29 January 2017

The wig, wig, wiggle, wiggle, waggle o' the kilt

A Scottie Walk you say? Now?
Did I hear you say "Scottie Walk"? Better get up then.
We are all waiting ...
We walked through the Green Point Urban Park towards the lighthouse where we normally meet Gordon and David and Luna,
past some large footprints that smelled like Rock Monsters who had escaped from the mountain during the night and came down to the sea.
Then we came across Mac and Abigail in their special doggy pushchairs,
with Irene and Snippie and Pam,
and Estea with a toy Scottie called Fergus who is travelling the world.
Laddie found a friend who rather fancied him for a change. Yuk! Soppy dogs.
It was a lovely day and we wiggled and waggled our kilts along the promenade while para-gliders fell from the sky. 
Lots of peeps were in the sea but every beach we came to said "NO DOGS ALLOWED!" I was sad as I just love to dip my hot tummy into the cold cold sea.
There was lots happening as we walked past,
and lots of new puppies to meet. This is Scott the puppy, with Dougal and his Jack Russell brother called Luigi (I think).
Jock at the foot of the Pink Poodle/Piddle bench.
And is this another puppy? No, its just Fergus. (Read all about this Scotty toy with itchy feet here.)
We also met Tessa who is Haggis's new sister.
And Harvey found a friend too. They played and chased and ran crazily for a few minutes,
then Harvey came back to the Scotty Walk for more attention. What a crazy dog he is.
Can we have a piddle on the Pink Poodle/Piddle bench pleeeez. Harvey is asking.
But, like most fun things, the answer was NO!. But we had a lovely walk even though we were hot and tired when we went home to find the Alph had returned from his ride, also hot but not too tired.

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. 

20 January 2017

Peacocks and other noises

Last Sunday we walked in the Contantia Greenbelt. While we waited for Pauline, Honey and Sue, the Food Lady and me and Lad watched the antics of these two hungry "Mystery Buzzard" chicks shouting at their parents for food high up in the tall trees.
Now I can identify with that as I do the same at supper time. 
In fact I did a bit of scrounging myself from the bin that hasn't been emptied for over a month. Such is life in the leafy lanes. There is even a delightfully stinky dead squirrel in there.
Anyway, when Pauline arrived we set off up our normal greenbelt path, then the Food Lady put our leads on and we crossed the road where we came across a signpost to Kirstenbosch. "Shall we try it?" said the Lad. I just kept my normal po-face.
For part of the way there was a big eclectic scary fence.  
But it soon opened up and we went up a fynbos and Silver Tree-lined road,
where we saw a ghost dog that disappeared down a green tunnel.
 Further down, we found a little door in the tree,
which Pauline opened to look inside but no-one was home.
We then crossed another road, and headed back up the mountain.
Everyone was feeling hot, even though it was mizzling a bit, so we found a good tea spot under a big oak tree: me, Pauline, Lad, Honey and Sue.
We watched some walkers pass,
and some Common Waxbills in the meadow.
Then we went back to the car, and had to run the gauntlet of a meeting of champagne-quaffing riders and their quick-hoofed mounts. Honey was not happy and I escaped a swift kick from a particularly annoying horse with a rather loud and shrieky rider!  
Then we nearly ran over a great blue bird that scuttled across the road in front of the car and into the greenbelt. It was making much the same noise as the riders we had just passed so maybe it was hurrying to join what it thought was its friends having fun without him.
For more about the Greenbelt walks, click here.

19 January 2017

Beach holiday

The Alph's arm made a useful headrest for the Lad who doesn't really like car trips.
Soon we were on familiar territory - with exciting sea smells wafting into the car - delicious rotting kelp and fish biltong.
Daisy Cottage. We were out and off exploring in five seconds.
Laddie and Harvey had to be retrieved from the beach by an irate Alph and a panic stricken Food Lady.
First things first.
We could but stand and stare out wistfully while lunch and human tasks around the house were completed.
Then, joy of joys, we went out for a beach walk. Get a load of that smell!
It was quite warm and windless,
and that evening we were all rather exhausted! Harvey chose his best spot.
Next morning it was hot but the Food Lady declared we needed to do a walk so off we set early in the morning through the fynbos, tail up!
We climbed up onto the top of the sand dune hill and looked down over the dusty road. All feeling a bit hot and tired, 
but we perked up no end when we hit the beach!
Laddie and Harvey were manic.
The Food Lady was snapping away at seabirds - this is a White-fronted Plover.
I preferred to wade in the cool water and sit in the cool vleigras that grows here where fresh water seeps into the sea.
 Its actually not a grass but a sedge called Isolepis prolifer.
Teatime at Rasperpunt.
Then the long plod home for lunch and a sleep. Luckily it started to cloud over and wasn't quite as hot as the early morning.
Afternoon tea and Christmas cake.
while we kept watch at the door.
Or stretched out on the carpet as the case may be.
Next morning we had coffee and biscuits in bed,
and a later start to our walk. Looking across the Suiderstrand bay.
A shimmery shiny Common Greenshank.
More crazy swimming for the crazy Bostie.
Even this Caspian Tern was laughing at him.
The Food Lady was laughing at me!
Phil joined us and there was more fun and games on the beach.
and a pleasant evening together.
David popped in for lunch one windy cool day,
while Harvey chose a sunny spot to relax in.
Then Phil left, taking our BestieBostie with him. Now we are two sad Scots missing the crazy whippersnapper.
Take note of the title of the Alph's magazine - horse and HOUND. What an Alph!
I was the official braai grid cleaner.
One morning we went out to the town of Agulhas to buy stuff but we were left in the landrover,
while they went to interesting shops.
But later we went for a walk through Suiderstrand,
past this poor dog who is chained to his kennel. He said very rude things to us, so we left him alone.
I suppose we don't have such a bad time after all, said Laddie. No, I replied, but they are pretty stingy with my food.
The Limestone Road.
The entrance to the new Agulhas National Park restcamp.
The Alph's braai fire - and a cloudy, but windless sky.
Me and the Lad plotting to raid the fishermen's buckets of bait.
We went for a long walk right around the bay and beyond - past the old Pietie se Punt house which is not a posh guest house called "Lagoon House".
Me on my own private path to who knows where. Maybe I will find someone who will give me some delicious food. I am rather sick of fish biltong and kelp.
Laddie chasing birds.
The Food Lady chasing flowers - this is Sea Spurry (Spergularia media).
Then it was time to go home. I tried to hide away, but they found me and bundled us back to Cape Town
where Olivia had left a lovely bunch of flowers as a welcome home gift.