On the 18th November we joined the Timoneys and Luke for a fantastic weekend at Riversong. When we arrived, supper was all ready and the wine open. Here is the Alph - well, the Alph's left cheek and arm, Caroline, Katherine, Paul, Luke and Helen. Dougal and I were out and about having a scrounge around for tortoises and other exciting Cederberg things.
The next morning we set out for an early morning botanize with the Food Lady
who found some firework flowers (also called bloodroot or Dilatris ixiodes)
and some White Orchids - Disa harveiana subsp. longicalcarata.
After breakfast we set out again on another walk - our lucky day! We passed lots of interesting things, including these Grey Conebushes (Leucadendron pubescens) with sticky, hairy cones and lots of enticing smells,
but is got rather hot for us scots and we were grateful for to rest in some restio shade.
The Food Lady is fascinated by this rather disgusting plant which is all sticky and covered in dead and dying goggas. To make these poor hapless insects' lives even more miserable, this tentacled leafed bush is stalked by assassin bugs that are immune to the stickiness and go about injecting and sucking up any trapped gogga. Luverly. Read about them here.
At last we reached the cool tadpole pools where we all had a swim and Luke found a little snake eating tadpoles. Instead of leaping out he just stayed in the water and watched it as it swallowed the fat tadpole near his foot.
After lunch the humans relaxed at the cottage - here is Luke and Caroline (with the bunch of flowers that Era had very kindly placed in the cottage for us and a delicious fruit cake that Helen had baked),
while I did some tortoise hunting and Dougal did some mousing.
Then, official walk number three! Whoopeee. We went to the river for a swim in the lovely warm evening.
Caroline and Helen walking home again.
The boys wasted no time getting the fire going,
while the kitchen team were also working hard - Luke just moving from one to the other, and occasionally chatting to us too.
Another gastronomic extravaganza with the promise of rich pickings for us dogs - especially seeing as I was not allowed to chew up my tortoises.
Some night visitors - a Ribbon-wined lacewing,
and a rather terrifying scorpion that wanted to share Luke's bed on the veranda.
The next morning there was rolling thunder - and Dougal was reduced to a shivering wreck. He thinks that getting up on the bed is going to help! What a drip.
It was quite rainy and bleak outside, and I was rather reluctant to go out to investigate the tortoise population. Finally we decided to take the plunge and got to the bottom of the driveway before the rain forced us to turn round and go back to the cottage where we stayed put until it was time to pack up and to home.
Dramatic skies over Du Toits Kloof.