18 May 2013

A poetic Mother's Day walk

Pauline and Paul came with us this morning, and we met Sue and Honey at the top of Rubbi Road. The Alf has a bit of a sore back so we didn't want to undertake anything too arduous and the Food Lady thought this would be a gentle little stroll up Slangkop. So up the Gum Tree Avenue we all slogged, and out onto the side of the hill.
Some interesting Rusty Sage (Salvia lanceolata) plants grow here.
Up we climbed, looking back over Kommetjie and Chapman's Peak.
There are always lots of flowers up here - like these Erica abietina and Metalasia plants,
and what someone once dubbed "South Africa's national flower". Getting closer to Ocean View. We often wonder why there is no path that bypasses this road - as on an old map the Food Lady has it shows a link, but we never see it
and have to brave the racing cars on the Misty Cliffs road. Honey was not happy. And Dougal got some Devil Thorns in his paw.
But soon we were off the road and back on the path - which is now part of the Hoerikwaggo Trail. It was quite misty, and the spiders webs were all glistening in the sun - like this Euprosthenops web over some vygie leaves.
There are beautiful views looking southwards over Scarborough and we had to stop for tea to admire the view. And a very very sandy path! Not too good for sore backs Food Lady!
Tea and champagne! (It was Mother's Day after all! - and it had been the Alf's birthday a few days ago  so lots to celebrate.)
Tea view looking north to Table Mountain.
The Alf, Paul, Pauline, Honey and Sue.
We were reclining in the shade pretending to be dassies.
Lachenalia punctata (previously L. rubida) grows here in great profusion and the peak of its flowering is in May.
Oxalis luteola.
Fynbos heavyweights: Metalasia (left), a huge bush of the endemic-to-Table-Mountain Serruria villosa and a bush of Staavia radiata.
          Candlewood (Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus).
Cobra Camp looming into view.
Cautiously now - too many snake words up here - Cobra Camp, Slangkop, a Scot can't be too careful ...
A view over Noordhoek beach and Hout Bay in the distance - from the old radar station.
Paul getting an angle on the Slangkop Lighthouse. It is the tallest cast-iron lighthouse in South Africa and has one of the brightest lights, with a range of  61 km. It first lit up in 1919, and is still in use today.
Mmm, don't think much of the graffiti here.
And take a peek and lookee what we have here! A peke in the fynbos.
Walking down the mountain in the warm May sunshine, filled with champagne ("beaded bubbles winking at the brim" and all that) and admiring the misty view, the Food Lady was moved to quote (thank the pope that Phil and Simon weren't here to be embarrassed!) from Ode to Autumn - "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness ..."
"... to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells."
A late autumn Tritoniopsis dodii -  normally finished flowering by April.
Back to the Italianate church at the top of Rubbi Road,
and the cars, and exciting presents for the Food Lady and the Alf.
Back home and relaxing.
"I didn't want any flowers, I only wanted
To lie with my feet turned up and be utterly empty."
(with apologies to Sylvia Plath).
 And a Mothers Day lunch with seared tuna and Lismore viognier. End of any thoughts of productiveness for the FL!

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