers for the FoodLady like this Moraea bellendenii. (Apparently Moraea is the maiden name of the wife of the chap who started naming plants called Linnaeus.)

19 October 2009


We set off into the deep dark forest with Alice, Pauline and the Foodlady; Dougal doing duty as the alpha male in the real Alpha Males's absence. (He has tendonitis and has joined the ranks of the walking wounded). In the forest there were ravines and waterfalls...and white woolly bear-dogs ... and irritatingly bumptious black swimming-dogs, and then I heard the reason why. It is a dogwood. Here are Pauline and Alice examining one of the trees - an assegai bush Curtisia dentata that belongs to the dogwood family. These are the new leaves that look like little assegais (but see Alice's article for more info.)
We had tea and rusks in a rocky river gorge at the bottom of Newlands Ravine, deep inside the dark dogwood of Newlands.
Out on the slopes we saw lots of flowering gonnabos, Passerina corymbosa,
and under the trees along the path were some white rietuintjies, Moraea tricuspidata.
On the way back the humans said their next walk must be up Newlands Ravine to the Saddle - that you can just see through the pines in Newlands dogwoods. Sounds a bit rough for scotties.

14 October 2009

Holes in the mountain and cliff hangers...

Well - not much to say since I wasn't there! This is us being left behind (although we did get a quick walk round the block to shout at the neighbour-dogs that we HATE). Lucy and Richard, Alice, Robbie and Bob (with Litchi!!), the Food Lady and the Alpha Male all set off up from Constantia Nek, but Bob and Litchi fell out and went home, then Lucy was feeling sick so she and Richard went home too. Then Alice wasn't feeling well but pushed on, and the AM fell and twisted his knee but decided to go on too.
Despite knees and feeling off colour, they followed Robbie into this amazing forest full of yellowwoods and old mans beard, and deep, dark caves. At the top they saw a whole troop of humans disappearing into a hole in the mountain so I am quite relieved we weren't there because we like exploring but not falling into deep dark holes!
There were lots of these strikingly colourful plants called "sissies", Brachysiphon fucatus that only grow in cool spots on Table Mountain and nowhere else.
After tea on the top they came back to the Great Dog Highway at the dams along the side of the mountain which sounded quite exciting. Here is the Alpha Male negotiating a rocky overhang,and Alice on the edge, with Big Chief Howling Wind watching over her,and here is Robbie who took them on this walk, looking relieved that they had all made it so far without being swallowed up by holes or falling off the edge.
When they got home Alice was feeling really bad and it turns out she had biliary - OK - tick bite fever for humans! Poor Alice. I wanted to go and see her but I am not allowed to go into her house because I forgot that dogs are not allowed to pee in other people's houses once and whoopsied on her carpet, but apparently she is feeling much better.

04 October 2009

The Disappearing Path

The Foodlady has been wanting to find out what lies behind the smart new signpost saying Brakkloofrant on the fast road to Simonstown, and today she got her chance and dragged us - Alice, Katta, Pauline, Thea, the Alpha Male, Dougal and me - along too. I don't think we'll be going back there in a hurry as the path kept disappearing.
But we did find some interesting smells, so much so that I had to go on the lead as I kept disappearing too. The photo above shows Katta on one of the disappearing paths through the dunes.

They also saw lots of interesting flowers like this lepelblom, Gladiolus cunonius.

After bundu bashing through the dunes, we stopped for tea. The Foodlady was getting irritated by the paths, but luckily the Alpha Male, fortified by Thea's sandwiches, stepped out and found the main path along the ridge. Almost immediately, Alice found a very rare flower - Aloe commixta, one of only two aloes found on Table Mountain. It was just growing on the path.
We went up to Elsie's Peak (where else?) which is really Else Peak but everyone calls is Elsie's Peak. At last they saw a whale. Here Katta and Pauline are watching the poor whale being pestered by a small boat. Here is Thea on top looking over Glencairn. And another photo of Thea and Katta on Elsie's Peak. And me on Elsie's Peak!

There were lots of other interesting flowers including this rare and vulnerable Wynberg serrurua, Serruria cyanoides, that we also saw on the Karbonkelberg.
And these rather tasty looking Brunia Beetles, Trichostetha capensis on a Green Tree Pincushion Leucospermum conocarpodendron viridum.They are related to the brown and yellow fruit chafer beetles that eat up the Food Lady's roses and that taste really BAD.
When we got home we had to have a shampoo to get rid of all our ticks!

01 October 2009

Sundays proposed walk to Elsie's Peak

The weather looks very good for Sunday - no rain and not too much wind. So shall we try and do Elsies Peak before the hot summer sets in.
It should be quite a long walk at the pace we go! We can meet at our house at 7.15 and all go from there as we will need two cars make the most of the walk - leaving one at the Jonkers Dam parking on Glencairn Expressway and the other in Golconda Road in Glencairn Heights.
Take note - we have never done this walk so I can't vouch for it!