04 December 2011

Maddie's first walk

Alice was back - oh frabjous day! - with her new mad dog called Maddie. This was Maddie's first walk with us. Paul and Pauline were here, and Thea and Sue, and of course, the Food Lady, Alph and Dougal. We meandered a bit in good Food Lady style around a maze of white sandy paths that disappeared and re-appeared but eventually, thanks to Sue and the Alph, a good path was located and we set out in a stiff breeze up into the Baskloof Nature Reserve.
Some pretty little Lapeirousia anceps flowers growing in the white sand.
Ah - a signpost - we must be on a real path.
There were lots of everlasting daisies - in this photo you can see Cape Snow (Syncarpha vestita) and Edmondia sesamoides, the former with a red centre, and the latter with a yellow centre.
The fluffy seeds were blowing off this grass - possibly Thatch Grass (Hyparrhenia hirta).
More Cape Snow.
There were also lots of different types of Roella in flower. This one is probably Roella triflora.
The path took us through some magical areas with gorgeous flowers. But is was starting to get quite warm, and the wind dropped,
so we decided to go and have tea at Kleinplaas Dam so we dogs could have a cooling dip. The Food Lady's "five to ten minutes" turned out to be more like half an hour so we were really in need of a swim when we finally arrived at the dam.
Young Maddie really had a good time in the water and Dougal got wet up to his shoulders.
Paul found a shady spot in the rocks to cool off as humans are not allowed to swim here.
Tea time.
The SANParks peeps must be expecting some radical climate change events, as the marker for the depth of the water is quite high.
By now it was very hot and the cooling wind had disappeared. But best foot forward!
Looking for all the world like a spider, this assassin bug (possibly a species of Lopodytes) was lurking in a Yellow Ixia (Ixia dubia). Assassin bugs prey on other arthropods - creeping slowly up on them, grabbing them and injecting them with paralysing toxin. They can also inflict a nasty bite on inquisitive dog's noses.
It was so hot by this stage that I had to be carried home. The view from here was spectacular!
Poor old Dougal was left to find patches of shade to snatch a few moments to shelter from the fierce sun.
Here he is with Maddie having a relax in the shade. It was hot
and the path seemed to go on and on but at last the village of Scarborough came into view.
Before long we were back at the cars. Sue and the Food Lady went to pay for our permits at Mickey's Mouse Trap shop which is behind that grille. They were only R12 each.
Then Alice and Maddie went for a swim, Paul and Pauline went home and the rest of them had a drink at the Camel Rock Restaurant. Here is the Alph - my saviour and hero for carrying me all the way down.
And Sue.
And Thea who stood us drinks. There was even a bucket of water for us Scots and some rather rangy local dogs to interest us.
We stopped to check out the Notten's "family room across the mountain" in Scarborough. Some progress has been made.
Now are we hallucinating? I know we were really hot and tired, but these did look like camels and palm trees in the middle of Noordhoek.

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