27 January 2011

Daisy weekend

Another weekend away and this time we were included. Sue and the humans left on Friday afternoon, and arrived in the dark, so the next morning we set off on some serious mouse-hunting expeditions to Papkuil. This is the newly renovated "Lagoon House" at Pietie-se-Punt.
Sue at Papkuil.
Two African Black Oystercatchers on the beach.
We went for an evening stroll along the sea front at Agulhas.
Sue and the A-M taking a break with Dougal hunting for fynbos mice as ever.
We came across this caravan parked next to a beach house with a drawing of a Basset Hound. I follow a few bassets on Twitter so was interested. This one said "Met vleisch... Yaaa!" Just about sums up this part of the world!
On the way back the Alpha Male decided he'd had enough of my dawdling and snap - on went the lead. But that's cool too ...
Sue produced this bottle of Spanish wine that her brother won and gave to her and they drank it all up while the A-M braaied steak and boerewors. Met vleisch... jaaah!
Setting out on our Sunday morning walk. This is Lagoon Road and the thatched roof house that the Food Lady covets. We have never seen anyone in there in the many years we have been coming here! Oops, better catch up or they will start whistling and yelling again.
We don't enjoy walking on the hard limestone up here. Its a bit rough on our paws. But wait, what is that I can smell?
There were lots of these bright orange ericas up on the limestone ridge - Erica coccinea.
Us two looking down onto Rasperpunt. The humans are a bit confused by the meaning of Rasperpunt - is a "rasp" a rake or a grater? These pretty pink flowers were all around in the dunes - Christmas Berries (Chironia baccifera) obviously a bit affected by Climate Change - it being a month after Christmas.
Sue had lots of these delicious little chocolate penguin biscuits. (Sue works at UCT in the Animal Demography Unit which used to be the Avian Demography Unit so she has a vested interest in penguins.) And as we weren't allowed any chocolate penguins ... . . .we had to go out and find our own! But this one was very dead and Dougal just said "Yuk!".
Then pretty soon it was back in the car and on the way home - Dougal getting some last minute Agulhas Plain air.
Back home with my friend who had to stay behind with her human.

19 January 2011

Tongues hanging out

Dougal and I were allowed to join the Wednesday walk if we promised to keep up and not make dassie-hunting detours over the cliff or mouse-hunting diversions into the fynbos. We walked up from Price Drive to the beacon at Vlakkenberg. Here is Doog on top. As you can see - it was quite hot. The bright Red Crassula (Crassula coccinnea - coccineus means bright red in Latin and crassus means thick and fleshy) is starting to flower on the mountain and there were lots of Table Mountain Pride butterflies fluttering around. Time to look for Red Disas ...
This is another crassula, a more pale and interesting one, called Crassula flava. (And while we have the book open, flavus means yellow in Latin. ) Dougal just couldn't resist one foray into the fynbos after his imaginary mice. (Canis-Scotti idiotico?)
Coming down the mountain again, my tongue hanging out. It was hot for a Scot. (Canis-Scotti calidus perhaps?)
Amanda shows us the way down.
On the way down there were lots of pelargoniums with the posh name of Pelargonium pinnatum. (Pinnatum comes from the Latin word for feather but the leaves don't really look like a feather, but maybe its because they are arranged opposite each other on an axis. Or maybe the edges are feathery. Who knows! These taxonomists must have been rather odd bodds.)
These are the leaves of Pelargonium pinnatum. Feathery? Yes? No? Ya-nee.
(And there are NO Latin words for Yes or No so we are the richer for this extraordinary privilege!)

17 January 2011

Cecilia falling

We went for a lovely late afternoon walk in Cecilia on Saturday. The parking area will soon be shut while they harvest the plantation of pines and gums. They are not re-planting them but will allow the fynbos to regenerate. The Food Lady thinks its a great plan.
Dawnie dawg was not happy. She likes dark and gloomy things like forests.
Surveying the removal of the gums. The Alpha is not happy either. We are therefore not too sure what we should feel - but our tails are up!
Along the contour path above Kirstenbosch (dogs stricly on leads!) there were lots of flowers because the alien trees were cleared away here almost 40 years ago now. This is Heliophila linearis.
Gremlin - the big fat cat was waiting for us when we got home - impatient for her supper. Pig cat! Dougal and Gremlin having a boxing match through the glass.

15 January 2011

Hunting baboons

Walks have been rather ordinary lately - and I am suffering from heat and fleas. But yesterday was nice and cool and we went hunting baboons at Groot Constantia. We heard some, but didn't see any. We were disappointed but the Food Lady seemed quite relieved. She doesn't think we stand a chance.

05 January 2011

Hot diggy dogs

Today is very very hot and we went for an early morning walk along the beach. I was feeling full of joie de vivre, and so was Dougal, and even sad old Dawnie was happy.
It was just so beautiful!

03 January 2011

A Devil of a mist

Yesterday morning we had planned to do the Oppelskop walk on Devil's Peak that would best show off the city of Cape Town to friends of Sue. Unfortunately it was raining - softly, but nevertheless drenchingly, and the mist was rather thick. We arrived hoping that the weather on this side of the mountain would be better than on our side, but it was not. Suddenly these figures loomed out of the mist - were they the dreaded Devil's Peak muggers? Luckily not - they were Sue, Brett, Birgit, Res, Nora and Nils with Dave, Christopher and Nikki. Undaunted by all the moisture, they pressed on up into the gloom. The scary rockface was still there - and Dougal, unlike me, doesn't seem to notice it or the rain - look at his tail sticking up jauntily!
Nils and Nora didn't look too charmed either, although Birgit and Res look cheerful. Maybe being Swiss they are used to rain.
The plants were wet too. This is an Aristea macrocarpa,
and these are Pelargonium pinnatum. (Neither of these seem to have common names.)
Parts of the walk are quite steep, and here is the Alpha Male with us negotiating a steep scary ledge. There were no dassies today as all self-respecting beasts are tucked up in their nice dry beds.
Zigzagging up the slopes of Devil's Peak to the Saddle that connects Devil's Peak to Table Mountain - Nora safely on her dad's shoulders.
The Food Lady is not too hot on Leucadendrons but she thinks this is the Laurel-leaf Sunshine Conebush (Leucadendron laureolum).
A soggy tea stop at Tea Rock on the Saddle. Not one iota of a view to be had! You can see the Alpha, Birgit, Christoper, Dave (shoes momentarily on for tea), Sue, Nils and Res, Brett and Nora behind them, and Nikki. Dougal, Dawn and I are not in the photo.
A wet Table Mountain Watsonia (Watsonia tabularis) on the Saddle. These are endemic to Table Mountain and only occur on the Peninsula.
Dave did the walk mostly without shoes - a man after the FL's own heart. (The FL and all her sisters like to go about without shoes - as her grandmother used to say - they are all "jaapies" and now that epithet applies to us Scotties!)
Christopher and I were pleased when the walk was over and we could go home and dry off.
(For a description of the route, click here.)

02 January 2011

Happy New Year!

New Year's Day! The Alpha's back seems better, and we joined Lydia and another Stephen (Granger) for a lovely evening walkies in Silvermine. Up a hill and down to the dam that you can just see in the photo above. Dawnie Dawg and I had a swim ... and so did Stephen Granger. Some bright and cheerful Erica multumbellifera flowers.
And home along the river boardwalk.
Well, are you lot coming? says Dawnie Dawg. Stephen and Lydia in the front.