Sheila Murray

I'm digging deep for the land I love

My Activity Tracking


My target 100 kms

I’m taking on the Groundwork Challenge!

I’ve committed to running/walking/rolling every day to protect our native species and their precious habitats.

Please support me and help protect the land we all call home by making a tax deductible donation to Bush Heritage Australia.

Together, we can help restore the bush and protect our native species.

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My Updates

Last Day! let me know if you want more stories!

Wednesday 16th Dec
This is the last day of the Groundwork Challenge for Bush Heritage. Let me know if you want the stories to continue at , as I'm coming off Facebook after Christmas. You still have time to donate to Bush Heritage by clicking on photo below. Thank you to Jule, Colin, David, Suzy, Theda, Sue, Nicole, Leith , Paul who have already made generous donations to Bush Heritage. I'm happy to have walked in the bush every day in one of these places:- Lowlands Reserve , Martup Pool, Kings Park, Clontarf Hill, Manning Park, Williams River. There is also my daily blog which you can visit to read the 53 stories featuring a plant a day at This was my self imposed commitment, as just walking in the bush daily was too easy!. Writing every day was the most challenging thing for me! But I can relax a bit from writing now. Or let me know if you'd like the the stories to continue

Djinda, Djinda

Wednesday 9th Dec
Yellow Stars, to brighten a sobering day. This morning we went to Lake Sadie Road, very close to Lowlands Coastal Reserve, to join together with around 60 other locals with our community concerns about the proposed road widening requested by the lime pit developer. Trees which the lime pit developer wishes to fell have been marked with blue crosses. One of the trees has two raptor nests, and others have old hollows for black cockatoos and possums. You can click on photo to get the update. Also , have a listen to the video of Gina Williams singing twinkle twinkle in Noongar, very heartwartming

Quarral, Eucalyptus angulosa

Monday 7th Dec

Quarral, Eucalyptus angulosa, is flowering so profusely and so beautifully in #lowlandsreserve just now that I just had to feature it for todays story at, link in my bio. Its in a joyful spot where, i sing and dance my land stories. Thank you to my cool Zumba and Latin dance teachers for extending my repertoire of dance steps. #groundworkchallenge @bushheritageaus

Fairy Floss Spider

Saturday 5th Dec
Loook at the wonderful Fairy Floss spider, Arkys walckenaeri, which hitched a ride home on my jacket. A juvenile, so that explains the pink and blue colours. I was disappointed she only spun one thread of silk, and didnt spin fairy floss

Yellow on the Bossiae, all over, now Jacksonia is in flower

Tuesday 1st Dec

To me, Bossiae and Jacksonia have parallels in the Scottish pea plants, Broom and Gorse. Broom, like Bossiae, flowers regularly in the Spring and has no prickles, whereas Gorse, like Jacksonia, flowers sporadically from January onwards and is very prickly! Bossiae and Broom flowerings are regular enough to set your calendar by.

I learned when walking to school in Perth, Scotland as a small child how to tell Broom from Gorse. We occasionally had travellers’ children at our primary school in winter (McPhee surname was a giveaway) and they were the ones who were the best berry and potato pickers when all us kids went raspberry picking and potato picking on local farms.Most traditional societies used Nature’s calendars to remind people of activities to be undertaken. Scotland’s travelling folk knew that when the “yellow’s on the broom”, it’s time to leave winter housing and take to the road again. Check out this youtube song “Yellow on the broom”

So I sang “Yellow on the Bossiae” while walking in Lowlands Reserve when the Bossiae was fully in flower some weeks back. Singing our songlines.

Noongar people used the flowering of the pea plant, Templetonia retusa (cockies tongues, the skippy flower, grows near the fishing spot The Deep in Lowlands Reserve) to know when to start fishing for skippy. Also a little blue flower would remind Menang Noongars of the time to fish for black bream, and Marri flowering is also a fishing reminder

Cassytha, She looks so pretty and dangerous

Sunday 29th Nov
Like the mistletoe, Dodder laurel or Cassytha is a parasite. Specifically, it is a stem hemiparasite, as its suckers latch on to the host plant to share, or steal its nutrients from the host plant’s xylem. The seeds germinate in the ground before detaching themselves and losing contact with the soil , and Cassytha is then wholly dependent on its host.“She looks so pretty and dangerous” is a line from a Paul Kelly song, which I sing to myself when I walk in the deep places in Lowlands Reserve where Cassytha grows and overwhelms the Bossiae linophylla.

Other names for Cassytha include devil’s twine and the love vine, both of which seem more appropriate to me than ‘Dodder Laurel”. Mistletoe and parasitic plants have long been fascinating to humans, reputed to have miraculous healing properties in Norse myth and also as an aphrodisiac , kissing under the mistletoe, being a case in point. SW of Australia has over 50 species of parasitic plants, compared with only a couple of parasitic species commonly occurring in Northern Europe, as plants evolved here over millenia to cope with our ancient and nutrient poor environment.

