Walking today were Paul, Sue and Joana from Portugal, who is back to do her PhD on penguins. (Click here for a summary of all the different penguin species.) Richard also came with Josie, and Emily from Arizona, who is here to study cormorants. Alice and Maddie were not here as Maddie has a cough. It was the Alph's first walk since getting back from the land of eucalypt leaf-eating possums, koalas and wombats, who would all feel right at home in the gums that we trudged through in the early morning sun on our way up the mountain. (In the foreground is Slangbos, which is now no longer Stoebe but Seriphium plumosum - a member of the daisy family.) We walked up Robbie's walk which is looking lovely especially as more and more of the gums and pines are being harvested and the indigenous fynbos is returning. This is one of the Muraltia shrubs, probably Muraltia heisteria, coming up everywhere. Tea on a knoll overlooking Cape Town. There are still lots of pines that escaped out of the plantations and now grow in inaccessible spots on the cliffs - but SANParks are doing a great job cleaning up and the Food Lady hopes that they continue to do so.
Lots of lovely water in all the streams and waterfalls. I went extreme adventuring up one of the waterfalls, until the spoil-sport Food Lady called me down. Paul photographing the waterfall and trying to avoid tripping over that large fat Rottweiler with a heart-shape on its behind - similar to some of our human nieces and nephew's jeans with funny messages like 'BONG' written on their behinds.There were dainty white Rice Ericas (Erica lutea), and luminous Green Proteas (Protea coronata),
lovely paths overlooking Kirstenbosch with good smells,
and Green Protea Beetles (Trichostetha fascicularis) and honeybees feasting on pollen and nectar in the flowers of the Waboom (Protea ntidia), stripey Autumn Pipes (Gladiolus brevifolius),
and some fiery-bright Rooipypies (Gladiolus priorii),
as well as a few nasties - like this alien invasive weed, Woolly Nightshade, Solanum mauritianum. Its green berries are very toxic to humans and no doubt dogs too, although it is the favourite food of the African Olive Pigeon or Rameron Pigeon.
Some cheerful little winter oxalis flowers - possibly Oxalis commutata, were enjoying the damp conditions,
and there was lots of frothy foam in the rivers and streams.
Some of us chose to cross the stream over the bridge, but I chose to swim across. Actually it was rather deeper than I expected but it was very exhilarating! I think I am a bit of an adrenalin junkie. What exciting thing shall we do next week?