25 June 2012

A midwinter meander

Today we discovered a wonderful new walk. The Food Lady has been part of the way before with the Friends of Silvermine and we have been to Kleinplaas Dam lots of times, but most of it was new territory. We met Alice and Maddie (everyone else was snug in their beds!) at the ghost town parking spot just before the Brooklands water plant at the end of the Pineview/Brooklands road off Red Hill Drive, and set off along the path to Kleinplaas Dam.
The veld was burned quite recently and there were lots and lots of interesting plants popping up in the sandy veld including these little Winter Babianas (Babiana villosula),
and these odd little Snake Lilies (Ornithoglossum viride),
and the tiny little Winter Spike-lily (Wurmbea hiemalis) - which is endemic to the Cape Peninsula.
We quickly got to the dam and discovered that the water had reached the measuring stick - last time it was high and dry. It is still quite an optimistic measuring stick though!
Maddie found the waves on the dam a bit snary.
and I became snared in a fairy circle. Round and round ...
It was still too early for tea, so we set off along the dam wall in a northerly direction. We came across some luminous flowers called Vlamme (Gladiolus bonaespei),
and when the path forked, we took the right fork as we were enjoying the smell (and taste) of fresh horse dung littered around. The left fork is the main Hoerikwaggo Trail and no horses are allowed on it.
These Golden Sunshine Conebushes (Leucadendron laureolum) were glowing yellow, but the sky was getting darker and darker and eventually it started to rain.
We trudged along the sandy path, getting a bit worried that we were now heading off in a westerly direction when we needed to turn round and head back in a south-easterly one. This pretty pink, strongly aniseed-scented buchu bush (Agathosma lanceolata) was the same colour as Alice's rain jacket. (And in case you are wondering how a colour-blind dog can tell this, the Food Lady told me!)
Luckily the path then swung round and before we knew it we had reached the Lewis Gay Dam and the tarred road.
Apparently Lewis Gay was a mayor of Simon's Town and an MP. The dam was built in the 1950s.
A short wet trudge up the road from the Water Purification Plant and the Dam,
and we were back at the car and home in time for tea: soggy but happy!

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