29 October 2010

Daisies at the southern tip of Africa

Apologies - the Food Lady has been a bit slack about updating my blog. (The dreaded dreadful deadlines.) Last weekend we went to the southern tip of Africa. We headed out in the comfy car because of the Alpha's sore back. Dougal started getting excited before we were even past Muizenberg! This is Daisy cottage at Suiderstrand.
And there were certainly lots and lots of daisies there. This is a Sea Boneseed daisy (Osteospermum fruticosum). We went for a walk to Papkuil, leaving the Alpha to relax at the cottage. There were lots of molerat hills to investigate.The sea was a bit kali - I had to beat a hasty retreat - usually there are no horrid little waves at Papkuil.
Dougal was a wee bit sceptical about WHAT lives in that huge hole.
Delicious fishous!
Whooa, what is that!
A giant land snail doing trapeze work.
And what is that long thin snake-like thing in our favourite swimming place?
Yikes, its after Dougal! Oh, its only a piece of kelp.
Omigosh - some alien spaceships have landed on our favourite molerat hunting grounds.
Dougal taking an interest in the botanical attributes of this little Cotula daisy. Just near the cottage were these Cancer Bush (Lessertia frutescens) flowers and funny balloon seed pods.
These are the nasty burrs that stick to our coats and cause the Food Lady to pull our hair when she tries to get them out.
This is me trying to get rid of a few burrs by rolling in the nice cool reeds. Out for the count on the back seat - the BM is such a smooth and comfy car.
We popped in at Greyton on the way home. This is young Thomas who we are not allowed to meet face to face but only through the gate.

20 October 2010

Two walks

Sunday was a hot day so I didn't mind all that much when the Food Lady left us to look after the Alpha Male (who has a bad back and has been told to lie flat on it for a week) and went off with Alice and Pauline for a walk in Cape Point (No dogs allowed in there). They parked a car at the lime kiln where this family of ostriches were foraging around. Mmm - Dougal and I are not really bird-chasers, besides, that mother ostrich looks quite large!
Then they drove along the racetrack to the entrance where the walk starts - after Alice took a few photos of the rare and endangered Mimetes hirtus en route.
The start of the walk: good views across False Bay to Hangklip. (Alice's photo).They saw a klipspringer sitting up on the rocks - lucky for it we weren't there to chase it! (Also Alice's photo.) And a lot of photographing and talking about flowers went on I imagine. This is Geissorhiza bonaspei, taken by Alice and identified by the famous Graham Duncan from Kirstenbosch.
Another of Alice's photos: Pauline and the Food Lady looking towards Cape Point with Paul's mountain to the right. At Kanonkop they saw the old Dutch cannon that was once used to signal that ships were about to arrive in Table Bay.
This is Alice's photo of the walk they did from Judas Peak on the far right, along the peaks to Paul's Mountain and down to the beach in front of Paulsberg. No wonder the Food Lady was so red in the face and tired when she came home!
Later on that evening when it was cool and the Food Lady woke up, we were taken to the green belt where I was in clover.
That's me trotting along past these colourful nasturtiums. (Of course I KNOW they are not indigenous but the Food Lady likes them nevertheless.)
And just in case you think I am only interested in flowers, think again. This is one of my best fun things to do - a good roll in some smelly mud!

11 October 2010


Thomas has arrived in his new home in Greyton. These are from Alice who went up there to join in the fun and games.
Brrrrhrrmph. Aiden looks stumped! (Apparently Arabella wont allow him near her.)

10 October 2010

Tackling the Lion

Today we tackled the Lion again! It was windy and clouds were scudding across the poor lion's head, but it wasn't too wet - yet. But there were lots of interesting plants in the renosterveld (should that not be leonveld?)which is what make Lions Head quite special even though it wasn't sunny. Nola and Goose and Maverick came today which was great - and so did Sue and Pauline. (Paul and the Alpha are spending carbon credits in Europe and Alice is fetching a spaniel puppy for our human grandmother in Greyton).
This is Pelargonium elongatum. And quite an unusual plant called Medusa's Head (Euphorbia caput-medusae).
Come on come on stop looking at the flowers!!
Us low-slung dogs decided not to go up to the very top today as the Alpha Male is away again and the Food Lady can't help us both up the steep bits at the same time. Besides is was very windy and we may have been blown away. So we stopped for tea just under the lions head - or maybe it was under its ear. We had special dog peanut butter biscuits today, but not as delicious as the biscuits Sue gave me. Pauline and Goose doing some botanizing. Maybe they were looking at this little Buzz Ixia (Ixia scillaris) which has an unusual way of getting itself pollinated. Little bees come to its very bright anthers, sit on them and then make a high pitched buzzing sound which releases the pollen in a little cloud of dust which the bees gather up at high speed and buzz off. It was quite windy as you can see by my ears. Signal Hill in the distance. A lovely Chincherinchee (Ornithogalum thrysoides) with the cloud-enveloped Twelve Apostles in the distance.
On the way back we met a few other dogs and this manic puppy that made me feel old and staid!
We also met a most unusual big scottie-like dog - and wondered how it all could have happened as scotties are not very good at breeding at the best of times.
What a funny face! The Scottie from Hell! Look at me looking bemused by him.
I think they expect VERY tall dogs here!

The Food Lady drove us to Signal Hill and stopped to look at this Kramat where a very old and very holy man was buried in the Seventeenth Century - Sheikh Mohammed Hassen Ghaibie Shah. She went inside with some other people and spent a while chatting about Circles of Islam around Cape Town, holy zum zums (springs) and another holy man who is buried further down the hill who looked after stray animals. Another place to visit soon...
From the road to Signal Hill you look over the waterfront and the Cape Town Stadium at Green Point and all the way up the West Coast. But is was getting windier and wetter and we had to get backto see how the poor sad Dawn dog was doing. (She was fine although her bed had blown all over the back yard and she refuses to use the comfier ones the Food Lady tried to get her to use.)

03 October 2010

Baboons and wee folk in oaks

Today the walk was cancelled. Everyone is away or has a sore back or some lame excuse like fetching someone at the airport. We were mighty depressed on our tartan bed. I looked imploringly at the Food Lady ...
and she relented and took us to Groot Constantia. Not quite the fynbos, but better than round-the-block.
There are fabulous old oaks with squirrels and maybe even wee folk and fairies living in their hollows and holes. All very exciting.
I went right inside this one and found a few gold stars on the floor. I think the fairy flew out of that hole when we barked.
We started walking up the mountain behind Groot Constantia and found this old grave overlooking False Bay. (You can see the southeaster cloud on Muizenberg mountain in the distance.) It belongs partly to the lady who Ladies Mile is named after - Eleanora Maria Colyn - who died on 2 October 1839. Yesterday 171 years ago.
We had to turn round and come back fast as there was a whole troop of baboons lurking around and the Food Lady was worried we might attack them. So it was back into the vineyards for us.
Dougal being "wheaten". We were sure there were some field mice in there to be eaten!

The new shoots on the vines were sparkling in the sun.

The Groot Constantia house from one of the old oaks.

This is the Food Lady's favourite staircase down to the stream looking rather overgrown.

Having my photograph taken in front of the Manor House before being hustled away from my potential modeling career and into the Land Rover.

Stop the car! I see something that needs chasing ...
A great big ugly baboon! Bark! bark! Let me at it!