20 July 2015

Another working-walking weekend

On the way to Agulhas, the humans got peckish and saw this cute little road-side restaurant offering pies
and famous big black pan eggs so we pulled in
and they got to assuage their hunger which is something I NEVER get to do. We had to sit under the table and drool.
When we arrived at Suiderstrand we saw that Jandre had indeed almost finished painting Daisy.
The bossman installed the new bathroom blinds
while the Food Lady did a spot of bird-watching. These are Cape Bulbuls (right) and a Speckled Mousebird (easy to id with a black and white bill). 
But enough procrastinating! The Lad grabbed the leads and tugged the Food Lady out the door into the road,
and the Alph had to hot foot it after us. There is some rather serious erosion at the end of the path down to the beach.
Aaaah - what a pleasure to roll in the damp and gritty sand.
Hunting for molerats and indeed, anything that moves (except of course, birds - when the Alph and FL are watching).
Even though it was cold, we had a paddle in Papkuil,
and the humans admired the cormorants and the big seas,
and a tiny White-fronted Plover.
On the way back we didn't chase any Oyster-catchers,
and I didn't roll in this enticing looking dead fish,
although I did hang back and hope they wouldn't notice so I could have a quick roll but the Food Lady was on to me.
When we got back, Ronnie was hard at work restoring the wood on the veranda.
After a rather chilly night, we set off the next morning up the sand dune in the bright sunshine - the Alph colour-coordinating with all the Single-flowered Tassle Heaths (Erica coccinea subsp. uniflora) that occur up here.
There are lots of flowers out now - like these intricate Featherheads (Phylica pubescens var. orientalis) - and the Food Lady was a bit slow ...
We followed a different path today, then cut back towards the sea on an old overgrown path through the Blombos,
which was all mossy and slimy underfoot. Some teeny tiny fungi-things - according to iSpot, they are Split Gill (Schizophyllum commune) fungi.
Then we emerged onto a firebreak and just look how excited the mad Lad is! Full alert. What does he expect to see I wonder?
Another new flower for the Food Lady - a Chascanum cernuum - from the verbena family.
There were lots of Lachenalia rubida flowers as we walked along the firebreak, and down the side of the sand dune down to the beach.
Laddie trying to race seagulls along the shore - pulled up by the water.
A rather elegant Little Egret with yellow slippers was fishing in the sea just below the cottage, but we were too tired to chase it,
and I just collapsed once we got home.
Lad, however, helped Ronnie with the woodwork,
and the Alph did some alien tree removal on the empty plot next door as the municipality here is not very good at keeping them under control - although they are good at sending threatening little letters to homeowners to clear their plots even when they are perfectly clear. 
Then eventually, we both succumbed to a Sunday afternoon snooze.

13 July 2015

Mole catching and mowing - and a walk

The weekend started with Laddie attacking the mower,
while I watched with extreme disdain.
Sunday dawned rather wild and windy and wet, so the walk up Oppelskop was cancelled, but at about midday it stopped raining so we decided to take a chance with the weather and have a quick walk in Cecilia Forest - but "no arsing around".
Everything was rather drippy. These are little sorrel leaves - possibly Oxalis eckloniana.
We decided to take Robbie's Walk down again - through the blombos,
and into the forest - past this rock that must have recently fallen on the path.
Lots of mushrooms and toadstools coming up,
but I had to keep a leery eye out for falling trees.
I was glad to be out in the open again with some cheerful pink Red Heaths (Erica abietina subsp. atrorosea) to brighten up the gloom.
There were lots of smells and interesting things to investigate ... maybe this is arsing around? But the Alph didn't seem to mind.
When we got home I was inspired to do a bit of digging in the back yard and look what I unearthed eventually! A mole!
A Cape Golden Mole to be exact. The Food Lady told my I was really clever but she whipped it away and I saw it squirming and wiggling and then she let it go over the fence where it immediately dug down into the soil so I couldn't finish my game. Such a spoil sport!

10 July 2015

The Rubbi Road church walk

We met Sue and Honey, and Pauline at the top of Rubbi Road, and set off up the sandy path past the church,
up and up and then back when the Food Lady realised she was on the wrong path.
A quick bundu bash and we were back on the track up to the Cobra Camp ruins.
A pretty Tritoniopsis in the burned area,
and I found a tortoise legging it away from us - looking as if it had also been in the fires. But it was fine and the Food Lady wouldn't let me take a few more scales off it.
There were lots of things coming up in the ashy sand including some toadstools but I was so fired up looking for tortoises that I didn't notice any imaginary wee folk lurking.
Pretty soon we were up on the top, the red- and-orange-attired hikers out front, the Food Lady and me behind. But where was the idiot Lad?
Deep in the fynbos hunting for mice.
There were lots of flowers out: this Hangertjie (Erica plukenetii),
and the Creeping Snakestem Pincushion (Leucospermum hypophyllocarpodendron).
We chose a spot for tea on a comfortable flat rock where us watchdogs could at least have a good view of the surroundings.
Pauline, Honey, Sue and the Alph.
I was a little way off checking out some formidable rock monsters,
I mean, look at the size of this dog! Flipping snary!
After tea we went to the end of the path and turned round and walked all the way back. You can see the sea in the distance and the edge of Scarborough.
It was just perfect cool weather, and perfect fynbos for us Scots!
And this Orange-breasted Sunbird thought so too and let everyone know how happy he was.
By the end of the walk we were quite pooped
and in need of refreshment.
Back past Cobra Camp ruins and graffiti,
past a bouncy and happy and friendly Bouvier,
snapping up a few more flowers - a Rooippypie (Gladiolus priorii)
and a daisy of sorts - possibly Bergharpuisbos (Euryops abrotanifolius),
down the sandy path
and through the Gum Tree Avenue
to the Rubbi Road church. Lad went to investigate,
but Honey got straight into Sue's car and said "Take me home please!"
At home, the humans had a delicious gin and tonic
and we got some bones to bury in the garden.