19 May 2011

Twenty-nine walk

We went to fetch Roos - and Charlie wanted to come too but he couldn't fit into the car. We also had to leave poor Dawnie dog behind because of space issues. Lucky we are quite small or we would have been left behind too because there was a good turn-out for our walk up Noordhoek Ridge: Us, our humans, Sue, Pauline, Kate from Canada, Roos from Holland, Lucy, Richard, Josie and Alice. We all met up at Silvermine Dam, then piled into the Land Rover and drove round Chapman's Peak to the start of the walk - which was all misty and eerie. Alice saw this giant Egyptian lioness god - Sekhmet - with a Pharaoh's beard looming out of the mist. At the crossroads. Richard with Kate from Canada and Roos from Holland. I was still feeling a bit spooked by the Sekhmet thing. Then as we climbed up and up and up and up and up, we suddenly popped out of the mist into the light. Chapman's Peak in the distance. There were lots of colourful and cheerful little ericas - probably Erica laeta, some of them covered with spiderwebs. According to Norman Larsen of Iziko South African Museum, this is the mist-bespattered web of a Plant Mesh-web Spider. And this little ant-like thing is also a spider - a species of Cydrela - (again thank you to Norman Larsen and Rudy Jocque for the id) belonging to the family Zodariidae. Not much is known about their biology he says, except that they prey on ants - hence their similar appearance. This is the first time he has heard of one on the Cape Peninsula. At tea Dougal found a pool to quench his thirst before plunging back into the fynbos in search of mice. It was Richard and Lucy's Twenty-ninth day Wedding Anniversary, and it was our humans's anniversary of TWENTY-NINE years. Longer than a Scottie can imagine. Pauline had bought some champagne.
A toast to the Twenty-niners from Sue and Pauline, and from Roos,
and from Kate from Canada and SueChampagne and tea on the rocks - Alice, Kate, Sue, Alpha, Pauline, Roos, Lucy and Richard - and me and Josie (who was being uncharacteristically friendly - or condescending - to me).
But where is Dougal? Hunting in the fynbos! Alice taking photos of the mist swirling around Chapman's Peak,and taking photos of me. (Makes me look distinguished - no wonder Josie deigned to be friendly to me earlier.)Gnidia tomentosa - that likes to grow above 330 m in moist places. It was quite moist and misty up there today.
At the end of the walk the Alpha went off with Sue and Kate to collect the Land Rover, and the Food Lady, Roos, me and Dougal got a lift home with Lucy and Richard. This is Josie buckling up. We have never seen car seat belts for dogs before.
The route.
Thanks Alice for letting me use some of your lovely photos.

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