28 March 2011

Woodcutter spare that tree

Today we went for a short walk in Newlands with Sue - short because the humans were off to meet Arti and Gabe - some of my best friends and eating partners - and their parents and grandma on a real old steam train. It was rather dry which was good for us because we didn't have to be carried across the river. In the forest it was lovely and cool. This is a real indigenous forest - having been reclaimed about 35 years ago from plantations of pines. (The original forest was cut down before the end of the seventeenth century - hence the name of this trail: The Woodcutter Trail.)
There were not too many flowers as this is the time that the fynbos goes to sleep - in the hot and dry days at the end of summer - and just waits for the rains to come. This is a very tiny little lobelia - probably Lobelia erinus which is usually blue but can be other colours too.
We emerged from the forest into a newly cleared area where the silver trees are coming up and the fynbos looking quite happy - if a bit sleepy and dry. The Alpha Male and Sue - with Dawnie close behind. And Capetonians who pine for the pine plantations of Cecilia Forest, come to Newlands! There are lots and lots still here so we hope that SANParks will let them stay until they fall down, or get eaten by this bracket fungus, so that the sad and pining Capetonians don't have to waste money on silly adverts about shouting for shade. There is lovely shade here, not all of it sterile monocultured pines and gums either, and shady walks in tons of other places we have been in Cape Town. And one day, we are sure, Cecilia will be quite walkable again. But maybe just cool it SANParks - as our Alpha tells us regularly. Leave these pines to placate the piners and go to work on the gums on the other side.

(Title with apologies to George Morris and others who followed ...)

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