15 August 2012

Shades of grey

Another rather bleak and grey day but we decided to climb up Devil's Peak because our human brother is here on business in Cape Town and he wanted some exercise. We picked him up at his posh - if rather grey - hotel on the foreshore of Cape Town.
The Foodlady was intrigued by all the new hotels and apartments here. Hello human brother!
Paul and Pauline joined us on Tafelberg Road, and soon we were zigzagging up the side of Devils Peak into some colourful fynbos. This is Phil's photo of Dougal on the path. A close-up of the Red Heath (Erica abietina subsp. abietina) one of the many plants endemic to Table Mountain. (The name abietina is Latin for "like a fir tree" and refers to the leaves which resemble those of fir trees of the genus Abies.)
Another colourful erica that only occurs on Table Mountain - the Berry Heath (Erica baccans).
A blushingly beautiful shrub to shake away the grey: Leucadendron salignum. We were missing Alice who knows all the names.
Creamy white Clutia alaternoides flowers.
Although we were feeling a bit more colourful, it was very wet and the paths had turned into streams.
Phil and Paul discussing how best to brew beer.
We turned left here, and headed straight up, Phil catching up on his correspondence all the while.
A photo opportunity. A tad grey but the weather was holding out for the final assault on the Peak.
The Devils Peak Heath (also Erica abietina but subspecies diabolis becuase it only grows on Devils Peak and nowhere else in the world. It is similar to subsp. constantiana but differs in having hairy sepals and a slightly hairy corolla). Botany lesson over, we eventually got to the top. I was not so sure about climbing up there!
Team Devil's Peak: Pauline, Paul, Phil, Me (can you see my nose?), Dougal looking stricken and the Alph.
Then the mist started rolling in from the sea. Table Bay ahead.
Tea in the mist overlooking Newlands Ravine and False Bay.
Waiting for our biscuits and any other crumbs.
Then we set off down again. Phil still doing a bit of admin.
It was quite scary in the mist and Pauline and the Food Lady were scared we would get lost in the grey swirling mist so we followed close behind Paul.
Luckily it wasn't too dense and we could see quite a lot - including this erica that was flowering in great swathes all over the Saddle. The Food Lady thinks it is the Smooth Heath (Erica glabella).
We aslo saw this fascinating forest of moss and lichen growing on a dead Psoralea shrub. The mustard yellow lichen could be a species of Teloschistes. The discs are fruiting bodies or reproductive structures called apothecia.
And pink and pretty Leucadendron cones. Alice says it is probably Leucadendron xanthoconus which grows on sandsotne upper slpes and plateaux.
Some pesky pixies in Cape Anemones (Anemone tenuifolia) needed chasing.
" Come on bad dogs! You will fall over the edge." As if!
Shall I have one last leap into the fynbos before we follow them down? Hmmmm. We do not enjoy the path down.
But soon we were down again, and we dropped Phil back at his urban chic hotel to pick up his car. You can see Lions Head in the distance.
Fun river boats tootle along the canals on the foreshore now.
On the way home we looked up at Devils Peak which was looking quite dramatic and cloud covered.
In fact you can't even see the top where we were an hour ago! Not bad for two vertically challenged dogs.
The next day, the Food Lady, Phil and Si went to Origins coffee shop where Phil wanted to try out this special craft beer by the Devils Peak Brewery.
And this is the other human brother with a flat white and a volume of Thus spake Zarathustra by Nietzche that he picked up from Clarkes Bookshop on Long Street for R10.

No comments:

Post a Comment