07 March 2011

Love in the mist

Alice - still my absolute best (although I am getting a bit more controlled about showing my delight at seeing her as befits my great age of just about FIVE years old) - and Sue joined us for this perennial favourite walk from the Silvermine Dam, along the Steenberg Ridge, up to the Constantiaberg mast, down to the top of Blackburn Ravine and back to the dam for a dip. A lovely cool mist gave us some respite from the fierce heat of yesterday. The ericas are out in full bloom - giving the Food Lady many hours of puzzling over tomes and scrutinizing photos.One of them was the rather nondescript Erica muscosa (previously called Scyphogyne muscosa). More flamboyant was the Summer Snakeflower (Tritoniopsis triticea) that is mimicked by the Cluster Disa (Disa ferruginea) - see my previous post. Most colourful were these tiny but iridescent beetles on buchu (Diosma) flowers.
There were big, pink King Proteas (Protea cynaroides), and nectarless red Cluster Disas (Disa ferruginea),
and beautiful Blue Disas (Disa graminifolia). Some ants - that bite like crazy! were busily foraging around their nest. (Ants awaiting identification.)
Us and the Alpha waiting for the others to catch up. Looking back at the dam which seems to hang over a cliff! Sue and the Alpha setting off down the other side, with Blackburn Ravine below. I wonder what Sue is saying? "What am I doing here when I could be happily watching cricket at home?" (I hear we disgraced ourselves at cricket again - dragging defeat out of the tightly clenched jaws of victory once again.)Mist was swirling around Hout Bay far below.
Dougal feeling good having just seen off two large ridgebacks. He really thinks he is as big as they are. A harbinger of autumn - a newly opened Autumn Pipes (Gladiolus brevifolius). A King Protea suffering from Witches Broom - a kind of disease. No-one is really sure what causes this disease that sparks a "proliferation of buds" but it is thought that a bacteria transmitted by a banana-shaped, microscopic mite is responsible. And funnily enough, the Food Lady spotted this tiny (although by no means microscopic or banana-shaped - it was about 4 mm long) Red Velvet Mite legging it across the path. Omigosh I am itching already. Mesmerising: Paul's curly grass - Pentaschistis curvifolia if I remember correctly.
We all had a well-deserved swim. Here is Dawnie with the mist-enswirled Constantiaberg mast in the background.
The Alpha Male having a swim. You can just see his head above water.
Reading and taking cognisance of the sign. I see that spaniels are crossed out! But not scotties so Dougal is off where no spaniel dares to go. You can just see his tail for the dust. Dawnie found some admirers with bunny ears in the car park.
I think I am in love with a large Black Russian Terrier that we bumped into coming down the mountain. Sadly, I didn't get his number - or a photo. Sighhh.

1 comment:

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