21 October 2012

Golf balls and goblins

A new sticker on our Land Rover - an early Christmas present from my canine family across the road.
Today we met up again at the Sunbird Centre. But no sun today! Quite a few birds though, which was lucky because Kate was there - as well as Sue, Pauline, Alice and Maddy. Maddy is also a birder - she has a thing about groundbirds.
Off we went towards Clovelly in the drizzle, swallows swooping all around. Quite a lush and green valley, damp and pungent with herby smells - and rodenty smells too for us - and groundbirdy smells for Maddy.
Narrowleaf Clover (Trifolium angustifolium var. angustifolium) - a pea masquerading as a grass. It is an introduced weed - apparently native to northern Africa, southern Europe and western Asia. Thanks Alice for pointing this out - the Food Lady has long wondered about this "grass".
These orange fruits are the remains of the (indigenous) Chasmanthe bulbs - the rather powerfully smelling Pelargonium capitatum in the front.    
All the noisy francolins and Boubou shrikes were too much for Maddy who had to have her special lead on so that Alice could stop her from taking off after them. You can just see the back end of the Peer's Cave rocks up to the left.
Sue and the Alph were lucky enough to see a Black-headed Heron swallowing a mouse. Dougal has competition! (But he doesn't swallow them.)
The Clovelly Golf Course. There are two golf courses here - called The Osprey and the Black Duck. We think they need to change the names to The Southern Boubou and The Peacock because there was a lot of boubou and peacock noise.
All the grass made me feel bouncy. A scotty happy dance!
There were strange otherworldly noises emanating from the trees on the side of the road - and we were not sure what was making them. The Food Lady says it was peacocks ... but I am sure that this bush is not a pea, but a daisy bush (Athanasia crithmifolia).
We had to wait for a few rather unfriendly golfers to tee off and one told us to hide from flying balls - alarming Dougal no end! Save me! (Maddie in "must chase groundbirds" mode).
We came to the end of the golf course and the path joined the road through the little suburb of Clovelly. Some more spooky peacock bushes seem to be eating this car.
Some of the Clovelly houses there had goblins protecting them.
And the rain came pouring, pouring, pouring ... so we decided to abort the walk. It was too wet for a gesellig tea, but Kate had bought a waterproof tin of delicious Ouma rusks,
for all of us - even dogs (but only a few crumbs). Thanks Kate!
A wierd Slugwort - probably Hebenstretia dentata - the raindrops on the Food Lady's camera playing tricks. 
On the way home Maddy bumped into her beagle friend.
By now it was raining in earnest - and in Clovelly - so we hurried home, resisting all temptation to chase fairies and mice. (This is a wet Geranium incanum.)

We crossed the rushy Silvermine River - the only river in on the Cape Peninsula that runs through natural areas from its source to its mouth. There are plans by SANParks to develop a Source to Sea Trail from the mouth of the river at the Clovelly wetlands, up past the Sunbird Centre and all the way up to its source in the mountains above the Silvermine Dam. They had just better modify the route so we don't have to run the gauntlet of flying golf balls! 
Then when we got home - joy of joys! Our human brother Phil came to have lunch with us. He is down from Johannesburg on business. Kerryn is climbing Kilimanjaro at the moment and Phil is going to join her in Zanzibar at the end of this week.

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