11 July 2016

Has spring arrived?

In the early Sunday sunlight we met Pauline in Kalk Bay and walked up the cobbled road,
wondering if we had teleported ourselves to the Frozen North somehow,
and being much distracted by CAT smells,
until we came to a path up onto the mountain.
There was the usual mess (and delightful aroma of bergie pate) from vagrants and fire-starters that SANParks just cannot manage,
but eventually we were above it all and looking over the harbour
where some fishing boats were chugging out to sea in the beautiful warm weather.
We stepped over this giraffe in the path,
and continued up and up and up and up
till we reached the cool clear waters of Weary Willy's pool.
Then more uphill into the sun - me and the Lad full of beans and tails up - 
while the humans toiled up behind us - rather too full of Christmas-in-July dinner from the night before.
The Malachite Sunbirds were singing,
and spring bulbs were springing - like these Moraea ochroleuca.
I was springing up the boulders too -
although sometimes it was just too high for a ten year old Scot to manage and I needed some help from the Alph.
Eventually - after a wrong turn or two - we came to the deep dark forest near Boomslang cave. The caves are a bit snary for the Food Lady so we didn't linger too long but carried on up to find a good tea spot.
Time to try out our new flask, and the biscuits that were a gift from the previous night's festivities.
The best tea spot!
And even a photo of the Food Lady.
Looking over Fish Hoek where our spaniel and Bouvier cousins live, as well as Snoekie, Snippie and Knapie. We do so love lookouts.
We thought of Paul when we saw lots of his curly grass around. (He is in the Frozen North vising family and friends.)
Another deep dark forest - Lad and the Alph waiting for the gels to catch up.
The side of the path was filled with sparkly mossy gardens with little snowdrop-shaped flowers called Heliophila meyeri var meyeri.
I almost thought I saw some fairies but I am getting too old for such flights of fancy ...
or am I? Hmmm.
Then it was down down down, SANParks is not too hot on maintenance ...
and helooo, what have we here? The Lone Ranger?
It got hotter and hotter although I never overheated in spite of my winter coat. Must be the new diet I am on. Even the flowers thought spring had arrived. This is the white/lilac form of Romulea flava var. flava.
And a bright and chirpy, teeny tiny little yellow-spotted Ladybird - probably Cheilomenes sulphurea.
More waiting. This time I was also waiting: lunch and a snooze in the shade calling.
But the Food Lady was photographing fairy lanterns - mistletoe (Viscum capense).
A human with his bed on his back passed us - or maybe its was his dog's bed. Bed, mmm, come on Food Lady and Pauline!
Eventually they appeared, and we walked the last few hundred steps down to the road,
then down Ponder road (which is just a hundred more stone steps)
past the houses - some with interesting names -
and some with snoozing, sun-bathing birds,
down to where we had parked - and home.

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