17 October 2016

Orchids in the mist

So, I am to be left behind this morning. The bone you are promising me in place of a walk up to the Constantiaberg mast better be a BIG one!
So while I was chewing away in peace without Laddie-the-boss-of the-bones to disturb me, the Alph, the Foodlady, the Lad and Harvey met Paul, Pauline, Sue, Honey and Andreas-from-Cyprus at Silvermine Dam. Here they all are in amongst the Mountain Dahlias (Liparia splendens).
I am glad I wasn't there to hear the Foodlady moan about SANParks's pathetic neglect of the lovely Silvermine Tented Camp which is just going to rack and ruin.
Harvey looking over the 'burbs. Somewhere down there is ME. All alone with my bone.
Storm clouds gathering over the Crags.
Rain starting to fall - sunny in Fish Hoek though. I was snug in my kennel with my rapidly diminishing bone.
Harvey trying to keep warm and dry with Andreas-from-Cyprus. Sue buttoning up the raincoat.
Lad taking a leap across the puddles.

Paul decided to go home as he hadn't brought any rain-gear and was feeling a bit chilly but the rest of them, including Honey, plodded on gamefully.
Up they went, past the Elephants Eye Cave and around to the left. (A little while later, Andreas-from-Cyprus climbed right up on to the Elephants' head from the other side.)
The place was alive with the calls of what the Food Lady thinks are Painted Reed Frogs. You can just hear them over the crackling wind in the above video clip.
The Food Lady was in photographing mode as there were lots of lovey flowers. This is a Noughts and Crosses or Yellow Brickleaf bush (Penaea mucronata).
Apparently there was some excitement when the Food Lady spotted an insignificant little white flower growing up the cliff and Andreas-from-Cyprus shinned up the mountain to photograph it for her ...
Disa richardiana! Never before seen by the Food Lady. Apparently they are one of the few orchids that can open and close their flowers - and these ones remained resolutely closed!
And growing nearby - some Disa rosea buds. The Food Lady says I must extend her thanks to Andreas-from-Cyprus for taking the photos.
And ANOTHER rare plant that the Food Lady has never seen was this Pseudoselago peninsulae which is only found on the Peninsula and nowhere else in the whole wide world. It seems rather like fire as there was lots of it up there.
Taking a breather after all the orchid excitement.
There were lots of these not-so-rare Goue-trewwa (Satyrium bicorne) orchids around too.
Here they are toiling up the path which was lined with Honeybush Tea bushes (Cyclopia genistoides). The hill in the middle is the head of the elephant from the other side.
All the Honeybush Tea flowers proved too much so they stopped for some Honeybush Tea while Andreas-from-Cyprus climbed up the Elephant's Head.
There he is in the mist and rain ...
close to the cairn on top.
Tea without ME. Sue, Pauline and the Alph.
The Masta Boys (minus Lonsi) guarding the new expensive hunting green, stainless steel Stanley flask. Don't they look fearsome!
And one black dog without her friend. Never mind Honey, I hope to be back on the mountain soon as I really am not as old and decrepit as the Food Lady thinks I am. 
There were lots of China Flowers (Adenandra);
and these flowers look like China Flowers but are instead Disa fasciata. Nothing is known as to why they mimic each other.
Harvey trying to look like the Easter Bunny.
They squiggly path up to the mast. Andreas-from-Cyprus still hadn't come down the hill and Sue was starting to panic as the mist was closing in,
and the mast was disappearing so she thought he would get lost.  
So the Alph shouted for him to come, and Harvey and Laddie were alarmed ... 
and even the rock monsters were alarmed.
But he hurried down to join then again.
Then the Alph needed to get home in a hurry so they said goodbye and set off down the path past the mast at a lick - but the Food Lady saw this amazing site of China Flowers growing with their mimic Disa fasciata.
And she had to take a whole lot more photos while the Alph left her in his dust. This is the disa,
and this is the China Flower (which is a member of the buchu family).
Then she found some MORE Disa richardiana flowers on a mossy, drippy cliff. Also tightly closed.
A quick drink at the bottom,
a quick look at the Watsonia coccinea flowers at the end of the Lookout Path,
a quick photograph of a Marsh Bell (Gladiolus ornatus),

and they were back in the carpark. This freak looks a bit like a cross between a Scottie and a Bostie.
When they came home Harvey climbed straight into bed,
and I ignored them (for a bit) to teach them a lesson. But I must say, I did enjoy my peaceful bone.

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