Fruits to share with the silver gulls

Saturday 28th Nov
Leucopogon in fruit in Lowlands Reserve on my walk today

Where the Grass Trees grow, the turtles roam and the Waugal comes up to breathe

Wednesday 25th Nov
Balga are enormously important to Noongar people. The uses of this plant are many — for ceremony, for firestarting, for making glue, for tools, for food (grubs living in the balga, nectar, bird attracting), for direction finding and much more. Our beautiful friend Leah recently gave us a baby grasstree — it will be many years before it is as tall as these.

Urban bobtail

Tuesday 24th Nov
"Bobo, I have a feeling we're not in Lowlands anymore..." the honey myrtle, Melaleuca huegelii and town bobtail and country bobtail - who has the better life ?

Phyllanthus calycinus

Tuesday 24th Nov
A plant a day in #LowlandsReserve, featuring Phyllanthus calycinus today and Yingilit , Daisy Bates and Roe.

Cryptostylis ovata in Lowlands Coastal Reserve

Saturday 21st Nov

Juicy Tales of Love and Lies

Saturday 21st Nov

A lonely male wasp looking for love, cannot resist this juicy orchid temptress, and mistaking her for a female wasp, enthusiastically grasps her and consummates his brief courtship, leaving behind a little sperm souvenir, and incidentally assisting pollination as he moves on to the next luscious female wasp pretender….Yes its true. Although the cast aside and ignored genuine female wasps can still reproduce asexually, they produce only males…and so the feedback loop carries on, the more male wasps, the better the pollination chances for the cryptostylis orchid.

Cryptostylis ovata orchids are pollinated solely by misguided Lissopimpla excelsa “orchid dupe” wasps. They are called “orchid dupe” wasps, because they are fooled into pollinating the orchid — they mistake the flower parts for a female wasp and then copulate with it. The orchid has evolved an alluring scent and colouring to trick the male wasp. The slipper orchid (Cryptostylis ovata) has been flowering for a few weeks in Lowlands Coastal Reserve. Our Slipper orchids often continue to flower throughout the summer in our reserve, as each stalk can bear ten or more blooms, with one or two appearing at one time on each stalk. Unlike our other orchids, this one has large visible evergreen leaves throughout the year, making it one of the least elusive species, for our zealous orchid hunting enthusiasts.

Slipper orchids are not tuberous, so they are probably not targeted as Noongar bush tucker. Our other orchid species, notably beak and sun orchids have large tubers and are Noongar bush tucker species.


Friday 20th Nov

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Critters on the Daisies

Friday 20th Nov

I don’t usually choose to feature plants that I don’t already know the name of.

But I had to choose these daisies, because of the beautiful Castiarina vegeta (? I think?) beetle hanging on for dear life.

Lets just say they are Asteraceae! Probs Asteridea pulverulenta.

Forgery Proof Fringe Lilies

Wednesday 18th Nov
Flowering today in Lowlands Coastal Reserve on my daily walk, the larger species of Thysanotus Fringe Lilies. In the rain, a transparent panel appears on the lillies petals, just like the forgery proof transparent panels on $5 notes! Check it out at my blog at

Seeds of Survival - Acacia littorea

Wednesday 18th Nov

Treasures on the Trail

Monday 16th Nov
Blogging about picking up litter today on my daily walk, including the pictured hair tie, I also scored an orange plastic turtle. I chose conostylis as my featured plant of the day for Lowlands Coastal Reserve. See my longer blog posts at

The Height of Purple Passion

Saturday 14th Nov
Had to feature kangaroo paws today! We went to the Albany Show, and our beautiful friend, Leah, gave us a wonderful silvery lilac coloured Anigozanthus flavidus, she grew at TAFE in a pot! I also bought a bunch of purple Anigozanthus flavidus from the warm and wise Sandra at the Wildflower Society stall. Whilst, Sandra wouldnt tell me exactly where the purple Anigozanthus flavidus grow naturally, I can let you know , that this bunch in the photo  came from somewhere near Walpole.

Mokare's fruit

Friday 13th Nov

These bluebells are very noticeable in Lowlands Reserve today.Billardiera, or Cummuck (Mokare’s fruit), is a well known bush tucker plant, flowering profusely in our reserve just now . The fruits appear in Lowlands Reserve April to July, and often earlier.Mokare , a Menang Noongar man, was a close friend to Barker, Nind and Collie, who were among the inhabitants of the military outpost in Albany in the 1830s. Mokare often stayed with Barker and Nind in their houses and when Collie was dying , he asked to be buried next to Mokare. Barker, in his diary, describes conversations with Mokare and other Menang people over tea and biscuits, breakfasts and dinners . On 2nd February 1830, Barker mentions breakfasting with Taragon (Mokare’s brother) and making arrangements to set off on an expedition the next day. On 1st February Barker had recorded that “Mokare still very unwell & we must put off our expedition, as I would not go without him after promising he would accompany us”. It was on that expedition that Mokare would have pointed out the edible fruits, and Barker recorded the name “Cummuck” given by Mokare for the fruit (Billardiera formerly known to botanists as blue Sollya).

