Native Flora of Western Australia

Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.28.08 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.28.30 pmHere is Tessa scouring the ground for signs of orchids and other plants.Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.29.05 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.29.38 pmA native cockroach eating some bird poo.Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.29.53 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.30.09 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.30.32 pmThe stunning spotted leopard orchid.Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.30.49 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.30.59 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.31.08 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.31.16 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.31.30 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.31.39 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.31.58 pmHere is a little toad bug.  Can you see him?Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.32.37 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.33.02 pm

These are a few images from a morning out in the bush a couple of weeks ago.  Tessa took me out for roughly 3 hours to several spots along the farm to take a look at what was currently flowering.  The verticordia and leschenaultia were both incredibly diverse with both plants showing several species.  The pale creamy leschenaultia might be my new favourite flower, the colours are muted but at the same time fresh and almost peach like.

I did not prepare for the sun exposure, and subsequently morphed into a lobster come evening.

It was worth it.


Karri Karri & Tingle Forests

We’ve just returned from a romantic, nature filled getaway.  Mike surprised me this past weekend with a getaway in Karri Valley.  The space is breathtaking… Emu and kangaroo greet you in an open field just as you enter the estate.  Further up the road the left opens to reveal a rather massive lake (full of rainbow trout!).  If you stay in a suite, you can even fish from your balcony…

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.07.00 PMScreen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.09.50 PM  Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.09.37 PM Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.09.31 PM    Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.08.59 PM    Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.08.29 PMI am so sorry but this mushroom absolutely kills me…apologies to those of you may find it offensive.Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.08.22 PM Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.08.15 PM

I could have just posted entirely about the fungi that covered the woods…there must have been about 15+ species that we encountered on one hike alone.  Some of the species were small and dainty while others were absolutely enormous.Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.08.06 PM  Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.07.43 PM  Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.07.27 PM Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.07.20 PM Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.07.10 PM

We checked in, and Mike informed me he also made dinner reservations.  There was a fantastic meal of kangaroo steak (Mikes choice) with roasted vegetables, and duck confit on a citrus salad (my choice) for us that evening.  Our cabin was three bedrooms (excessive but the only one available as there was a wedding booked in for the weekend), and came complete with a kitchen, large deck, washing machine, living room and working wooden fireplace.  I could go on and on about the tranquility and the soft drizzle of rain on the rooftop…the crackling fire, and the peace we found in this space.

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.06.52 PMThe cabins were so far apart you hardly noticed there were any other visitors in the area.  No radio, no phone, no tv, no internet.  We talked, drank wine, napped…and did plenty of hiking.  Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.06.39 PMScreen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.08.44 PMScreen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.08.51 PMFear of heights: first non attempt.  I pretended to climb the tree in the photo above, only to watch Mike in a total panic from the base of the tree.  It was pouring down rain, and he did it anyway.  This tree is probably about 13 stories high, it is also over 400 years old.  Fire fighters used to climb to the top and scout the region and telephone with coordinates.  One of the requirements for being one of the volunteers to climb these trees was…being sober.  The image below it, is what Mike saw from the top.Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.09.22 PMMikes second attempt to get me to face my fears, was in the Tingle forests 1.5 hours from the Karri Karri woods…I basically ran through this tree top walk…the swaying feeling, and the wind put me off.  Here you can see Mike eating my dust!Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.06.15 PM Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.06.07 PM Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 7.05.58 PMThis region is spectacular, and for those who do manage to venture that far south…it certainly is hard to return back to the city after absorbing the natural beauty of the majestic Karri Karri and Tingle forests.

Alt-J – Hunger of The Pine 

This song played for us on the way home…it sounds quite special.

Beautiful drosera.

