05 October 2013

Back on the beat

Leaving the Pest behind with his snout in his bowl, we drove off to one of our favourite walks - Farmer Pecks' Valley. We parked on Boyes Drive just above these vineyards - complete with scarecrow - and I just couldn't wait to get going I was so excited. Paul, Alice and Maddie were there already, and Sue and Honey joined us with Kate and Greg. Watch out baboons and dassies of Kalk Bay mountains - the three black dogs are back on the beat!
 It was quite chilly, and this little monkey beetle was fast asleep in the senecios.
Toiling up Pecks. I was far ahead up front with Alice and my friend Maddie, Paul and the Alph.
Far behind - the rest.
Waiting for everyone to catch up.
I just felt like diving into the ericas like Dougal used to do. I still miss him so very much - things are just not the same and I wish he could just come back and we could carry on as before. 
 The Food Lady says that all these purple ericas are all Erica glabella.
 A chilly tea with lots of nice eats - Paul, Alice, Maddie, Kate, Greg, Moi, Sue and the Alph. But where is the missing black dog?
 There you are! Hiding behind Sue. (Sue has also been away in the frozen north so Honey was sticking close to her in case she leapt back on a plane and disappeared again.)
 Pretty pink metalasia buds opening to pure white flowers - likely to be Metalasia cephalotes.
And the springy Spiloxene capensis bulbs are out in numbers.
This straggly sprawling plant is a member of the vygie or ice plant family with the strange name of Spekvygie (Aizoon sarmentosum) but we are puzzled as to why this white and frilly little flower is called a Bacon Fig.
More spring flowers - a gousblom daisy - possibly Arctotis acaulis?
 And some Rain Daisies (Dimorphotheca pluvialis). Spring is definitely here!
Dung beetles (Scarabaeus rugosus maybe?) stealing each others dung balls and fighting and scrapping.
 Flocks of silent Sacred Ibis overhead, 
but my nose was on the ground - following the delicious smells of porcupine and baboon. The Food Lady soon yelled at me to turn around and come back.
Lots of tiny little Grass Pinks (Petrorhagia prolifera) - interlopers from Europe - growing along the path as we got closer to the road.
Honey wanted to meet The Pest - don't ask me why! so they popped in on their way home to say hello. I don't think Honey was impressed but she was quite gentle towards him and only lifted her lip once. I have to continually lift mine - which is most uncomfortable and makes me sneeze and wheeze. But somehow, he is so young and innocent that I can't really bring myself to bite him properly. (Besides, the noise when I accidentally connect with him is deafening!)
Simon took the Pest off for a walk - and I was left home alone to sleep off the walk while the Alph and Food Lady went to my best place in all the world - Fish Hoek and my friends the spaniels - to look at Omie Domes and the Food Lady's photos of their trip around England and Wales. Here are Olivia (in hat) and Sophie (hiding behind Omie Domes) - our beautiful, clever, sporty and stylish human cousins. I thought it rather unfair not to take me and I sulked for a day. Now the Food Lady calls me grumpy Aunty Coco which makes me even crosser.

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