12 March 2012

Who was Oppel and what was he looking out for?

Argus Cycle Tour today. Lots of bicycles whoooshing past on the motorway and people clapping and music blaring.
We arrived at Tafelberg Road under the gums to find Paul and Pauline patiently (in more ways than one!) waiting. We then headed up the zig zags in the already warm and still air.
It was quite hot and dry, but there were still lots for the photographing Phoodlady. She snapped away at this rather poisonous Leafy Jeukbol (Drimia media), and
some Wild Dagga (Leonotis leonurus). Although this is no relative of the real thing, it is interesting to note that Celtis africana - which they were all nattering on about as a good tree for the garden - is sometimes placed in the Hemp Family Cannabaceae.
Now this is a plant more to a dog's taste. It is rather delightfully stinky and aptly called Helichrysum foetidum.
Someone had made a fairy ring around this little cushion of Crassula pruinosa.
Looking down on Cape Town. The Alph was imaging the start of the Argus Cycle Tour that he did 10 times (or more - must check with him).
Some healthy stands of Paul's curly grass - Pentaschistis curvifolia.
While Paul and the Alph admired the view,
I admired the dassies and lizards so tantalizingly out of reach,
and the Food Lady admired this little Altydvygie (Erepsia anceps) so named because it doesn't closes its petals at night or in rain like other vygies, and
she nearly trod on these Autumn Pipes (Gladiolus brevifolius.) Maybe she thought she was back on the Pipe Track.
Dougal went up the hill looking for mice. He thinks they won't see him as he blends in so well with the path. You can see the moon up ahead.
We broke for lunch at Oppelskop - the reason being that there was a broken down stone hut up there where we hoped to find some shade.
The Food Lady has trawled through lots of books and the Internet but there is nothing about this ruined building at all except that it is generally called "the ruined look-out hut". We are curious to know who looked out of it when it was whole and functioning. Look at my enquiring demeanour! Dougal, of course, was just looking for things to kill.
Tea at the ruin. Dougal (is that a lizard down that crack?), Pauline, me, Paul and the Alph.
Posing for photos or looking for dassies and baboons?
Hey Dougal!
is this what you are looking for?
With the day getting hotter and hotter, we strode off with the Alph towards Devils Peak and the scary traverse,
the others not far behind. You can see the outcrop of Oppelskop on the left. We also have no idea who Oppel was either but he must have had a funny shaped head.
On the steepest, scariest bit, we spotted these April Fool flowers growing precariously on the cliff. They are probably Haemanthus coccineus but we couldn't get close enough to check.
Paul spotted this Sybas tree (Maytenus acuminata). The specific name is derived from the Latin acuminatus that describes its tapering leaves and the Sybas name comes from the Afrikaans for silk that describes these silky threads when you break the leaves and pull them apart.
Now it was getting really hot and we had to leave the lush flowers (Erica abietina var. abietina and a Helichrysum and Erica hirtiflora) and the shady cliffs and strike out into the open again. It was too hot even for the Food Lady to photograph as we zigged and zagged down the 17 zigzags which makes 34 zigs and zags altogether.
When we got home I perked up again and let those pesky neighbouring dogs know that WE WERE BACK.
Dougal had enough energy to sort out some skinks in the garden too.But then I was grabbed and given a bath as I am a bit smelly, and even though Paul came today, it is still not good enough, so everyone, next week I will be clean and sweet smelling!