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. 

19 August 2014

Sunshiny day

Sunday was warm. The Food Lady has a really sore finger because Harvey and me pulled it under the gate on Saturday trying to be the first to get to greet the spaniels in Fish Hoek. So we were in the dog box for an hour or two. In fact I nearly got left at home with Harvey but the Alf was keen for me to come and lose some weight on the mountain. So Harvey stayed behind with Clare who came to puppy-sit him. We met Paul and Pauline at the Cable Station and set off into the yellow sunshine and onto the contour path which was full of yellow flowers, like these Renostergousblom (Arctotis acaulis) flowers. 
But it got hotter and hotter - and I was very grateful for all the streams and waterfalls we passed. 
Yellow daisies were growing in the rocky ledges, apparently these are Bobbejaankool or Baboon Cabbages (Othonna arborescens) that love to grow on the Graafwater mudstones of Table Mountain. I wish there had been some baboons there for me to chase! I LIVE to chase baboons.
But it was a bit hot for chasing anything. These hermannias looked like glowing lanterns in the hot sunshine. This is the Pokkiesblom (Hermannia hyssopifolia).
More little glowing lanterns - perfect for little people. There are different types of Hermannia - some with curled corollas like this one (which we think is the Geneesbossie, Hermannia multiflora), and some with inflated corollas like the Pokkiesblom above.
But I was too hot to chase little people, and made for this heavenly waterfall to cool off under.
Sunshiny spiloxenes: Peacock Flower (Spiloxene capensis), 
and a starburst of sedge - possibly Vleibiesie ( Ficinia nodosa) glowing and growing in the wet rocky ledges.
Oh no! They can't be serious about climbing up there in this heat.
More warm, glowing, yellow Geelmagriet or Lace-leaf Euryops (Euryops abrotanifolius) enjoying the warm sun - which was more than I was. 
Eventually they got the message and sat down for tea while we watched the world go by - all speaking different languages and mostly stopping to exclaim at how gorgeous I was and how handsome the Lad was. Quite flattering. I began to feel a bit better, especially after a long drink and some biltong-flavoured Beano biscuits.
Bald headed on the mountain in the blazing African sun! A future patient for the Alph. 
Are you sure we need to get going again? I was relieved to see they weren't continuing on up after Paul and Pauline, but I don't really feel like going down again either!
A dainty little Sysie (Geissorhiza juncea) growing in the stony soil as we plodded by,
eagerly anticipating the cool waterfall that we knew was just around the corner ...
past the fragrant, aniseed-scented Bergboegoe bush (Agathosma ciliaris),
Looking up we saw the cleft of Platteklip Gorge and wondered if Paul and Pauline were up there yet.
The Lad looking over Signal Hill. You can see the cars all lined up on the road below.
Me coming round the corner, s l o w l y. Still a long way to go. 
The colour co-ordinated Alph and yellow Renostergousblom daisies.
And a fiery little Oxalis obtusa.
The Cable Car was working hard,
but not as hard as this poor little hot black Scot. But we were almost back at the car now ...
and soon we were back home saying hello to our crazy cousin and all my woes forgotten.
The Lad immediately fetched his favourite toy,
and Harvey had found HIS favourite toy, and they played happily all afternoon
till his parents came to fetch him.