28 September 2016

Desert desertion

The humans are back from their desert wanderings in the Richtersveld,
although this doesn't look much like a desert to me. But they said it was too hot and dry for Scotties. Fibbers.
At their first night's camping stop at Aquacade, they were welcomed by a pug called Meisie,
and this handsome fellow welcomed them to the entrance to the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park at Sendelingsdrift.
At least they took some pillows to remind them of me while they were away.
There were lots of weird plants for the Food Lady - like this Halfmens (Pachypodium namaquanum)  next to Sue.
And lots of weird rock formations - this is the Paw of DOG on the left, and the Hand of GOD in the centre.
They were also treated to amazing firefly displays every night at De Hoop Campsite. They are actually beetles (Lampyris).
Sometimes it seems they were a bit confused as to which way to go,
but luckily Sue was there to put them on the right track.
The happy campers: Food Lady, Alph, Ian, Georgia, Sue (blue hat), Dorothy and Peter. They are standing in front of the most-photographed Giant Kokerboom in the park - it used to be called Aloe pillansii, but some nitppicker has changed the name to Aloidendron pillansii. These aloes are red-listed as Endangered due to climate change-related population decline and over-collecting.
While they were away, Clare looked after us and took us on lovely walks. Here we are with Margie and Clare on Rondebosch Common
with my buddies Rupert and Paddington. Thanks Clare!

13 September 2016

Devil may care

On Sunday they just drove off and left me all by myself. But do I care?
I chewed my bone, and barked at the neighbour's Maltese poodles, and then just waited for them to come back.
Laddie said that it was a very long and rather hot walk so maybe I got let off lightly. Maybe I might even forgive them. I would have liked to say hi to Lucy and Richard who were there with their friends Emma and Jonathan, as well as Nola and her new dog Lacey. 
The Food Lady saw a few flowers - a shaggy Mountain Anemone (Anemone tenuifolia),
and some endemic Peninsula Conebushes (Leucadendron strobilinum).
Eventually they reached the peak. Laddie was so happy he had to kiss Richard! We have both been there before and I have been up there a few times but the Food Lady tells me I would have overheated today. Last time was two years ago - click here to see my blog entry - with Richard and Kate and Sue and Honey and Pauline and Human Brother Phil and Harvey.
Tea on the top - with views back to Muizenberg - and me somewhere down there.
Emma, Nola, Lacey, Laddie, Lucy, the Alph - and Richard and Jonathan out of the picture.
Poor tired Lad - enjoying the soft grass pillows ...
until a vision from above woke him up.
Lacey keeping an eye on her mum.
Helooo Lacey. Looking forward to meeting you.
Richard and Lucy looking over Dassen and Robben Islands and all the beleaguered penguins.
"Hey dude, lets be friends?"
"OK - follow me."
Starting the downward trek.
Bumping into a pair of bosties -
one of them a rare "lilac" colour -
much the same as the Food Lady's protea - Protea lepidocarpodenron.
A Silver Vlei Spider in its web amongst the sedges (thanks to Pieter Blignaut of the Spider Club of Southern Africa for the id).
And a Painted Lady (Gladiolus debilis) to end.
When they EVENTUALLY arrived home - after stopping off to say hi to Kerryn who has just returned from her whirlwind tour of the frozen north - I was offered a walk RTB. All resentment ended.
And Lad came too.

08 September 2016

04 September 2016

New paths to explore

Today we were not planning to walk as there was a LATE NIGHT and a SUNDAY LUNCH but they were up early and it was a gorgeous morning so joy-of-joys we were bundled into the back of the Land Rover and off we trundled to Silvermine.
Laddie was happy,
Harvey was happy - even though he is always in a state of extreme happiness -
I was happy, the Alph was happy, although he wouldn't let me out of his sight because "you-can't-be-trusted",
and the Food Lady was happy because there were so many lovely flowers - from tiny little pink Indigofera glomerata flowers
to large Painted Ladies (Gladiolus debilis). Spring is definitely here. In fact, it was so hot I thought maybe it was already summer. (Us Scots don't like summer over much. We prefer the thought of snow and cold, bracing walking weather.)
Harvey was overheating, and we were happy to find a natural pool for a dip and a sip.
A rather puzzling plant - but thanks to iSpot, the Food Lady now knows it is Morella kraussiana.  
Clutia alaternoides just chocablock with doll's house-sized flowers.
We met lots of very happy people coming up - some with flowers in their hats and bandanas on their dogs, all exclaiming on the lovely warm weather.
The Food Lady decided we had time to try a new path, so we explored a rather nice new path that led to the very tippy-top of Wolfkop Peak.
Here is the Alph's photo of her on the top - holding on to Harvey as there is a sheer drop all the way down and the Food Lady is rather nervous of dogs abilities to stay alive in such situations! 
The whole of Silvermine at our feet: you can just see the carpark and part of Ou Kaapse Weg below.
We had tea in a shady little gap in the rocks - and are looking forward to bringing the rest of the walking group up here soon. It is quite a steep descent from here to the carpark, so they reluctantly decided not to try it today and went back the way we had come. Thank heavens! (I am not really a mountaineering dog.)
We took a sort-of short cut back to the normal Fat Lady path, past these Senecio daisies filled with monkey beetles,
ignoring all the happy people on the way down in our desperation to reach the cool water at the bottom of the path.
Harvey was sorry we didn't do the long way down as he is a real mountain goat.
There are lovely spring flowers like these babianas coming up all around the dog-poo fertilised car park, 
Lad and Harvey contemplated starting all over again with these two friendly Huskies, but I hardly gave them a backward glance,
and was very happy to be back in the Land Rover. Laddie is wondering if this was a special spot for Land Rovers only. Then it was home to lunch with Graham and Daleen and lovely sleeps in the shade.