Sunday, 10 November 2013

A tale of two expeditions

As the next few days look to be good for the garden (ie raining) and then we are rather busy for a few days it was a good day to head for the tip with the third trailed load of cypress foliage resulting from our recent pruning exercise.
 On the way I noticed this nice piece of commercial art.  As well as selling the hay and silage I suspect the owner of the phone number could also sell you some nice Hereford beasties to eat it!
 The most amusing item at the tip was the guy next to me with a ute load of agapanthus.  When I asked how long it had taken him to dig them up he said "Not long.  The bloke next door has an excavator and I paid him a few dollars for half an hour's work.'  As I left, another ute had pulled alongside and quite a poportion of the agapanthus were going into that!
As I drove home I thought a little about messages on the COG chatline about Painted Honeyeaters turning up along the Murrumbidgee, where a sign (burnt in the 2003 bushfires) used to announce the area to be their habitat.  I don't have this species on my ACT list so headed off to check them out.  The key indicator was the mistletoe (Amyema cambagei) flowering in the casuarinas.   I found the mistletoes easily enough ...
 But the honeyeaters eluded me.  However as I said in my post to the COG Chatline:
"The polarised light through the overcast and quite strong wind coming down the Murrumbidgee corridor didn't help.  Drat.  
"However any visit that includes 2 pairs of Mistletoebirds, 6 Rainbow Bee-eaters, 2 male White-winged Trillers, 7 White-browed Woodswallows and the sounds of Double-barred Finches cannot be all bad.  
"If one wished to carp (didn't see any of them) one could remark about the weed growth around the area.  The hillsides opposite were covered with St Johns Wort and the Nature Reserve itself appeared to be a test site for the Museum of introduced weed species. I don't have any practical solutions but the problem is very clear!"
A first example of theproblem is this hillside covered with St Johns Wort (SJW, yellow) and Paterson's Curse (purple).  There is enough seed in that one paddock to supply the ACT with a problem for the next decade.  (Of course there is always an upside if you are an optimist.  A message from another observer has pointed out that this hillside was full of woodswallows a couple of days ago, and those I saw were feeding on the SJW).
 The flower suggests this is some form of poppy, but had no idea what until Sandra commented that it was Argemone ochroleuca subsp. ochroleuca (aka Mexican Poppy).  There was of course an abundance of California Poppy growing in the riverine sand.
 This looks like a member of the solanum family (spuds/tomatoes)


sandra h said...

Martin, I think your poppy is Argemone ochroleuca subsp. ochroleuca
sandra h

Flabmeister said...

Many thanks Sandra. I shall note that in the body of the post.