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Drosera, commonly known as the sundews, comprise one of the largest genera of carnivorous plants, with at least 194 species.  These members of the family Droseraceae lure, capture, and digest insects using stalked mucilaginous glands covering their leaf surfaces. The insects are used to supplement the poor mineral nutrition of the soil in which they grow. Various species, which vary greatly in size and form, can be found growing natively on every continent except Antarctica. – Wikipedia

Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 7.37.19 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 7.36.37 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 7.36.28 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 7.36.20 PM       Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 7.34.22 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 7.34.15 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 7.34.08 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 7.33.45 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 7.33.33 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 7.33.27 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 7.33.09 PMWe’ve just returned from a very relaxing weekend with Brian and Tessa on the farm.  We were fed very well, and had a very peaceful sleep on Saturday.  Tessa also hosted me in the bush around the property as we hunted for the first wildflowers blooming in the autumn rains.  It’s quite so far in terms of flowers, though we did find a few varieties that were unusual and the drosera particularly were on full display.

Tessie was looking really well, and was so happy to see us.  She has been really lucky to have three friends to spend time with in the country.

Before we left I was able to catch up with Wuzza, whom upon hearing me call his name…came thundering over and wanted loads and loads of cuddles.  I was really glad he was happy to see me, even without bread and that he stayed for ages to get a cuddle.  Mike had visited him earlier, and seeing Wuzza’s reaction to me said:

“Wow, he really loves you…he knows exactly who you are”

We discussed his superior intelligence later on the way home…  I always feel sad returning to the city leaving it all behind but we both know it’s going to get us where we need to be.

Not only are we returning with memories and photos, I’ve been absolutely attacked all over my neck and ankles by some kind of biting insect.  The kind of welts that swell up and itch enough to drive a person mad.  Should be looking TIP TOP tomorrow at work…with what look like red hickies on my neck.  Cannot wait!!!

floating blobs of pink.

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What a beautiful bird…Screen Shot 2014-05-18 at 11.27.13 AM

I take that previous statement back!!!

From top to bottom:  Spotted Jellyfish, Grey Kangaroo, Australian Raven, Darter, Straw-necked Ibis (Juvenile).

I took my camera to Heirisson Island this morning just before it started to rain.  I was hoping to catch the kangaroo in the soft glow of sunrise, and found myself photographing all sorts of creatures.  I crouched in the water and rain for an hour with majorly aching hips to get a decent photo of some pink jellyfish, and learned a few lessons about lighting underwater (utilising only the sun here).  I did wonder if having dozens of little floaters touching me was safe… luckily if any got too near I wafted them away with the end of my camera.

Well, I’m pretty cold now from being out in the rain all morning, so I’m putting on David Attenborough’s “Life in the Undergrowth” and cuddling up with a blanket, while simultaneously mowing down some soup.

Sunday Sounds:

Riptide – Vance Joy

Garden City Movement – Terracotta

ZHU – Faded

Noosa – Clocktower

Flume – On Top Feat. T. Shirt

The allure of wildflower season.

Yesterday I met my friend and we walked together to Kings Park. As we were finishing up our stroll I noticed a small bug fly toward me in a very strange way (it appeared to be drunk).  I couldn’t see all of the detail, but I knew it was a beetle and it had two bits in the front of it which I would describe as mickey mouse ears.  It wouldn’t sit still long enough to get a proper look at it.  I intentionally left my camera at home…and so missed the opportunity to document the peculiar little bug.  However there were plenty flying around, and I thought I may get a chance today to go back and find one.

I was not lucky in that endeavour.  In fact there weren’t many bugs out today (it’s cool and windy) where as yesterday it was sunny and warm…

Here is a link to someone else’s photograph of the “Feather Horned Beetle”Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 1.58.39 PMScreen Shot 2014-05-04 at 2.01.51 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 2.01.45 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 2.01.38 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 2.01.31 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 2.01.25 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 2.01.18 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 2.01.12 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 2.01.05 PM

Still has a dirty beak from plucking a worm from the grass shortly before we locked eyes.Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 2.00.31 PM

I was so close to this kookaburra, it legitimately tried to take a bite of my point n’ shoot! (this photo is not cropped)Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 2.00.23 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 1.59.41 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 1.59.01 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 1.58.52 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 1.58.45 PM  Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 1.58.19 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 1.58.05 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 1.57.56 PM

These are a variety of wildflowers from this morning (technically not wild, as they are grown in a massive garden – which leaves me feeling a little bit like a cheat, the way I also feel when I take photos of animals at the zoo).