31 March 2013

Easter picnic at Camel Rock

Not quite indigenous, but a cheerful cotoneaster at the start of our Easter Sunday walk at Constantia Nek. There was quite a turnout today - Pauline, Alice and Maddie, Sue and Honey, Kate, Leanne, Mark and Sally and Florian from Germany. 
Maddie and Alice.
We decided to split the party - dog walkers to take the easy way and non-dog walkers to do a bit of cliff-climbing up Constantia Corner - and we agreed to meet at Camel Rock for tea.
A Roella with tightly closed buds.
The Easter moon was still up in the sky. 
This Common Banded Garden Orbweb Spider (Argiope australis) was waving at us to go away - just look at her very cross face. 
Sue and Kate coming up the path - with Eagles Nest and the start of Constantia Corner in the centre - but we couldn't see the other half of the party ...
they were somewhere up there on the misty crags.
The path eventually joined the Great Dog Highway which we always love. Here is Dougal terrorising an Irish Terrier. (Honey went one better than him to day and managed to bounce a Jack Russell right off the path.)
A dip in the lovely cool waters of the De Villiers Dam - which was built by our next door neighbour's (Jackie Diesveld's) grandfather - John Delbridge - in the late 19th Century.
Are you not coming in?
We all converged on Camel Rock at the same time - pretty good timing, what?
And Kate whipped out some champagne 
and we all proceeded to have a very merry tea. Champagne, chocolates, rusks, Sue biscuits, dog biscuits ...
Pauline, Sally, Mark, Kate, Leanne, Florian, Alice, The Alph and Sue. (Dogs too busy eating dog biscuits to show their heads above the fynbos.)
But Honey still doesn't quite trust us although we think she's quite cool.
Florian, Sally and Kate - with Alice in the background.
Mark - the Barn Swallow expert. 
The Alph and Sue.
Leanne, Florian, Sally and Kate.
There were lots of Cluster Disas (Disa ferruginea) all glistening with South-easter cloud mist. (This is the disa that mimics the nectar-producing Tritoniopsis to lure the Mountain Pride butterfly into pollinating it.)
Setting off after tea - Pauline leading the way.
A white Yellow Rice Heath (Erica lutea).
A wonderfully coloured (if only us dogs could SEE colour!) Hanging Heath (Erica coccinea).
The same Roella bush but this time (about 11 am) with flowers open. The Food Lady thinks its Roella muscosa.
Autumn in the air with the arrival of lots of Oxalis flowers on the path - Boksuring (Oxalis caprina).
Spot the Praying Mantis on this Indigofera cytisoides.
Back to the car park under the gums - tired but very happy dogs - despite the strange lady who thought that we were poor suffering, abandoned, struggling dogs with short legs.
Alice buying Hanepoot grapes at the Constantia Nek circle.

30 March 2013

An encounter with poodles

On Friday we went for our walk and Dougal (who has a thing about poodles) came across this group of several of them - some of them with pink ribbons. He didn't know which way to turn!
We had tea and hot cross buns at Omie Dome's and Alice's house in Fish Hoek - and here is Dougal hoping to catch sight of his poodles somewhere down below.
But all we could see was Maddie - splashing around in her plastic pool below.

Human Rights but Dog Discrimination Weekend

 Last weekend our humans left us at home while they went off to our favourite place in all the world - Suiderstrand - for a long weekend (Thursday being Human Rights Day). They went walking in the Agulhas National Park
and sat on the beach watching White-fronted Plovers,
 and inspected the renovations on the lighthouse and the new boardwalk so that tourists can walk to the southern tip of Africa and get thoroughly coated in limestone dust by all the passing 4x4s that speed past. 
WITHOUT US! Was it Dog Discrimination Day? HUH?
But maybe it had something to do with this. An early morning walk at De Mond - with dogs crossed out. 
 Turns out they were spending some time with friends at Arniston too. The first day they walked from De Mond all the way back to Arniston. Here are Amanda, the Alph and Jenny,
 and Robbie
picking up paper nautilis shells spotted by Amanda and Robbie. 
All around the Food Lady saw evidence of burrows in the sand, and at Arniston, an information board had this picture of a Hairy-footed Gerbil that lives in the sand and comes out at night to eat grass seeds. Maybe it was responsible for the burrows she wondered. We would have loved to investigate the hairy-footed verminous beasts and dig them out and shake them to smithereens! 
They stayed in Amanda and Glen's cottage in Arniston - right next to the hotel. Hudge was there - with collar colour-co-ordinating with the umbrellas.
Hudge keeping watch on the beach while they swam.
 The Palm Sunday procession.
An irritatingly self-assured Jack Russel in front of the hotel. 
And lots of dogs on the beach! Howwwwl. 
Fishing boats on the Kassiesbaai Harbour Slipway.
Pete photographing the amazing sand dunes on another walk on the beach in the other direction - towards De Hoop.
A raft hydroid (Porpita) caught in a rock pool.
On the way back they walked through the village of Kassiesbaai - past this fierce looking bull terrier (e-type pig), 
and this gentle scene ...
Aaahhh. Pete and Jenny - the still-newly weds.