Friday, September 25, 2020

A Walk in the Park

A walk in our local park, the Green Point Urban Park.  
It was such a lovely day last Saturday and we decided to go to our local park for a walk.  The park on Green Point common was created after the new Green Point stadium (now called the Cape Town Stadium) was built, in time for the Soccer World Cup in 2010. As vested land, the Green Point Common was granted to the Cape Town City Council in 1923 by the Union Government as Commonage for general public recreation and sports fields.  It looked as though the Metropolitan Golf Club was going to get all the land, but our then Councillor JP Smith insisted that some of the land be given to the people for recreation and the 18 hole golf course was reduced to 9 holes.

Wow, we were so impressed. The planting is so superb and, if you haven't been able to see any spring flowers, go now, it is in full bloom. The park was filled with so many happy people from all over the city having fun in the sun.  We spotted several childrens' birthday parties and lots of people having lunch with family, some had brought tables and chairs, other just spread blankets on the ground. There are so many different play park areas for the children and a special dog area. Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a lead.  We took lots of photographs and so the photos follow our path around the park. There was a feeling of such happiness and euphoria - people are so happy to get out and play. And we don't mean just the children. We think that the adults were almost enjoying it more.

It looks as though they are creating some flower meadows and these daisies abound
Lynne grew up in the area and the Common was her playground, she remembers these very well, growing wild
And in amongst them are some other spring daisies
Happy bees were feeding on them
A small patch of sparaxis had been planted and have irrigation; these are bulbs and will undoubtedly spread
and a yellow variety
A target for bees
Daisies growing in a fairy ring
A rather interesting bush, covered in these furry balls. We have not been able to identify them 
People were having a family lunches under the pergolas
Many had brought tables, chairs, tablecloths and lots of food
A perfect day for paragliders who jump off Signal Hill
In the near distance is the restaurant which, sadly, is still closed
and in front is the interesting Anelemmatic sundial. You can stand in the middle and your shadow tells the time
Roller skaters are allowed too, and bikes
The bees love the Sour Fig flowers - Carpobrotus edulis
One of the African daisies, Dimorphotheca Sinuata
There is a whole exercise area with lots of equipment to use. This guy was very fit!
Getting ready for a childrens' party
Black eyed Susan, Thunbergia alata , another indigenous plant
A juvenile Red-winged starling (Onychognathus morio), still with downy feathers
A close up of his head, he was very tame and not at all phased by the camera
One of the many childrens' play areas
Time for a game of footie with Pa
This young man loved the slide and was immediately climbing back up it, with great difficulty, rather than using the stairs
So no big teenagers please.  The whole park is Smoke Free; we are very appreciative
There is also a small amphitheatre for concerts - and parties or picnics when there isn't a show
Our ubiquitous Hartlaub's gulls; the park is right next to the beach front
Some young folk having a picnic under the trees
And a special play area for the very young, supervised by an adult
Dad helping with the seesaw
There is a lovely lake and a stream, much enjoyed by these young boys, who were dabbling in the water
Tiny fish fry and a dropped jewel
An interesting stepping stone bridge over the stream
and a fully functioning water wheel in the pond
This coot was building a nest and we could hear chicks from another family in the reeds
A tiny down feather on the surface of the pond
A Hartlaub's gull coming in to land on the water
A child had thrown some bread for the fish and the fry were nibbling, but watching for the diving birds
Lynne sat down to take some photos of the waterlilies and got chatting to this lady, who lives in the local old age home. She told Lynne haw difficult Covid lock down had been for them. They were all confined to their rooms for the first four months and their meals were brought to them. No company, no other human contact. It must have been so lonely. And frightening. Several did get ill and some did die. Even now, they can only eat with one other person at the table. Now that they have more freedom, she comes daily to the park 
Those waterlily leaves, catching the light so well. Flowers will come later in the season. 
The Mouille Point Lighthouse is just across the road from the park entrance on the beach front
Parking is difficult.  On weekdays it is better 
Another vibrant Cape daisy
Such a lovely variety of colours and they spread well
Another field of flowers.... 
... but these are growing on the top of this pavilion, a green roof
We wandered through the superb diversity garden, which has plantings of many indigenous plants, some very rare
And some clever metal sculptures of local wildlife like this Cape Cobra
A pincushion protea
And a Common Dotted Border butterfly (Mylothris agathina agathina) on a daisy
It's Watsonia time in the Cape
Another birthday celebration
A beautiful show of Babiana stricta
A view of our mountain, Lions Head, which looks down on our house
And in the large lake between the park and the Golf course, there are many fish
A cormorant was having a lovely meal of one
And this large fish was at least 80 cm long
The white-breasted cormorant (Phalacrocorax lucidus) is the only form of great cormorant found in Sub-Saharan Africa,
the only form that has strictly freshwater populations and the only form with a white breast and throat;
it does however interbreed freely with dark-breasted forms in central Africa
Saturday on the Golf Course
No idea what sort they are, this one looks a bit like our Koi carp, but with muted colours
The Cape Town stadium was getting some repairs done after the winter - 
in time for its new purpose as the home of Western Province Rugby
Another group of young people picnicking , sadly no masks and not much social distancing 
A row of Egyptian Geese. They breed too well in the Cape
Time to head home after a lovely long walk

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