24 March 2011

Breaking in new boots

The main reason for today's hike was for Philip, our human brother who was visiting from Jozi, to try out his new hiking boots that he bought for his trip to Brazil in June. It was quite hot and the sun was blazing a bit as Phil, Lucy and Josie, our humans and us made our way up to the Higher Steenberg Peak. Just look at our tongues hanging out! Poor Dawnie was the hottest as she has the thickest coat.
There were considerably more flowers for the Food Lady to take photos than last week. This is a Golden Spiderhead (Serruria villosa) that only grows on Table Mountain,
and Bulbine favosa.
This hairy plant is Phylica imberbis (but it also could be P. ericoides - the FL needs to check with Alice who wasn't there as she was getting ready for her party - to celebrate her birthday - without me).
A Familiar Chat was sitting on a dinosaur rock flicking its wings at us, but we are not interested in chasing birds. We are rodent hunters. Lucy, Alpha, Phil, me and Dawnie stopping for a water break and to look at the view. We wished the cool mist in the distance would reach up Steenberg Peak and cool us down.
Phil and Dawnie with Table Mountain and Devil's Peak in the background.
There were some cool caves and crannies to shelter from the fierce sun - I call this the Black Scotty Shelter.
A dinosaur slinking over the edge of Steenberg Peak just above the Fat Lady Shelter. Could it be scared of the crazy Dougal and his rodent hunting ways?
Agnother gnidia - this one is the Buttonhole Saffronbush (Gnidia oppositifolia).
So far the shoes were doing just fine.
Lucy leading the way through narrow passageways, definitely not for Fat Ladies!
with me close behind.
A welcome tea break. Josie wisely staying in the shade.
Keeping a leery eye out to see that the Food Lady doesn't get any ideas of throwing water over me! I am quite cool enough thank you.
Tea photo. Lucy, the Alpha and Phil - but not a dog in sight as we were all sheltering in shady nooks and crannies.
Dougal after some mice. Eternally hopeful but fynbos mice are far cleverer than Rattus Rattus and Dougal remains unsuccessful.
A Cluster Disa (Disa ferruginea) growing in a rock crevice.
Back down the same way we came up. You can see Ou Kaapse Weg and the other side of Silvermine in the background.
Pretty pink Autumn Pipes (Gladiolus brevifolia).
There were lots of these dried daisies and brown restios, and a late flowering Tritoniopsis parviflora,
and some Staavia radiata bushes from the blacktip family (Bruniaceae) which are not usually flowering now.
Still lots of these Summer Snakeflowers (Tritoniopsis triticea) blazing red in the sun. In fact they were almost as colourful as Phil's water bottle!
At last the clenched fist rock came into sight and we were almost back at the cars and some water and shade.
Back at home we didn't have time to rest after our walk because we had to chase the neighbour's cheeky ginger cat out of the garden,
and clear the flowerbeds of skinks. All in all, a good morning was had by all.

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