19 February 2016

Investigating the burned area on Red Hill

After all the heat and dust it was lovely to see a rainbow and feel a hint of rain in the air as we drove to Red Hill where we met Paul, Pauline and Paul's sister Jean -from-England - and joy of joys, Alice and Maddie.
A section of the area had recently been burned which is always interesting as its easy to see and smell things. The Lad and I set off with tails up and noses down ...
The Kleinplaas Dam was quite full and all us dogs had a dip,
watched by Timber the wolf dog and his family.
One of the first plants to come up in the fire are the asparaguses - like this one which is probably the Fire Asparagus (Asparagus lignosus).
While the Food Lady and Alice frootled around with cameras, the rest of us forged ahead, with the burned veld on one side, and unburned on the other.
Although there were no Fire Lilies, there were a few Velskoenblaar (Haemanthus sanguineus) flowers,
and lots of burned cones and flowers making pretty patterns to amuse our Haggis and make her dawdle even more.
Quite an extensive area had burned, but luckily we are now heading for our rainy season which will help the fynbos to rejuvenate.
I very nearly stepped on this large fat scorpion that scuttled into its hole - the first time we have seen a scorpion on Table Mountain.
The alph found a tea spot with a spectacular view.
Alice, Maddie, Jean, me, Paul, Pauline and the Alph.
Lad was checking for baboons - next to a beautiful spike of Tritoniopsis triticea.
My tongue was hanging out for treats - although not much was forthcoming.
A translucent Ninepin Heath (Erica mammosa). 
After a lot of sniffling and snuffling, I unearthed some bones and a skull of a small buck.
Another tritoniopsis in amongst Paul's
grass - Tritoniopsis dodii.
Today, being cool and misty, I managed to walk on the sandy path home without overheating and needing to be carried.
We finished off with a swim in the Lewis Gay Dam - which was very low - and we were a bit scared of the muddy quicksand at the edge that nearly caught Pippa and Claude last week!
So we approached the water cautiously - and from the rocky edge.
Wait for me! There were so many lovely smells in amongst the litter and other disgusting (to humans) and delightful (to dogs) stuff that I nearly got left behind on the way back to the carpark.

10 February 2016

Cecilia Waterfall in the mist

We stared at the Food Lady until it was time to go for our walk to the Cecilia Waterfall with Honey and Sue this beautifully cool and misty morning.
We saw a Red Disa (Disa uniflora) in the river below the waterfall. 
Tea at the waterfall with Sue and the Alph - and Honey in a hole under the fallen tree -  
looking all cosy and comfy.
I played Lady of the Rushie River,
while the Lad did some rodent hunting.
And the Food Lady photographed an Altyd Vygie (Erepsia anceps) - one of the few vygies that stay open in wet weather.
Time to get going again.
This is a strange dodder-like plant called Devil's Tresses (Cassytha ciliolata) which is a member of the Lauraceae family and therefore related to Stinkwood trees!
A Blister Bush (Notobubon galbanum) looming out of the mist. Luckily they need direct sunlight to induce blistering and there was none today.  
Up and down we went ...
and along a gravelly road
past Thea's great gumtree,
down into the forest again - festooned with twirly creepers like this Christmas bauble creeper (Asparagus scandens),
and back to the cars in the company of several other friendly dogs.
Our human brother is at home, back from South Korea for a holiday, so we had to hurry home to him.