Harvey came to stay for a few days, and he and Lad have such fun together - like digging up the vege garden and chasing doves (Lad has the dove in his sights).
Then on Saturday morning we were bundled into the car and off we drove, and drove, and drove to the Land of Tortoises. And in about three minutes flat, I had located my first tortoise. Then in another minute flat, the spoilsport Food Lady shooed us away and locked us in the house.
The Alph had some repairs to do ...
But once the geyser was up and sputtering out hot water, we all went for a walk. There were lots of flowers, and even though the Food Lady complained that she had to keep an eye on three of us, she still managed to photograph lots of flowers. This is the sticky little Moraea inconspicua.
We met Bernard, the new caretaker, and his pup called Optel, who is "vreeslik stout". At least he isn't a stinkvark brak which is what we get called.
Bernard has been busy ploughing up the old fields in front of the cottages under the gums. I hear plans are afoot to grow rooibos and honeybush tea.
As the sun got lower, the Aandbloms (Hesperantha cucullata) came out.
Lots of Small Satinflowers (Geissorhiza juncea) too.
Collecting firewood on the way home,
where it was put to good use.
Paraffin lamps lit - and red wine for the Alph and Food Lady,
and sleep for the crazy little Harv.
There being no more chance of hunting tortoises, we all retired to our beds. I am out of the photo, as far away from these idiots as I can get. One needs to maintain some decorum.
Next morning Laddie grabbed his lead and eventually persuaded the humans that we needed a walk.
We saw lots of Arid Pincusions (Leucospermum calligerum), and
we found a Harveya specially for Harvey. This root parasite is named after the Irish botanist William Henry Harvey (1811-1866) who visited the Cape several times between 1835 and 1842 and was Treasurer-General here from 1836 to 1838. Later he became a professor of Botany at the University of Dublin.
A little Kappieblommetjie (Nemesia cheiranthus)
and lots of Grey Sugarbushes (Protea laurifolia) in flower.
It was all very damp and clean and green.
We walked past some of the great wind damage,
past little Wurmbea spicata spikes,
and through sundews in soggy seeps.
The next door farm had a fine crop of oranges,
but ours was full of natural things like this Spiny Tortoiseberry (Muraltia spinsosa). Now just think of what is under that bush! I get palpitations just imagining.
One flowering Gladiolus vanderspuyiae tightly wedged in between the rocks.
Back home - Harvey leading the way.
Expensive cheese (mistakenly bought by the Food Lady) and gees and tees and reading,
and me on tortoise watch.
Harvey fast asleep.
Laddie exploring amongst the Kukumakranka leaves. This must be the same as the flowers we saw in January - Gethyllis verticillata. (To see the flower, click here.)
Too hot for hunting, we retreated to the shade.
Watching the packing up from our cave. Still hot.
Time to go home.
Bye bye mountains.