08 July 2012

Mad dogs and an Englishman

Today we (The Alph, FL, Dougal and me) set out in the rain with Paul and Pauline,
and Alice and Maddie, along the track to check on the Marsh Pagodas. The more sensible of the walkers stayed in bed again.
The facilities have been upgraded here we were pleased to see.
A little Babiana - possibly the Winter Babiana (B. villosula) - was braving the rain,
and the rare March Pagodas (Mimetes hirtus) were starting to flower in the boggy area they seem to love.
Come on, stop looking at the flowers and hurry up. There are lots of rodents to flush out of the bushes.
The King Protea, always beautiful!
Dougal trying to persuade me into the soggy fynbos to hunt for mice. No thanks! Not today. Its just too wet.
The only other person we encountered in the rain was an Englishman (complete with St George Cross beanie) and three bedraggled mad dogs. I tried hard to make friends with them.
The rushy river reminded the Food Lady of the poem about fairies* that goes
"They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
All night awake
And here is one of the blighters in a Bicolour Currant-rhus (Searsia tomentosa). Needless to say, I was too wet to think of chasing fairies today and very pleased to get into the car and go home to a nice warm fire.
And in case anyone is interested, Searsia belong to the mango family, Anacardiaceae, along with the Marula, African Wild Plum (Harpephyllum caffrum), Cape Rockwood (Heeria) and the BAD invasive Brazilian Pepper and the Pepper Tree. They are all dioecious too - i.e. male and female trees are seperate.

The Fairies by William Allingham

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