02 April 2012

Foolish flowers and Scottie-forests

Today, 1 April, is April Fools Day. We are going to look for April Fool flowers in the dwarf forest again. Sounds like they are trying to make an April Fool out of us! We tried last week but ran out of time, and so here we are again, at Ou Kraal, toiling up the steps. Today we are the usual four with Sue, Sophie from France, Kate from Canada and Lee-Anne from Canada too. I was so happy to see so many walkers that I nearly jumped right out of the Land Rover, but, as I am no longer a puppy, I thought better of it.
We struck out on the Dog Rock path but nobody knows just where this dog rock is. Here is Kate looking for it through her binocs.
A Scottie-sized tree for us -a bonsai Phylica buxifolia. Fragrant, but not really to a dog's taste. We prefer the gentle aroma of day-old-fish or hadedah poo. A giant rock footstep made a nice drinking bowl for us. Nothing dwarfish about these large, fantastical leaves of the King Protea.
We stopped for tea on the rocks - mmmm wonder what's for eats?
Just dog biscuits for us, but Sue's "walk biscuits", rooibos and cranberry flavoured rusks, chocolate eclairs and mini-Toblerones for the privileged Homo sapiens: Lee-Anne, the Alph, Kate, Sue and Sophie (standing behind Sue). We realized we were getting nowhere in the begging stakes, so took ourselves off to check for baboons, field mice and dassies. The gels all climbed up onto Kalk Bay Peak for a 360 degree view,but Dougal just wanted to get going - Come on! This looks exciting down here. Hurry up.Some exciting flowers for the Food Lady - Velvet Candlesticks (Stilbe vestita). They only occur in the fynbos, and belong in the family Stilbaceae, which used to be thought of as a Cape endemic family but molecular research has now decreed that it is no longer endemic but extends well into Africa. The word stilbe comes from the Greek word stilbo, "to shine" but no-one really knows why - something to do with the candles maybe? Into the deep dark dwarf forest of Spes Bona. We Scotties don't really like boardwalks though, especially when there are gaps for our feet to fall through, or wire-netting which feels strange. Here is Kate helping me over a scary-snary spot. Feeling more confident in the Scottie - er dwarf forest. Look at the red April Fool flowers (Haemanthus coccineus) all around ... pale and interesting young ones ... and full blown, frowsy older ones. Then we came out of the forest and into the pink haze of ericas,
mostly from these little Honey Heaths (Erica ericoides).
The humans were intrigued by a large, round, fast-moving dark patch on the water - which turned out to be a shoal of yellowtail being pursued and eaten by dolphins.
The Winerose Heath (Erica abietina subsp. atrorosea).
A common spider that we often see is this "GT-striped" chap called Euprosthenopsis pulchella. I like to eat spiders but this one is usually too quick to catch. But eventually all good things come to an end. Everyone was waiting in the shade of the great Wild Plum and Yellowwood trees - nothing dwarfish about those - for me and the Food Lady.
A quick last photo - the luscious looking fruit of the Wild Plum, Harpephyllum caffrum, which strictly speaking is an alien to the Cape Peninsula. See Tony Rebelo's comment on iSpot.
Boyes Drive race track. The most dangerous stretch of the walk. We think they need Scottie-, er zebra-crossings or speed bumps as the cars speed along this narrow road most snarily (Arti-speak for scarily).
Following behind the girls on the motorway. Table Mountain in the distance. Someone said on the radio that the profile of the mountain from this view looks like Queen Victoria having a nap.
Dawnie was happy to see us home again, and even happier when the Alph decided to mow the lawn. The zig ...
and the zag. Back and forth they both go. Makes a Scottie quite dizzy.
Then they deserted us and went to the home of Claude the Crazy, brother of Maddy the Mad for Petrus's birthday tea party. Happy birthday Petrus.

1 comment:

  1. Love the photos, the commentary, the whole thing - looks like another splendid walk was had by all.