Luckily for us the Food Lady and the Alph did not feel like hiking up the mountain after those bloody red flowers so, after a bit of a lie-in, we were bundled into the car and taken to see our human grandmother and the spaniels. But first, we stopped off at Clovelly to walk along the paths that had been built by some of the Friends of Silvermine in the newly renovated wetlands of the lower Silvermine River that flows into the sea at Clovelly (next to Fish Hoek). They seem to have a few problems with vandals,
but we knew we were in a dog-friendly neighbourhood when we saw this sign. Sometimes we meet the lady who began the whole TEARS society who also walks her dogs on Fish Hoek beach every Friday morning.
We then crossed a bridge,
and came to another sign all about otters that live here. We would love to chase an otter! But we didn't see any.
As usual, the Food Lady was snapping away. This is a Snake Berry (Lycium ferocissimum).
Another bridge. What fun. These wetlands are quite recent as the original ones had been destroyed but they built a series of retention ponds to prevent flooding, and have allowed the indigenous bush to return. We were interested to hear that the original wetland here was the type site for the endangered frog - the Cape Platanna - which no longer occurs here. The whole community enjoy the wetlands now and we met lots of joggers, walkers and dogs.
A Balloon Milkweed (Gomphocarpus physocarpus), which is an introduced weed from tropical Africa and now occurs all over South Africa. It is the main foodplant of the African Monarch butterfly which is immune to the poisonous alkaloids in the plant and indeed, stores them away to use against its own predators.
It really was a nice and easy walk, with lots of smells for us and views along the Fish Hoek Valley for the humans.
One of the retention ponds which forms part of the resotred wetland. The Silvermine River is the most pristine of all the rivers on the Cape Peninsula and this section of the lower river is looked after by the local community. Most impressive we thought. We then crossed the busy road, and walked onto the beach. Can you see the shark flag flying (an arrow points to it) - black today.
Black means that visibility is not good, but lots of people were swimming and doing nippers - including our human cousins.
We met lots of friends.
And were much admired.
We then got back into the car, and drove up the hill to see the spaniels and Omie-domes. You can tell that the Argus Cycle Tour is coming up soon! We were not locked out of the house and had to stay in the garden. WHY? Hey, you have forgotten us! LET US IN. PLEASE! HEY! OI! (Just cant believe they are doing this to us!) HEY!
But then it was time to go and we bade Thomas and Aiden goodbye.
For more about the Lower Silvermine River Wetland Conservation Area click here.