25 April 2014

Moet on a misty morning

Although it was sunny and warm at home, when we arrived in Silvemine it was thick, chilly mist. Perfect for Scotties, but the Food Lady was moaning much better about the lack of views.
My friend Honey, with her human, Sue, was there. And so were Kate, Esther and Thea.
Dog Faces (Trichocephalus stipularis) lit up the path for us.
Scrambling up and up ...
Poor Honey was seeing monstrous monsters in the mist.
She got us worried too.
The Food Lady flashed some ericas - she thinks these are Erica nudiflora..
And now for the 360 degree view! A tad disappointing, but lovely cool walking weather for us.
Easter eggs for tea. Thanks Kate!
And WHAT have we here. The Alph upstaging Thea with Moet! Tsk. Tsk. (Luckily they only managed to finish one bottle - and kept Thea's for the next walk.)
Its an art you know.
My new human friend Esther.
Tea on a misty Spitskop. The Alf, Sue, Thea, me, Pauline, Kate and Esther. We really enjoyed the smell of Thea's Rauchfleisch! And the teeny weeny little taste we were eventually allowed.
Cheer up you goofy Lad! There are no monsters, really.
But we are a bit drippy ...
Some Wild Cotton (Gomphocarpus cancellatus).
Setting out after tea and champers - Kate leading the way -
into the thick mist. Just us Scots (and two crazy geocachers that stormed past us) and not one other dog.
Tails up!
There were lots of pink and purple heaths, stirring up some ancestral Scottie feelings. Pretty Erica abietina subsp. atrorosea,
and carpets of Erica hirsuta. Och aye! Thea told a Scottish joke about a Scot in Alaska who asked what those large animals with horns were called. Mooses. Ach, he said, if those are your mooses, I would hate to see yer rats!
A close up of the hairy heaths, with some green and silver bracken.
Come on you lot! Kate has a thesis to get back to, and we have a Harvey to rescue!
Othonna quinquedentata all drippy and luminescent.
It was really rather pretty!
A Bulbine - not sure which though. Without a leaf, and quite tall, so maybe B. cepacea?
Lots and lots of pretty lobelias - possibly L. setacea.
Stopping for a chat - and a laugh no doubt. (Especially after the Moet!)
We finsihed at the Silvermine gate, where we had left the land rover, then all piled in and drove back to the start near Noordhoek Manor. What a fun walk.
Then is was home to Harvey who was so happy to see us, especially the Lad,
that he just couldn't stop smiling. (We were looking after him while his humans were up in Gauteng.)
The customary g and ts,
then reading and sleeping while the boys swapped stories of monsters in the mist,
and just rolled around and wrestled - such crazy pups!

13 April 2014

Sticking to the shade on a hot April day

This morning we started early from East Fort in Hout Bay. Pauline and the Alf took a car to the other end, while we waited for Sue and Honey to arrive - which they did - bringing Kate with them. We were happy to see Kate and Lad tried to stand on his head as he does when he is ecstatically happy (most of the time) but just rolled over.
They kindly supply Free Poo Bags here.
It was already hot - and the sky was cloudy in funny patterns.
We walked up to the Hoeriquagga Trail path,
two black dogs together again. Just look how happy Honey was to see us!
But Sue wasn't feeling well, and as it was quite hot, she and Honey decided to turn back so we watched them walking back to the cars. Never mind, next time we will be two black dogs for longer.
Kate watching Sue and Honey safely back to their car, with Hout Bay in the background.
Some pale Autumn Painted Ladies (Gladiolus brevifolius) against the silvery foliage.
Tea overlooking Hout Bay - me, the Alf, Pauline, the Lad and Kate.
Thanks Kate for the new biscuits - and Sue for the Suebiscuits. (Managed to snaffle some crumbs.) The Food Lady also enjoyed the dates from Pauline and the ice-cold lemonade from Kate. 
We were still in the early morning shade but the sun was beginning to creep further and further up towards us, and the clouds just melted away.
Suitably refreshed and rehydrated, we set off again for Blackburn Ravine ...
hello Hot Chocolate Protea (actually really a Black Bearded Sugarbush (Protea lepidocarpodendron).
Hello Erica abietina susp. atrorosea.
and hello water! Lots of puddles on the mountain for hot scots to cool off in.
Then suddenly, the shade ran out and we had to walk out into the hot hot hot sun.
Pauline coming out into the sun. You can sort of see the path where we had come from high up in the shade of the background.
Checking out the toll booth far below - that makes the Food Lady even hotter under the collar to think about.
The Lad coped well with his first long, hot walk. He is quite a good natured guy these days, and I must say I am warming to him. Sometimes.
Some nodules from a Brunia noduliflora,
and growing in a cool, damp ravine where we stopped for a cool-down, were a few Guernsey Lilies (Nerine sarniensis),  
and some pretty Indigofera shrubs - possibly I. cytisoides.

and lots of fragrant Pylica buxifolia. Pauline and I waxing lyrical about the flowers and the cool water while the lad tries to fall over the edge.
Still a long way down,
but more lovely cold mountain water to drink and dip in!
Growing in the rocks of the path down to Chapmans Peak Drive were lots of pale pink Oxalis flowers - maybe Oxalis caprina - but we were too hot to check.
Glad to get home to the cool floor for us, and some cider for the Food Lady, and a G&T for the Alph,
made with Angostura Bitters, which, we were interested to read, were made in Trinidad and bottled in Canada where Kate comes from. 
We were quite tired, but not tired enough to stop barking at the neighbours and having a good scrounge in the garden for ...