23 January 2017

Four black dogs on the trail - and a Black Sparrowhawk

Today there were four black dogs - Milly, Billy, Honey and me - and one wheaten freak on the Constantia Greenbelt trails. Pauline and Sue came too - and Ernest and Maria from Canada. The Alph was not with us as he was riding his bike in Bakoven. Here is freak-face leading the walk with Milly and Billy following. Honey was stuck to Sue's heels and I was WAY behind enjoying the smells and making the Food Lady shout for me to catch up every so often.
We walked the Klaasenbosch Trail, then part of the Alphen Trail, and almost the whole Diep River Trail  - in the heat and dust. Ernest and Maria kept asking what the plants were; and nine out of ten were not even indigenous. These lovely Red-hot Pokers (Kniphofia uvaria) in the Diep River wetlands are indigenous. 
But this Canna indica comes from the faraway Americas.
The path got smaller and smaller, and then the Food Lady relented and we turned round before we all got stuck in the mud.
Yay! Another dog to greet! We rush to say howdy.
Milly and Billy with Ernest and Maria. On and on went the path with me getting hotter and botherder.
Then we passed the bin near the car park that STILL hasn't been emptied, and were on our way home.
Spotted a cool Land Rover with a cool Maltese poodle going to the Constantia Village shops.
The Alph was at home in the pool when we got back and everyone stayed for brunch. "Any chance of some brunch for us?" asked Billy. Not a fat chance! They are extraordinarily mean about handing out food to black dogs in this establishment.
Honey was under the table - attached to Sue - and the Food Lady almost got under it too. They all seemed to have a really good time while we starved almost to death.
Even a large and snary raptor with fancy bangles popped in for a squizz at the possible menu. Sue spotted it and the Food Lady snapped it, thinking it was a large Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk, but turns out it was a rufous-chested Black Sparrowhawk juvenile. 

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