26 March 2012

Up to the mast

Today, being a public holiday called Human Rights Day (but actually the day to commemorate the sad massacre of Sharpville on 21 March 1960), the four of us decided to go on a great expedition up to the Constantiaberg Mast. It was quite warm with a hint of cloud on the mountain. We started at the parking place at the Silvermine Dam, found the secret path to the Silvermine Crags, and followed that up to the ridge. There were lots of Bulbine favosa flowers on the path. Then we carried on along the ridge, past some interesting flowers for the Food Lady like this Takluisbos (Senecio pubigerus). We searched but found no takluise in there,
so we thought this Argiope spider must have eaten them all. Note its zigzag "stabilimentum" which is characteristic of this genus.
Watch out little grasshopper! (On Phylica dioica.)
Far in the distance, on top of Constantiaberg, was our target - the mast. The tip of the mast is the highest point on Table Mountain.
But first we had rivers to cross,
and roads to negotiate - in the shadow of the giant elephant with his beady eye on us. We two are sticking together for safety.
The mist rolled in from the cold Atlantic with some welcome cool air.
Almost at the top, we stopped to admire the view looking back over the ridge where we had walked along - above the Silvermine crags. You can just see the dam on the other side of the ridge.
Another road to negotiate to the top. Be careful of the mountain bikes that swish and whoosssshhhh past!
And at last, the mast is in barking distance.
Dougal laughing at his own joke at tea.
But where am I?
Peekaboo! I was just hiding in the shade.
This tall daisy has a species name that would be good to have down the triple word score in Scrabble - Othonna quinquedentata. But then, I don't think that Latin is allowed. But just in case one day they allow it, it means "with five teeth". (Othonna is from the Greek for linen or cloth.)
A close up of the flowers of the Triple Word Score Daisy (Othonna quinquedentata).
On the route down, there were many Altydbossies or Common Diamond-eyes (Staavia radiata) in flower.
It was a long, but beautiful path down towards Blackburn Ravine. You can see Chapmans Peak in the background.
Spot the bagworm on this Phylica imberbis. A bagworm or bagmoth is the larva of a moth. This one could be from the Psychidae family.
The spoilsport humans wouldn't let me go and check out the dassie activity on the cliff near the lookout bench - and we turned sharp left and kept going ...
all the way back to the car park. We were hot hot hot dogs.

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