Up Elsies with two spaniels, a Scot, Tessa - and some humans

The start at the top of Ravine Steps.

Upwards.
Erica nudiflora.
Tom and Aiden.
Aloe succotrina - one of two naturally occurring aloes on the peninsula.
Gladiolus priorii.
Tea. Paul, Pauline, Meg, Thea, Sue and Stephen. Tessa's curly tail in the centre.
Aiden blending in.
Down again.
Zygophyllum spinosum.
Snakestem Pincushion (Leucospermum hypophyllocarpodendron).
A sign on the times!

Fireflowers and Baboons on Black Hill

On Sunday we set off to look for fireflowers that come up in the fynbos as the area around Black Hill burned a few months ago.
Amphithalea ericifolia flowers especially well after fires.
Show me the fireflowers.
Liparis capensis.
Macrostylis villosa - a member of the buchu family.
Tea overlooking Noordhoek and Kommetjie.
Down the sandy slopes keeping an eye out for the baboons below.
Alice and Maddie.
Baboons and their monitors in the distance.
One of the most beautiful views on the peninsula.
The baboons.
Closer look.
Laddie on full alert.
Rotstert (Babiana ringens).
The Fire Heath (Erica cerinthoides).
Ground Protea (Protea acaulos) with new leaves popping up out of the soil.
Dodder (Cuscuta ntida) - a member of the Convolvulaceae.
Leaves of the Candelabra Lily (Brunsvigia orientalis).
Wurmbea hiemalis.
Re-sprouting leucadendron bush.
Capelio tabularis.
Kalmoes (Lichtensetinia lacera), according to Trinder-Smith is “most common after fire”.
Escaping the fire by growing in a crevice - and old gnarled Klipkershout (Maytenus oleoides).
Othonna digitata.
Senecio triqueter 
The trek back up the hill.
 
Relaxing in the wintery sun at home.

Pauline's birthday bubbles

Walk in the Constantia Greenbelt and picnic to celebrate Pauline's 60th. Pauline, Paul, Stephen, Lucy, Richard, Sue and Thea. Many thanks for the food and drink!
Thanks for the pic Thea.
Chillaxing afterwards and drying out the picnic blankets.

To the Disas - via Kasteelspoort

Start at the SANParks path on Theresa Avenue, Camps Bay. Click here for a Google Map of the path.
Follow the path up to the Pipe Track and take the Kasteelspoort ascent all the way up (point A on the map). [For a larger PDF version of the above annotated Slingsby Map, click here.]
From here follow the path to the Waterworks Museum at the foot of Hely Hutchinson Dam. Directly opposite the little museum is a path heading north-east up the valley between St Michaels and Junction Peaks. Walk all the way up until you reach the Aquaduct (point B on the map).
After admiring the Red Disas,
and the rare Amphithalea imbricata (above) at the little bridge at the start of the Aquaduct – point B on the map), turn back and retrace your steps till you get to a waterfall on your right (point C on the map).
Head up the valley between St Michaels and Orion Peaks where you can pick up a faint path on the left of the disa-lined stream.
Follow the path as it winds along the stream and you eventually come out at a junction near a little bridge
and a signpost (point D on the map) saying Echo Valley.
 
Follow the Echo Valley path to the next junction (Point E on the map), then go through the Valley of the Red Gods back to the start of the Kasteelspoort descent. (Point A on the map).
Retrace your steps back to Theresa Ave.

NB: The Red Disas flower from the middle of January till the middle of March.
Once again, I am indebted to Peter Slingsby for his great maps. Click here to purchase your own.

Time: 5 hours if reasonably fit.
 GPS points:
Start at Theresa Ave track -33.963255, 18.384411
Start of Kasteelpoort path from Pipe Track -33.964910, 18.389336
A -33.972284, 18.394586
Waterworks Museum Path -33.974692, 18.407725
B -33.972943, 18.416990
C  -33.972087, 18.414638
D -33.969465, 18.411788
E -33.968949, 18.410816
Blue Disa (Disa graminifolia) in Echo Valley. Flowering time is February.