Today was the first Sunday since SANParks (almost a bad word with the Food Lady these days) allowed walkers back on the mountain after the March fires. We were all eager to get through that hole in the wall: Alice and Maddie, Thea and Tessa, Paul and Pauline, the Alph and the Food Lady, and me, Harvey and the Lad. Such excitement!
After hellos were said and boundaries dealt with,
we set off up the hill with False Bay and Muizenberg behind us.
There were lots of flowers coming up in the burnt veld - so much so that it really didn't look very burned at all. These are some scrophs - members of the snap dragon family Scrophulariaceae (the scruphy terriers of the flower world) - White Slugwort or Wit Slakblom (Hebenstreta repens),
and Duinevingertjies (Manulea tomentosa).
They marched us up to the top of the hill ... and when we were only half way up we were neither up nor down.
The humans were a bit nervous about Maddie not liking Harvey so the Alph kept him on a lead when they were together - but in the end it was fine as they ignored each other. (Harvey can be quite in-your-face.) These daisies are Coast Thistles or Dissel (Berkheya barbata)
and this little bulb is a Wild Garlic (Tulbaghia alliacea).
All these flowers were messing with the Food Ladies head - and Alice was also having a good botanize with Maddie looking very patient and good as good can be.
The Oval-leaf Satinflower (Geissorhiza ovata)
and growing at the top on the road past the masts were lots of another little scroph, Zaluzianskya divaricata.
I just loved all the water up here - every little stream is flowing - and all around are little yellow flowers - Pauridia capensis,
and some handsome orchids like these Oumakappies (Pterygodium catholicum).
They are looking after the toads and frogs up here,
so we all dutifully stuck to the path (even me - most of the time). This is Tessa, all grown up since we last saw her.
Then we were hit in the face by these amazing white flowers of the Pale Aristea (Aristea spiralis).
Thea had to collapse in a heap in them.
Laddie looking rather posh in amongst the Goue-Trewwa (Satyrium bicorne) orchids all lined up along the road.
Looking over False Bay.
Pauline mislaid her dark glasses and wondered if she hadn't dropped them when we got out our raingear in a sudden small shower, so we decided to cut back to the top of Pecks Valley. Just look at me bounding down the rocks like a mountain goat. I love the cooler weather!
Some curly ferns - the Toothbrush Fern (Schizaea pectinata) - unfurling in the spring weather and dampness.
We got back to where we had started from, and the youngsters went crazy - Tessa and Lad and the Boston Terrorist. I just got out of their way and hid behind the Alph.
The Food Lady getting artistic - the fluffy, scruphy seedhead of a daisy - maybe Othonna digitata.
Pauline looked for her glasses but sadly, they were not there. (But luckily she found them at home later on.)
Tessa about to jump down into the stream - lovely lovely cool water for hot Scots.
Almost down and the Food Lady found this plant that she has never seen before - Wachendorfia multiflora.
Me and my best friend Maddie at the end of a great walk. It is frabjous to be back in the Kalk Bay hills - our very best place. And you can see a Waboom (Protea nitida) sprouting from its branches (from epicormic roots) after the fire. Amazing!