04 January 2016

Two black dogs on a very hot mountain - and some Black Dog wine

We made an early start this morning as we heard it was going to be really hot. Honey and Sue met us there, with Paul and Pauline, and soon us two black dogs were scampering up the path to The Crags, with the Wheaten One way ahead.
All this veld was burned in March 2015, and is looking really happy. We came upon lots of royal blue Wild Agapanthus (Agapanthus africanus),
and a rather regal Bruichladdich too.
Our path took us along the spine of the mountain,
but very soon the heat started getting to me and I had to find some rocky shade to retreat into,
before continuing on my boulder hopping way.
A view from the edge looking up to the Constantiaberg Mast and down at the burned mountainside.
The Haggis - er Food Lady - found lots of carrots today - including these Hairless Purseseed or Persiegras (Centella glabrata) leaves that look like small ground protea leaves.
There were still lots of Summer Pipes (Thereianthus bracteolatus) in flower,
and some rather pale and interesting Painted Ladies (Gladiolus carneus) too.
We found our cool tea spot on the Amphitheatre Path and stopped for a very welcome break and cool-down time. Here is: the Alph, me, Pauline, Sue, and Paul. Honey was wedged in a rock behind Sue and Laddie was somewhere rootling around for something.
Our tea spot in the rocks has a few large and very old Hottentot Cherry (Maurocenia frangula) trees that are famous resprouting fynbos trees.
The Haggis found some more post-fire disas to fuel her obsession, a rather yellow Disa cylindrica
and a Golden Disa (Disa cornuta).
And Lobelia setacea plants were spreading all over the path, happy to have some breathing space after the fire.
Another member of the carrot family that enjoys growing after a fire - Itasina filifolia.
Me amongst the Table Mountain Watsonias (Watsonia tabularis) looking down on Silvermine Dam - I definitely heard some baboon barks!
Another fire-stimulated carrot-family plant, Notobubon ferulaceum with yellow and brown flowerheads, and lots of resprouting leucadendrons.
The Lad checking for baboons - with Long Beach and Pauline's house out there.
We noticed that SANParks had done very little to rehabilitate the paths since the fire - despite having closed the whole of Silvermine for nine months.
While I was getting rather uncomfortably hot, the Haggis was quite excited when she thought that this flower might be a rather unusual find on the Cape Peninsula - Thereianthus spicata. But it turns out that its not - and its just the ordinary Summer Pipes Thereianthus bracteolatus with an alternative arrangement. Click here to read the debate.
Luckily the Alph came to my rescue and scooped me up and carried me
through the hot hot veld.
Sue and Honey had to run ahead as Sue had to go and meet some friends at the airport,
but we stayed for a glorious dip in the dam.
We were joined by several other dogs too - this being the dog swimming end of the dam.
On the way back the Food Lady had some rather rude things to say about SANParks and large butts when we noticed that the walk down the river hadn't been repaired either. What on earth have those lazy loons being doing for nine months?
Because the place has been deserted for all this time, erosion has also been happening on the roads (far away from where the fire happened so they can't blame the fire), and not a thing done to stop it - apart from some rather unsightly plastic tape and a fancy signpost. 
Back home and by evening all irritation at SANPark's incompetence was forgotten after a few swigs of Black Dog Malbec (named after a black Labrador cross Rottweiler called Jake) - a gift from Phil and Kerryn and the Harv. Phew.

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