25 August 2014

Silver trees and a Scottie Walk

Last week it was the finger, this week a headache, but the Food Lady managed to get up in time and meet Pauline (also suffering with a headache), Sue and Honey at Rhodes Mem. (The Alph was away on a conference in Johannesburg.) We set off up Devil's Peak towards the Block House and silver trees, 
and found a long cool, tree lined road to walk along. It was perfect.
We never made it to the old zoo, but it was lovely just relaxing and chasing smells and ghosts.
There were lovely views over Cape Town all the way to False Bay and the Sweet Pea Bush or Keurtjie (Podalyria calyptrata) was flowering, scenting the warm air and curing headaches.  
Bushes of Berry Heath (Erica baccans) were also in bloom. These bobbly ericas only occur on Table Mountain and nowhere else in the world (except Australia where they have escaped from peoples gardens and become a weed in their grassland and heathlands).
We had a rather rushed cup of tea and a biscuit above the Rhodes Mem carpark, where we could hear the shrieks and barks of the Scottie walkers starting to assemble. Laddie nearly went crazy, and had to go on a lead because he couldn't understand WHY we were sitting down doing nothing when there were so many Scotties to greet so close by. So, after a hasty good bye to Pauline and Sue and Honey (who was pulling in the opposite direction to the cacophony),
we joined the walk just as they were starting up Devil's Peak.
Laddie soon found his sister, Maggie-May, and off he set, tail up and out.
A snaggle of scottie walkers including us and the FL. (Photo from Channe Theron Stemmet.) 
At the top we turned  the opposite way to our walk earlier, and walked along the track.
The Food Lady was rather taken with these two little boys with Scottie shirts on. (I think she misses those times with her own little human boys). 
Many Scotties have space issues - especially when they are on leads.  I remember Dougal's favourite greeting to other dogs was "Gerroutamyspace!"
And here we are all planning ways to attack those wheels when they come past.
We found a patch of shade to sit down and have a quick drink of water. Here are Maggie-May and Kirby
racing back for treats that Junette was handing out. I was first in the queue - straining on my leash on the right. (Photo from Channe Theron Stemmet.)
It was a beautiful day, but maybe it was a tad hot for us black Scots. The wheatens fare better in the heat, and there were quite a few of them - 
in fact a whole waggle of wheatens.
Soon it was time to turn round and head back, 
past the Bitou bushes - turning the slopes of Devil's Peak yellow. Bitou (Osteospemum moniliferum=Chrysanthemoides ,monilifera) is also a weed known as Boneseed in Australia and New Zealand.
We were joined by two whippets, one with a huge stick, and all the Scotties wanted that stick!
Michelle admiring the Silver Trees (Leucadendron argenteum) that grow here.  
The male trees have large showy flowers at this time of the year, and the females much smaller ones. The Silver Tree is a Rare and Endangered species and it is feared that they are going extinct in the wild. They occur only on granite slopes of Table Mountain. Read more about them on the PlantZAfrica website.
Laddie and two friends lead the way through the Silver Trees. I think he was trying to catch up to the whippet and the stick. 
Maggie-May and Kirby did some hunting in the fynbos.
Back in the carpark, Laddie made friends with MacGuyver, another wheaten pup. But I avoid all puppies now in case they come home with us. Luckily, we eventually left, puppy-less, while some of the others joined the merry throng of holiday makers in the Rhodes Mem Restaurant. It looked most festive. But next time, when the Alph is home, and the Food Lady doesn't have a headache. 

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