19 August 2011

Scandinavian skies and Swedish hunds

Last night the humans left us in the cosy warm kitchen while it pelted down with rain and went to a reunion of the Alph's trip to Sweden with Astellas last year. As he had taken lots of lovely photos and the Food Lady and I had not got round to putting them on my blog, we thought it was time for a flashback to Sverige. This is the appropriately coloured Scandinavian aeroplane that flew him there,
and this is the view from his hotel in Gothenburg - or rather, Göteborg (and no, it is not where Batman lives!)
This is where the conference took place.
And here are some Swedish hunds. Looks rather jolly.
The Alph, being the Alph, went to the Volvo Museum. These Swedes make seriously wacky cars!
Then he went on a ferry to the island of Styrsö with some of his colleagues including Sandra and Fred who have an elderly and distinguished Border Collie who I hope to meet one day. This is them here with another lady and Andre from Astellas who was their host and who was at the dinner at the Waterfront. Andre apparently has Jack Russells, which are rather like Dansk/svensk gårdshund (Danish–Swedish Farm Dogs). This is the ferry to Styrsö. The faithful Swedish hund comes too!
Misty island.
A china hund.
The Alph getting his ducks in a row. Sweden looks rather grey and chilly - even for a Scot.
Life saving equipment for Gods? Don't they mean DOGS?
No traffic on the island except for mopeds and bikes.
They even have statues of hunds.
Waiting to catch the ferry back to Göteborg - another lucky hund.

Some bushels and a Pecks

Last weekend Philip, our human brother, came to stay - and Kerryn was also down visiting her mom and Georgie, her Jack Russell. On Sunday we walked up Farmer Peck's Valley with Paul and Pauline.
Checking out the whales in False Bay on the way up.
Up on the top - lots of bushels for Dougal to hunt mice under. (!)
Me in the erica bushels - pretending they are rrreal highland heather bushels.
Tea - Pauline, Dougal, me, the Alph and Paul - and a disquieting sniffing dog rock in the background.
It looks a bit like Dawnie - who refuses to walk with us anymore - unless its in the Greenbelt.
A hairy White Spot Moth caterpillar munching on some Amphithalea ericifolia flowers.
Very soon we were racing down the mountainside again after the Alph and Paul who were keen to get home. We stopped for a quick breather and to check the whales, the surf at Muizenberg and of course, the bushels to see if there were any scurrying mice.Then they took us home and abandoned us to take our human brothers and Kerryn out to a birthday lunch at The Black Marlin at Miller's Point - in the heart of baboon country! (Both the HBs have their birthday in August.) This is Simon with his Seafood Curry. Yummm.Kerryn and cool dude Phil. And this is Kerryn with her mom, Sue, and her canine sister, Georgie, a Jack Russell. I am looking forward to meeting Georgie one day.

15 August 2011

Snug with snow in the Cederberg

For the long weekend of Women's Day (6-9 August) we drove up to Riversong through the vineyards and snow-capped mountains, past some really colourful fields of the Common Sunshine Conebush (Leucadendron salignum) which comes in many different colours:
ivory and red, bright yellow and just plain shiny red! All the lakes were full. You can see sneeu on Sneeukop (2070 m) too.
Stop messing about and lets just hurry up and get there!
We met up with Sue, Paul and Helen at Riversong and were soon drinking tea on the veranda of Cedarcot admiring the snow on the Suurvlakte (on the left) complete with pink-tipped Tinus de Jong mountains on the right. Despite the chilly weather, there were lots of spring flowers. This is me and Paul - with our cottage on the extreme left of the photo. That evening the braai was lit and the fillet soon sizzling - but we only got the smidgeist of smidgens. Two snug snotties in rugs.
On Sunday we set out for the Tadpole Pools. Blue sky and a vapour trail - "schweet" as our human brothers would say. Flowers for the food lady: this is an Ixia - probably a white form of the Bloukalossie (Ixia rapunculoides), and a spider eating a fly on a daisy. This daisy has the FL flummoxed. There were lots of these pretty Blou Afrikaners (Gladiolus carinatus) and many, many other flowers that will just have to remain on the computer for the time being!
We walked through this forest of Vleikolkol (Berzelia lanuginosa) to the Tadpole Pools
where I launched myself in. It was quite cold but I tried to look as nonchalant as possible for as long as possible. Home again and having lunch in the lovely warm sun. You can see us under the table hoping for for a few tidbits from last night's fillet, and the Alph, Helen, Paul and Sue. An after lunch nap on the lounger was called for. The next day we went on a longer walk up to the Jacuzzi pool. This is me keeping a look out for baboons.Tea time - the Alph, Sue, Helen and Paul. I am at the Alph's feet and Dougal was deep in the bushes chasing Four-striped Mice. Sue doing a spot of mountain climbing. You can see Rotsvas farm and all the way down the valley to Middleberg Pass. Onwards and upwards ...
to the top. You can just see the Jacuzzi pool below and to the right.
I found a tortoise on the way back, but as usual, somehow the FL knew what I had found (it could have something to do with my wild barking on discovering such a tasty bone) and dragged me away.
We were quite weary but very happy Scotties.The rest of the day we spent relaxing and snoozing until it was time to make the fire for the braai. Dougal and I are nowhere to be seen as we were on our bed fast asleep.On Tuesday morning we strolled down to the river. Here is Dougal taking time off from ratting to smell the flowers. (He seemed to be feeling a bit unwell but recovered when the FL took an enormous thorn out of his groin!) Me in the spring flowers. These are all species of Oxalis. A stop-over on the knoll.
Dougal was keen to cross the river, but none of us fancied falling into that icy water,
and I wanted to do a bit of agama-hunting in the rocks. I nearly got to the top of Fried Rock but in the end my short legs let me down. All too soon it was time to go home to Dawnie and the Little Kittie.