26 April 2010

Wildlife on Swartkops Mountain, but no baboons

Walkies today was up Swartkops Mountain. Alice, Pauline and Thea came - and the Alpha Male and Food Lady too of course. They were happy to see the serruria bushes looking healthy - some even starting to flower - and lots of photos were taken. We were more interested in the animals, but sadly, saw no baboons this time. There were lots of birds making a hellova racket in the proteas and and more and more goggas are coming out - like this Cape Zebra Cockroach that could qualify for being one of the "small five" of Table Mountain. It was quite a steep scramble up - and I had to be saved once or twice as I am not all that afraid of heights. Tea was almost at the top and most welcome as it was getting quite hot. Here is Alice, Thea, the Alpha Male with me, Dougal and Pauline. This is me looking for baboons with Simon's Town below - from our tea spot. After tea we scrambled up to the top and WOW there were lots of dassies (trying to look like rocks but they couldn't fool us because they have the most fantastic dassie smell) and a black eagle being mobbed by crows and ravens. It was difficult to know which way to run! The spoilsport humans put our leads on because they were worried we might fall off the edge. Soon it was time to go down again and we were very disappointed in not being allowed to chase dassies, and it got rather hot. On the way down, the FL did her thing with the camera and flowers (infuriating the AM with her slowness) and found this Autumn Star (Empodium plicatum) complete with little gogga on it, and some Common Mimetes (Mimetes cucullatus) just growing out of the rocks. When we were almost down again, I found a tortoise (the Food Lady shouted at me because she thought I was looking for something else in the bergie-bushes near the road!). This is me and my tortoise, but not mine for long as they chased me away before I could gnaw on its good smelling carapace. Then we found a run-over, very squished Large Spotted Genet (Genetta tigrina) on the mountain track on the way home. FL says its not a real cat but it would have been good for a chase. You can just see me and Dougal, feeling a bit more perky now, off to hunt for more tortoises ...

20 April 2010


It was fantastic to be at Daisy again. This time Paul joined us which was just so great! The daisy bushes (Chyrsanthemoides monilifera) were all out and it was the most glorious weather. We walked to Papkuil (or Pietie se Punt as it we hear it is really called) to see the houses that make the humans mutter and curse, which have mushroomed out of the dune bushes. Luckily they are not too gross as you can see in the background of this photo above, and dogs are not yet barred so we did some rodent control while we could. Then we walked home past the old fisherman's cottage that has now been "tarted up" (says the FL) and is shining white and pristine and full of "go everywhere vehicles" and fat and "go nowhere" humans (says Paul). We had a wonderfully fragrant braai - and the FL slipped us the tiniest of tastes! Then watched the chokka boats on the horizon with their bright lights. Calamari season.
I found my own fishy delicacies on the pebble beach the next morning ...
but Paul preferred the pebbles.
Then it was off to Greyton to sit in the car while they had fun with Alice, Aiden, Arabella and OmieDomes.

13 April 2010

Hoerikwaggo Trailing

We were so happy to see the humans when they arrived home again on Sunday evening that I relented about putting photos on the blog. But I am sorry we missed out - this looks fun! You can just make out the advance guard on the far side of Blackburn Ravine. Tea stop on the first day - with Christopher, the "mandatory guide" and alpha male for the hike.
Braaing in the Orange Kloof tented camp with giant rain spider nest lights. At the top of Disa Gorge, having just emerged from the restricted area of Orange Kloof where no dogs are allowed unless they live there with the ranger.
The dam that I have had a dip in once or twice.
While they were waiting at the top for the Cable Car to come they saw a Wheaten dassie. Ooooh we would have just CHASED it all the way down to the lower cable station! And, tired but happy, they piled into the Land Rover and hurried home to us.

04 April 2010

Easter Sunday Sundowers

There was no walk this morning - so we tried to help with the housework ...
Then late in the afternoon Sue came and they decided on a walk in Silvermine.
We bumped straight into a pack of rather unruly dogs, and then didnt see another living thing until we got up to the dam. It was rather windy, and at first a bit heavy-going on stones and gravelly paths, but it got easier ...
Looking back towards Fish Hoek.

At about half way they stopped for a wee dram of champagne and an Easter egg in the fading sun.

(All we got was water and some dog biscuits.)

Its a dogs life!

02 April 2010

Black and White

John Hughes, who visited us from Scotland - our ancenstral home - last month with Julie gave the humans and us a gift of a book that he had written. It was all about whisky and he made sure that there was a scottie on the cover! 

According to John, the original "black and white" advert with a scottie dates back to 1912. It is a painting of a Scottie and a Highland Terrier called "Still Watchers". Now I know why all the workers in the Groot Constantia vineyards say "Black and White Scotch Whiskeee" when Dougal and I go past.
They also tried other "black and whites", like this husky who was the sole survivor of the pack that went to the South Pole with Shackleton, which was used in 1910,  

... and this newfoundland and a Jack Russell in 1911.
But the scottie and West Highlander won the day....