11 August 2014

The return of the three black dogs

Today we hit the Fat Lady Trail in the blazing sunshine. With us are Paul and Pauline, Sue and Honey and 
Alice and Maddie.
The Leucadendron bushes were bright yellow all over the mountains. This is a male Sickle-leaved Conebush (Leucadendron xanthoconus). 
We were on our way up to find the Fat Lady Shelter at the top of Steenberg Peak. The Alph thinks I am a fat Scottie so maybe its my special shelter from the sun, which is already a bit warm for my taste.
Here is the Fat Lady Shelter, but no-one is stopping! Not even for a water break. 
Maybe they are scared of the Rock Dinosaur that guards the Fat Lady.
We just carried on and on, past these purple ericas that are out in force all over the mountain. These are Erica glabella, commonly (very common!) known as the Nude Heath. We think they deserve a more exciting name. 
We started to scale Muizenberg Peak, discovering this pink version of the Hot Chocolate Protea  (Protea lepidocarpodendron) on the way.
And lots of the normal cream coloured ones.
And this rare and unusual little pea - also a 'range restricted' Peninsula endemic, Indigofera candolleana.
Tea time! Me 'n Maddie and Alice. Devil's Peak in the background. No mist today.
Paul fired up his stove ...
I did a quick check for baboons, dassies and Sambar deer. 
And a good tea time was had by all. Sue, Honey, Paul, Pauline, the Alph, Maddie, Alice and me. And where was the idiot Lad? Nowhere to be seen. 
Time to move on. Just checking these drumsticks - but sadly, they were not the edible kind but Zaluzianskaya capensis. This weird name honours a Bohemian botanist called Adam Zaluziansky von Zaluzian (1558-1613) who lectured at Charles University in Prague.
More Rock Monsters - this one a giant Newfoundland. Or a Bouvier?
Up and up through the Nude Heaths. (Somehow it does not trip on or off the tongue that name!)
Then down again into the Steenberg valley. 
This is a good breeding place for frogs and toads. A fenced off part of the road proved to be full of frogs eggs. 
Just look at them! 
There were lots of tadpoles too. 
video
We could hear lots of frogs, but couldn't see any.  
Maybe having three black dogs invade your pool space was too much for them.
There was certainly lots of scope for black dogs to cool off up here. Lovely fynbos water everywhere!
The Peninsula-endemic Tree Pagodas (Mimetes fimbriifolius) bushes were coming into flower ...
Exquisite!
But all good things come to an end ...
and we had to say goodbye to our sunny happy mountain and head for home.
The idiot Lad tried to save the Alf from the lawn mower, but I was happy to have a kip and leave him to it. 
And that night we all stayed up to watch the Super Moon rise. 
It was quite illuminating.

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