This small Red Hibiscus has held on and survived being dug up by Maggie, replanted and finally re-located to a Maggie safe area. Now, 2 years later these beautiful coloured flowers appear individually, bloom for a couple of days, then shrivel up. We have to remember to water the plant regularly. A much larger, multi blooming Yellow Hibiscus thrives a few metres away.
exposing bashful foliage
fiery red survivor
Today, the first day of October, the second month of Spring finally feels like that season has arrived. We had a lazy lunch at a cafe in Black Rock where Maggie had the usual fuss made of her and a selfie taken. When we arrived home I went for a walk around the garden capturing some of the different plants currently flowering on my camera. Only five are indigenous, can you identify the exotics. The one we are observing most keenly is our Blueberry bush as it is laden with flowers turning to fruits as the bees attend.
One hundred metres down the street from our home these photos show where a suburban house and garden once stood for over 60 years, where families shared their lives, where plants once grew and died , where birds, animals and insects co-existed in nature. Now all gone.A desert of flat dozed lifeless dirt. Already foundations are being created to build fence to fence double story townhouses and concrete hard surface and maybe a few plants in pots. Gone is a local history and an ecosystem, not an original one but an ecosystem that saw many indigenous life forms existing. Through the gap in the rear fence where green weeds grow the same thing happened last year and over that next street the same again. This is happening all across our suburb and in neighbouring suburbs and on and on in Melbourne Australia. Population growth demanding new dwellings and a greed from property developers to squeeze as many living spaces on a block of land as possible means vegetation and fauna loss on an increasing scale. We have noticed the little birds have disappeared from our garden and that is one small sign. Our local government is unable to limit or control this madness, this environmental destruction. As well the loss of trees and shrubs adds to global warming. Maybe these images sum up Australia’s attitude as a nation to global warming. No chance for haiku !!!!!!
Almost a year ago Jill and I wandered through the beautiful Wellington Botanic Gardens in New Zealand appreciating unusual plants and incredible views when suddenly this sign confronted us. We were aware that whoever introduced Australian Brushtail Possums to New Zealand did not do their homework about the predator food chain and as for rats !! However poison baits in suburbia has dangerous potential. In our journey across the North Island we looked for but rarely saw dogs, certainly not running free but not on leads or in front yards . I hope this sign does not explain darker repercussions.
This is my contribution to the one a week Photo Challenge and this week for number 46 the challenge is LETTER. As the title suggests, I see this sign as an open letter of warning rather than a simple message . For this years 52 weekly challenges planned by Cathy and Sandra visit Cathy’s blog at https://nanacathydotcom.wordpress.com/one-a-week-photo-challenge-2017/
Recently we visited the Grampians / Gariwerd National Park North West of Melbourne for the annual first weekend in October Spring native wildflowers exhibitions. At Pomonal the local members of the Society for Growing Australian Native Plants display flowering specimens cut from local bush gardens. These plants represent the Spring flowering plants of Southern Australia. At Halls Gap the Friends of Grampians/Gariwerd National Park display the range of flowering plants found across the park. Rangers collect specimens in the days before this weekend from the park and the friends prepare the display.
We have now regularly visited these displays across the last 12 years and always look forward to the concentrated displays of colour and the aroma of nectar. Because Maggie was with us we could not get out into the tracks of the park looking for flowering plants in their natural environments.
These 3 images are from open gardens at the Pomonal display.
Recently Jill and I visited Warrnambool and always visit the Botanic gardens. Jill’s first commission when she started her Landscape Architecture practice was a master plan for the gardens from Warrnambool Council. There can be rare birds to photograph there and we always check for any design and planting changes. We were surprised to find that these Palm Trees were well rugged up for Winter thanks to a local creative knitting group practicing Guerrilla Art.
This beautiful little Eastern Spinebill has been visiting our garden for the last four Autumns. They are a honeyeater and seek out nectar in blossom. This is a grevillea we bought last Spring in Bendigo hoping it would attract Honeyeaters. For such a small bird they have an incredible loud and sharp whistle like call. Usually we hear them however this year we have seen him/her more often. Today when I came in the front gate I heard, then spotted the bird,feeding on Charlie’s kisses, a fuchsia growing on Charlie’s resting place. This was an extra special moment.
Our Prunus Cherry Plum tree suffers enough from the teeth of hungry Ringtail Possums. To counter this it tries to regenerate new leaves and sometimes new blossom. In desperation I feed the possums apples to steer them away from the leaves and flowers however more turn up for a feed. Tonight 3 were waiting for their apple however there is no guarantee they will not still take out a desert of leaves before returning to their home which is currently on the ground behind some bricks stacked against the back fence.
A small group of 2 adult and three young Rainbow lorikeets drop by our front yard every day recently assuming the seed stick is eternal. They may take anywhere between a week and 2 days to demolish it. If they discover no stick is waiting a dreadful din begins with lots of screeching and screaming with the young ones doing antics on branches a bit like acrobats on the high wire until a new stick appears. Then they settle into a quiet chortling amongst themselves even nodding off to sleep at times. Can you spot the 3 young ones in this last image?
We are experiencing a late summer heat wave as Autumn arrives. Consequently the butterfly bushes are blooming and attracting butterflies ,naturally, and also bees . These images are three of the different types that flit around here. Of course the biggest and most beautiful ones always appear when I am not wandering around with my camera (including a 150- 500 telephoto and monopod) or disappear the moment I come out of the house to look for flying action. Across Summer we noticed more numbers and variety of butterflies than in recent years so that is a good piece of local ecological news.