26 March 2012

Misty mountain hop

Today Kate and Sue and Pauline were waiting for us when we arrived at Ou Kraal where we braved the racing cars of Boyes Drive with a mad dash across the road and made it into the forest unscathed. We did a bit of a double take when we saw this carpenter bee (Xylocopa) lying in wait on the bottom step, but discovered it was dead.
After the excitement of the start, we came upon this lovely peaceful scene - False Bay spread out at our feet. (When you are a Scottie it is unusual to feel high up.)
The dusty path had scatterings of flowers like this Sutera hispida with the unlikely common name of Skunk Bush. Sounds like what I get called by the Alpha Male.
Then there were lots of these bulbines which the Food Lady can't identify but thinks they may be Bulbine favosa.We zigzagged up and up - this is Kate on the zig being photographed by the Food Lady on a zag. A flowering sedge - pollen laden - possibly Ficinia nigrescens. It was a bit misty up here and everything was rather drippy.
And hiding in this wet and Wild Garlic (Tulbaghia alliacea) was a Leaf Beetle (Chrysomelidae).
Even the geology is interesting in the fynbos! Pebbles embedded in the rock.
The veld is looking all autumnal in silver and gold with Slangbos (what used to be Stoebe plumosa but is now Seriphium plumosum) and restios.
This pretty grass is actually a visitor from the Med that has made itself at home here: Hare's Foot (Lagurus ovatus).
Some stinkbugs on an Aasvoelbessie (Maurocenia frangula).
Looking over the misty cliffs of Muizenberg.
The infamous Vlieëbos (Saltera sarcocolla). We don't need any more fleas in our lives thank you very much!
A ladylike cup of tea for me.
Tea in the mist. Sue, Pauline, Dougal, Kate, the Alph and me.
We were surrounded by glistening Autumn Pipes(Gladiolus brevifolius) and Paul's curly grass (Pentaschistis curvifolia).
A little grass orb-web spider - possibly from the Larinia genus.
Gosh oh gee, a gnidia! Gnidia tomentosa - the Woolly Saffronbush we think.
and struth, a struthiola - possibly Struthiola ciliata.
After all this botanizing it was now too late to go all the way up to Kalk Bay Peak as the Alph and FL had ANOTHER wedding to get to by midday, so we took a short cut back through the Erica tristis bushes along the old jeep track.
This is a close up of the teeny-tiny, wind-pollinated flowers.
And who was getting married this week then? Actually it's Belle and Roxy's parents who have been married for a few weeks already, but this is the Cape Town wedding reception hosted by Robbie and Bob in their elegant home at UCT
The Alph all dressed up for an extremely elegant lunch under the tree in the garden.
Relaxing with the Food Lady on THE BENCH which they have been twittering about on the Wednesday walks for ages.

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