This morning we went with Paul and Pauline in their car to Noordhoek where we met Alice and Maddie. I was happy to see my best friend again. After running the gauntlet of a million barking dogs, including three sausage dogs (Maddie's best), we rose above them all as we slogged up the mountainside
higher and higher, past watsonias flowering in the middle of the track,
and past some lovely rather unusual pea bushes - maybe Aspalathus barbata -
through a forest of glowing Mountain Dahlias (Liparia splendens - also pea bushes) - looking like miniature Halloween lanterns - right to the top of Spitskop.
First tea overlooking Noordhoek and Cape Point Vineyards - Alice, Maddie, me, the Alph, Pauline and Paul.
Laddie was doing some exploring and lizard hunting.
Hitting the trail again - me upfront with the Alph, Paul admiring the Mountain Dahlias, and Pauline, Alice and the FL dawdling behind with cameras and botanical chitchat.
Another pea bush against the lichen-covered granite - it must be pea season - this time the Cape Sweetpea Podalyria argentea/biflora.
Alice photographing the Cape Sweetpea bush - Maddie's tongue colour co-ordinating.
Another bog flower - a late flowering Geelsterretjie (Pauridia [formerly Spiloxene] capensis).
A drooping Ursinia with characteristic papery bracts.
And growing in the soggy area on our way down was the RARE Feathery Heath (Erica amoena), which is endemic to the Cape Peninsula. (Thanks to Alice and Corinne Merry [of the Friends of Silvermine] who both identified it).
Also in the soggy bog - the Swamp Daisy (Osmitopsis asteriscoides).
A dog rock monster. Or expensive art sculpture?
Such an inviting path lined with Vlaktee (Syncarpha gnaphaloides) and good smells.
Another Syncarpha daisy - this one Cape Snow (Syncarpha vestita).
It was quite warm by now, and the gravelly road is hard on the paws, so the Alph took pity and carried me for a bit despite me being rather muddy. From up here I could catch some of the breeze and listen to the Fish Eagles calling. All rather lovely.
Thanks Alph, I can do the last stretch now.
Happiness: a little girl in pink and the cool tannin waters of the dam on my tum.
Maddie striking out like an otter.
Second tea in a green and leafy spot ...
right under the dam wall. Paul looking for photographic potential. We looked for potential for rolling in.
And on the way back we bumped into a Boston Terrorist called Boston.
Then we went back to fetch the cars at Noordhoek.