24 July 2011

Kirstenbosch: A Winter Garden II

Date: 17 July 2011

Location: Kirstenbosch

Walker: Michele, Bronwyn & Helen

The Kirstenbosch archive is here.

Back to the garden!

As always our first stop was at the specimen house to see what's in flower at the moment. Plenty!

Then we meandered up to the top of the garden.

Plenty of yellow flowers to be seen up here, including lachenalia, leucospermum (pincushions), chasmanthe (cobra lilies) and leucadendron (cone-flowers) amongst others.

I'm particularly charmed by the cobra lilies fronds.

This unusual pink lobestemon caught by eye.

And there was more on the red spectrum...

Aren't these fiery leucadendrons amazing?!

We spent quite a lot of time in the buchu garden, sniffing leaves and admiring the strange buds and delicate little flowers.

They were abuzz with happy bees.

The strange buds that intrigued me on my last visit had opened! I think it may be a type of serruria.

There were lots of other varieties of serruria in flower. Spiderheads. I think they are freaky-weird but totally wonderful!


23 July 2011

St James: Half-Way along the Old Mule Path

Date: 10 July 2011

Location: Silvermine East, from Boyes Dr, above St James

Walkers: Richard, Claudia, Helen and the dogs

My friends have moved into a new house in St James, close to one of my favourite routes up the mountains there: the Old Mule Path. We took the dogs up - or more accurately, they took us - for a short amble, just half-way up the hill and then back down again (we didn't have time for a longer walk). The proteas were in flower.

And the whole hillside was covered in bright yellow-green leucadendron. Lovely!


19 July 2011

YUM! Clemengold Mandarins

Clemengolds are a variety of mandarin: seedless, super-sweet and delicious. I love them! Ate these on the beach at Yzerfontein.

Yzerfontein: Pearl Bay & Schaap Island

Date: 9 July 2010

Location: Yzerfontein

Walkers: Michele, Brenda & Helen

*** Route plotted here ***

Another walk in Yzerfontein here.

It was a magnificent warm day so a couple of us headed up the West Coast for a walk along the beach at Yzerfontein. After driving around a bit we stopped the car on the Pearl Bay side of the small town, and followed the path down to the sand. We opted to walk to the right, towards town.

It was lovely on the beach. There was a bit of a breeze, but it was still T-shirt weather (so unusual for July!). The sea wasn't as cold as we expected, and looked so clean and clear. Bit warmer and I would have considered a swim!

There are lots of rocky outcrops along this beach, and masses of black mussel shells. They made a very satisfying crunch as we walked over them.

Plenty of other things to see on the sand too.

Interesting rock formations.

This seemed to be a popular surfing beach.

The guys were having huge fun in the breakers.

Typical West Coast scenery: white sand, big blue sky.

At the far end of beach we decided to walk on to Schaap Island. It is not an island at all, but a low rocky/grassy peninsula sticking out into the ocean. We followed the path down to the crossing place, and up onto the island.

Our first stop was a delightful pool on the south side. Great spot for a dip in warmer months I'm sure.

The path lead on to a wooden cross.

Beyond that we climbed out onto the rocks. It was pretty flat and easy to navigate. At the far end of the island the waves were crashing onto the rocks, with big explosions of spray.

And there were rock pools!

Luckily for us the tide was very low and we got to see some gorgeous sea weeds and sea anemones.

After we'd done exploring the island we made our way back the same way.

Before we climbed back to the car we looked back at Schaap Island.

After our walk we went to a nearby restaurant for cold drinks and lunch.