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.
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Together, we can help restore the bush and protect our native species.
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Last Day! let me know if you want more stories!Wednesday 16th Dec
Djinda, DjindaWednesday 9th Dec
Quarral, Eucalyptus angulosaMonday 7th Dec
Fairy Floss SpiderSaturday 5th Dec
Yellow on the Bossiae, all over, now Jacksonia is in flowerTuesday 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” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfFb2hXEpN8&list=RDKfFb2hXEpN8&start_radio=1&t=62&t=64
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 reminderShare
Cassytha, She looks so pretty and dangerousSunday 29th Nov
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.Share
Fruits to share with the silver gullsSaturday 28th Nov
Where the Grass Trees grow, the turtles roam and the Waugal comes up to breatheWednesday 25th Nov
Urban bobtailTuesday 24th Nov
Juicy Tales of Love and LiesSaturday 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. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/587532
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. https://academic.oup.com/biolinnean/article/119/2/283/2701019 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.Share
LechenaultiaFriday 20th Nov
I chose Lechenaultia expansa as my plant of the day, because they were sporting some of my favourite critters in the morning sunshine — Castiarina vegeta (jewel beetles) and the dainty flower spiders (Australomisidia species)
Critters on the DaisiesFriday 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.Share
Forgery Proof Fringe LiliesWednesday 18th Nov
Seeds of Survival - Acacia littoreaWednesday 18th Nov
I chose Acacia littorea for my plant of the day, as I noticed it eking out an existence, having self-seeded in the demolition site of the old Esplanade hotel this morning. Acacia littorea is also the wattle which grows the closest to my original path to the beach in Lowlands Coastal Reserve.
Pauly was asked to do the heritage survey for the proposed development of the old Esplanade hotel site. The Noongar elders on site consultation with the state development reps today included many stories of the lore of birds on the mounts, and the old corroboree ground in Adelaide Terrace, the creek waters and the former swamps connecting with Strawberry Hill and Lake Seppings and the Noongar name for Ellen Cove being Binyalup (not Binalup, dont forget the ‘y”, as important to pronounce with a “ying” sound). Binyalup means place of first light or place of the dawn. Hoping that the new infrastructure will incorporate the Noongar name Binyalup and Aboriginal artwork.
Returning home from the survey for my daily walk in Lowlands Coastal Reserve, I noticed that seed pods are appearing in the Acacia littorea, as I brushed past the hard prickly foliage on my old ridge path to the beach. Flowering is nearly over, with very few acacias bearing flowers, although the littorea acacias are not yet profusely bearing seeed pods.
The three new reveg patches are doing well in Lowlands Coastal Reserve. Our local reveg guru, Mark Parre, supplied many native seedlings including 2 acacia species of local provenance (acacia littorea and acacia myrtifolia). Acacia alata and Acacia pulchella also grow in the Lowlands Reserve.
I enjoy acacias, and their shape changing nature, where the juvenile leaves are very different to mature leaves.
In contrast to the Wonnich featured on Day 22, which is the sole species in the Callistachys genus, there are over 1,000 (one thousand!) different species of Acacia in Australia. We have an active Sydney Golden Wattle busting group in our Lowlands community, as this invasive Acacia longifolia , is the one wattle not welcomed here.Share
Treasures on the TrailMonday 16th Nov
The Height of Purple PassionSaturday 14th Nov
Mokare's fruitFriday 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).
And the sun came out!Wednesday 11th Nov
Pollinator on the IsotomaTuesday 10th Nov
Parrot Bush and the Lazy Sunday afternoonMonday 9th Nov
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)Share
Triggerplants join the hashtag #MeToo movementSunday 8th Nov
Pimelea in the Lowlands ReserveTuesday 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 https://www.publish.csiro.au/bt/bt9960047 https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-20763-1_9Share
What has Youern (tiliqua rugosa) been eating?Monday 2nd Nov
Fund Raiser for Bush Heritage Reserves including Gondwana Link PartnershipThursday 29th Oct
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)Share
Fund Raiser for Bush Heritage Reserves including Gondwana Link PartnershipThursday 29th Oct Bush Heritage Reserves include the Gondwana Link Partnership
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