28 November 2016


Today was a Scottie Walk on Fish Hoek Beach. I love Scottie walks as there are generally lots of delicious little treats for us. We arrived a little earlier and walked along the beach.
It was the most perfect, warm, gentle summer's morning. My favourite kind of walking - shimmying along in tummy-cooling water.
Lad was up the beach investigating everything and every dog. There are quite a few dead beasties washed up - from seals to seabirds - all testament to the furious gales we have been having over the past few weeks.
Hightailing it up Fish Hoek beach.  
Hartlaubs and Grey-headed Gulls socializing in front of the Beachfront Informal Shelter for the Homeless and Drug-peddling Fraternity of Fish Hoek. All very peaceful.
Then we heard a distant barking, 
and started seeing more and more Scotties,
until we were in the middle of a yapping, sniffing, wagging, snapping Scottie Walk!
Luckily the owners are better behaved and more civic-minded than their charges.
Laddie was overwhelmed as ever with all the bums to sniff.
The posh Scotties about to be greeted by Mac the happy and enthusiastic pup. Like me they were polite, but not impressed with his over-the-top, ecstatic greeting.
Although Fish Hoek municipality wouldn't allow us to play the bagpipes, some of the walkers entered into the spirit of things.
The Gusses and Jeanie - and their collie brother (or is it a sister?).
Laddie and Maggie-May immediately went off exploring,
with Laddie copying everything she did.
The crazy pups - Mac and Kenzie - drawing all the fond and foolish humans towards them,
as did this young whippersnapper called Lily,
who tried to ambush me but luckily couldn't quite reach. Cheeky youngster. Such scottitude!
Her sister, Savanna, suffers from cramps - just like my brother from down the road - and her human put her in the carry-bag that was meant for Lily-the-pup with scottitude. This had given the Food Lady ideas for carrying me on hot Sunday walks.
We got to the end, then walked back again.
It was now getting rather uncomfortably warm for an old Scot, and the treats were really quite underwhelming,
and Lily-the-pup with scottitude was fighting off sleep. She also suffers from fomo like Harvey which makes it difficult to fall asleep.
Some Bosties came past too - in top gear as Bosties always are.
There were also some important peeps from Tin Can Town, who we are supporting today.
Shades of grey - Whisky, Nico, Savanna and Saskia.  
 Then we said goodbye to all our Scottie Walk friends and went to Omie-Domes house for a cup of tea and a ferocious bark at the neighbour's ugly Labrador.

23 November 2016

A breezy walk above the bay

On Sunday, after a good deal of to-ing and fro-ing and phoning and u-turning and unkind language about the toll road, we rendezvoused just below the path up to Chapmans Peak with Paul and Pauline.
As we hadn't bought a dedicated car-guard with us, we just had to abandon the cars to their fate, keep calm, and carry on up the steep stone steps.
Soon all thoughts of thieves and muggers were out of our heads as we rose above it all. An early Watsonia borbonica greeted us cheerily and pinkly (except us dogs can't see pink but will take the FL's word for it).
Up and up, with the Hout Bay and the Sentinel on the right.
Soon we were on the contour path at the top in the cool wind - tails up to that!
And also up were lots of Bloodroot flowers (Dilatris corymbosa).
The way to tell the difference between the identical-looking Dilatris corymbosa and D. pillansii is to look at the stamens. All Dilatris flowers have three stamens - one always shorter than the other two - and if the longer ones are as long as the tepals - it is D. corymbosa. If all three stamens are shorter than the tepals, it is D. pillansii. So it seems that this is D. corymbosa.
Biology lesson over, we also saw bright bunches of Oranjekalossies (Ixia dubia).
The boys waiting patiently for the girls to catch up.
Evidence of last year's fire is all over, with new flowers coming up under the burned protea bushes. These are spurious scroffs (Pseudoselago spuria). To be both pseudo AND spurious seems a bit harsh - especially as they are so lovely.  
Bright blue Aristea bakeri
and salmon-pink Karkarblom (Tritoniopsis antholyza).
Little old me scenting delicious scents
Teatime - the Alph, Pauline and Paul. But where are the Scots?
Laddie was looking for action in the fynbos,
and I was shooting the breeze and taking in the views across Hout Bay.
As we hadn't got our act together with cars earlier, we decided it was time to turn round and head back. Some eye candy: Edmondia pinifolia only opening as the sun reached them.
And some rock candy. Chocolate ripple. Yummm.
One of the few ericas that flower soon after a fire - the Fire Heath (Erica cerinthoides).
The Alph trying to chivvy me past all the smells and scents that tend to slow me down.
Not much water - but most welcome when we found some.
Something was bothering Lad ...
a pesky, blood-sucking horsefly with a rather gross proboscis - from the genus Philoliche.
But soon we were safely down and relieved to find our car in once piece. We said our farewells, and sailed through the toll on our way home. Near Constantia Village we spotted this posh German Pointer in a Kerryn-car and had a good shout at it. Eating, walking and barking - that's what makes life worth living for a little black Scot.

18 November 2016

Painting the hills red

A cool and windy morning - good black Scot weather. We drove up to Red Hill where we met Tess and Thea, Honey and Sue, Pauline and her neighbour Wytske and my bestie-Bouv Maddie - and Alice. This is one of our best walks - lots of soft sand,
and low vegetation which is excellent for rodent and tortoise hunting. And lots of flowers for the Food Lady - like these Lady's Hands (Cyanella hyacinthoides) in the summer grass.
Lad and Tessa hopped up onto a handy rock to see where we were heading.
Oohs and aahs - booooring for dogs - over some little blue orchid past its prime - Disa purpurascens.
More fun for us was meeting another pack - the Wolf's pack. Lots to say and sniff.
Another orchid for the Food Lady - one of the Cinderella Orchids - possibly Acrolopia lamellata. Do they look like glass slippers?
Thea brought some of her signature sandwiches for the humans to enjoy - while we had to make do with dog biscuits.
Tea with a view back to Chapmans Peak: Alice, Maddie, Pauline, Thea, me, the Alph, Pauline and Honey. Lad and Tessa where deep in the fynbos somewhere.
More flowers growing in the sand - causing many delays and a cross Alph. This is Pelargonium longifolium,
and Bloucabong (Lapeirousia corymbosa) that wasn't open properly as it was too windy and chilly for them.
Me looking perky - and considering my options as to which way to go.
An early flowering Erica viscaria (formerly E. decora),
and what looks like a five-legged spider inside this Roella ciliata  but which is actually part of the flower.
All of a sudden we were amongst thousands of purple-red Erica multumbellifera bushes. There was something lurking in there ...
While the Food Lady photographed this grey Petalacte coronata,
I carried on with my exciting tortoise-hunt.
By this stage Thea had discarded her shoes.
The squeaky call of the Cape Sugarbird always trick us Scots into thinking there are small mammals of some sort hiding in the bushes.
Homeward bound.
And a swim for Maddie 'n me in the Lewis Gay Dam at the end of a lovely walk.
Tessa and Lad not too sure about the little waves lapping on the rocks. Such drips!
Most of us piled into the Land Rover to get back to the cars,
and the Food Lady went with Maddie in Alice's car.
We all helped Thea jump-start her car, and we were soon on our way home.