12 November 2011

Bowling a maiden over

Last Sunday we went for a walk in Silvermine - up Maiden's Peak and onto Klein Tuinkop - one of our faves. In fact it quite bowls me over it is such a fantastic walk. Only Pauline joined the Alph, the Food Lady, Dougal and me - mostly because the Food Lady forgot to put the starting time on the blog and then there was a mix up of smses. (Just bearing out what the Alph has said time and time again - although no-one ever listens to him - that you cannot trust electronic stuff). Anyway - the Food Lady is on about grass now (thanks to Paul and Pauline) - and sadly there are very few books on the grasses of the Cape Peninsula. So here is the first unidentified grass ...
These little creeping pea-like weeds along the side of the gravel road to Maidens Peak are most probably the introduced species Yellow Clover (Trifolium campestre var. campestre), which is closely related to the common clover of "I'm looking over ..." fame.
Some more grass - this time Paul's Grass - Pentaschistis curvifolia - which is in full bloom at the moment. This section of the walk was burned about two years ago and is now FULL of the most interesting and exciting plants
like this Microdon dubius which has the rather strange common name of Cat's Tail - not at all like the cat's tail I try to bite off every now and then when the neighbour's cat ventures into the garden!
and this orchid - possibly Acrolophia lamellata ...
and lots and lots and lots of these dainty little bulbs - Geissorhiza tenella - with the boring common name of Klein Pypies.
Me and the Alph waiting for the flower-worshipers (Pauline and the FL) and the lunatic rodent hunter (Dougal) to catch up. Look at me gazing adoringly at our Alph.
Ant dance in a Roella ciliata - a member of the bellflower family Campanulaceae. Me and the Alph wished we had a bell to ring to tell them to hurry up and continue the walk! Some more grass, some Mountain Dahlias (Liparia splendens) and me.
Eventually we got up onto Klein Tuinkop. A snary (Arti-speak for scary) eagle with Kommejie in the distance.
On the top of Klein Tuinkop were lots of these tiny, red-leafed crassulas which the Food Lady had never seen in flower - they are Crassula obtusa. (Identified thanks to the Friends of Silvermine Nature Area's wonderful new cd Flora Doc: A database of the flora of the Cape Peninsula.)
Tea on Klein Tuinkop: the Alph and Pauline. We could SMELL dassies...
so we spent a while checking the place out - but the FL usually gets a bit antsy if we go too far. And of course, all the best dassies are just too far.
A strange and glowing Halloween flower - Harveya squamosa. A parasitic annual.
The only downside of this walk is the long gravel road home again - not so great for paws. This is tired scotty behind some Vlaktee flowers (Syncarpha gnaphaloides).
A white form of Lachnaea grandiflora - usually they are pink. But maybe when they grow on Maidens Peak, they are lily white. Their common name is Grand Stringbark, and they belong to the Thymelaeaceae family - phew - altogether too many vowels for a Scotty to spell! And the Thymel-whatyoumacallit - is the same family that my friends, the gnidias, belong to.
Monkey beetle orgy on a Sour Fig flower (Carpobrotus edulis).
On the way home we came across lots of dogs just setting out with their humans, but we were so tired that we hardly had the energy for social interaction.

We hope you will be back soon Sue and Paul - we missed you!

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