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And the sun came out!

Wednesday 11th Nov
And the sun came out! As did a few of the blooms in a patch of yellow sun orchids today. I’ve been resisting choosing orchids as my plant of the day, as I’ve already posted so many pics of Lowlands Reserve orchids in my instagram and facebook feeds. But this little patch of a dozen or so were so pretty, mostly the mottled leopard print ones, but also one plain yellow.

Pollinator on the Isotoma

Tuesday 10th Nov
Rainy today . But still the pollinators are busy on the Dasypogon in the Lowlands Reserve . plus one jewel beetle on the isotoma flower

Parrot Bush and the Lazy Sunday afternoon

Monday 9th Nov
I chose parrot bush for my plant of the day while walking the Lowlands Reserve today. Lots I could say about the parrot bush, but I googled it and Wikipedia has just the most amazing entry on parrot bush, far more comprehensive than the Wikipedia entry on Banksia grandis. So I’m having a lazy Sunday afternoon, thanks to Wikipedia for providing all the info. Click here

Black cockatoos and 28s are supposed to love this parrot bush. I haven’t particularly noticed this, even though it flowers randomly in the reserve throughout the year. What I have noticed is how much the Baudins black cockatoos are LOVING eating the rose geranium (Pelargonium capitatum)

Triggerplants join the hashtag #MeToo movement

Sunday 8th Nov
I’ve resisted the urge until now to feature one of our numerous species of triggerplants (stylidium) from Lowlands Reserve in this blog. A couple of reasons, one, I’ve posted lots of photos already of triggerplants on my instagram and facebook feeds, and two, I’m not always 100% sure of the species name (there are hundreds of species) and three, us humans tend to unfairly harass the easily provoked little flowers for our own amusement.
I think there are many species of triggerplants yet to be named. I hope that any newly named species will honour our First Nations peoples. Taxonomists could seek guidance from our Aboriginal Elders and Traditional Owners to use Aboriginal language words or other names of significance for Aboriginal people when naming new plants.
My fundraising for Bush Heritage #groundworkchallenge is going well. Thanks to Bush Heritage for organising this

Pimelea in the Lowlands Reserve

Tuesday 3rd Nov

I photographed Pimelea on my 3 km walk today in Lowlands Reserve. Pimelea are still thriving in Lowlands Reserve and on our block. City of Albany sometimes pair the plantings of pink Pimelea with the purple Patersonia to great effect.

Climate change could adversely affect Pimeleas, as research has shown that optimal spring flowering occurs after average winter temperatures of 12 to 15 degrees. A warmer climate could inhibit the glorious show of profusely blooming pink Pimeleas in Lowlands Reserve Spring

What has Youern (tiliqua rugosa) been eating?

Monday 2nd Nov
While enjoying my daily bush walk in Lowlands Reserve on Saturday, I stopped to say Hi, to the normally placid Youern ( Noongar name for blue tongue) . I was surprised to be greeted with the defensive display, as usually they  chill. I quickly noticed that I'd interrupted her breakfast! How rude of me. Youern was enjoying a tasty treat of Koma (Noongar name for Patersonia occidentalis, purple flag, morning iris) and hadnt had time to swallow the petals. Every day , wonderful experiences in the bush. Thank you so much to Bush Heritage for their work. Love Sheila

Fund Raiser for Bush Heritage Reserves including Gondwana Link Partnership

Thursday 29th Oct

Gondwana Link Partnership

Gondwana Link map.

An ambitious connectivity project that aims to restore and reconnect fragmented habitats between the Stirling Range and the Fitzgerald River National Parks and ultimately create an extensive 1,000km stretch of linked native vegetation from the karri forests of the south-west to the Great Western Woodlands around Kalgoorlie. 

(Lowlands Coastal Reserve is supported by the local community and City of Albany)

Fund Raiser for Bush Heritage Reserves including Gondwana Link Partnership

Thursday 29th Oct
Bush Heritage Reserves include the Gondwana Link Partnership
which aims to restore and reconnect fragmented habitats between the Stirling Range and the Fitzgerald River National Parks. (Lowlands Reserve is supported by the local community and City of Albany)

Thank you to my Sponsors


Sheila Murray


Colin Murray


Theda Mansholt

great project and i love your posts ....


Paul Greenfeld

Love you xxx


Nicole Hodgson

I've got some catching up to do on your blog but I look forward to reading in more detail Sheila! Love what you're doing here!


Jule Ruscoe

Go Sheila! Xx Jule




Susan Casey


Sheila Murray

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