07 November 2012

Skyline walkies

Sunday was cool and gorgeous so we decided to do a long walk from Silvermine Dam all the way up to Noordhoek Peak and along the Skyline Path to the Blackburn look-out platform. Only Pauline joined us as the others are either not feeling well, gadding around the gardens of the Boland, or working in darkrooms.
On the way past the dam, we found some mushrooms - maybe Coprinus micaceus - the caps sprinkled with fairy dust but no time to hunt fairies ...
because I had to chase this tortoise who was legging it into the bushes, before the Food Lady put an end to the fun.
 We walked up the road from the dam, happy cyclists crunching by, and turned onto the Amphitheatre Path.
There were lots of flowers for the humans to look at - some goggas for us too - like this grasshopper in a Cape Everlasting (Syncarpha speciosissima).
It was deliciously cool from the fog that was rolling in off the sea. Perfect for hot Scots. You can see Kommetjie in the far distance.
Marsh Bells on the mountain (Gladiolus ornatus).
 Some of the walk was on the gravel road which is not our best.
Also on the road was this Ewwa-Trewwa (Satyrium coriifolium). Apparently the funny common name is thought to have come from the Flemish words ouwe trouwe meaning old faithful which was applied to several long-lasting, mostly European, wildflowers. It might allude to the long-lasting spikes or the fact that it comes up regularly every year.*
 We soon turned off onto a lovely fynbossy path, where we came across a single large pink watsonia (Watsonia borbonica). You can just see the Alph in the background looking for a good tea spot with a view.
 A nonchalant scratch before tea.
 Tea on the slopes of Noordhoek Peak.
Monarch - er Rottweiler of the Glen.
After tea we came across a sign post to the look-out over the Black Eagle's nest.
A rock dinosaur guarding the nest site.The Food Lady is a bit nervous of the eagles and thinks that they might mistake us for large dassies, but little does she realize that we would snap their talons off if they came too close..
Far far below somewhere was the empty nest.
The Skyline path dips down and climbs up and there are spectacular views,
and the mist kept swirling in - keeping us cool.
Some more pink watsonias - this one a rather pink Red Watsonia (Watsonia coccinea).
One of my best plants - a Cat's Tail (Microdon dubius).
 Erica gnaphaloides.
A solution to dealing with dog poo - the Green Grooved Dung Beetle (Scarabaeus rugosus) on the road to the car park.
 Nearly home now - Alph stopping to smell the flowers along the way ...
pretty keurboom flowers (probably the Garden Route species one with dark pink flowers - Virgilia divaricata).
*Information from William Liltved's new book(s), The Cape Orchids.

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