Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Is that Spring in the air?

On our morning dog walk Frances noticed a good lot of buds on some Cryptandra amara.  This inspired me to grab the camera and go to check out what else of a vernal nature was going on.

The short answer is that there are still three weeks of Winter left!  However I did find a few nice things to test the macro capability on.

Acacia gunnii: the ploughshare wattle.  A low growing species which has the great merit of being one of the earliest species around this area.
Melichrys urceolatus (urn heath) has been in bud throughout Winter but I was able to find a few open flowers
This image sums up the situation with Acacia dealbata (silver wattle).  About 1/3rd of the flowers are open.
 A second heath species, Leucopogon fletcheri, is far from open.  Indeed the leaves look as though they are more than somewhat unwell.
 Here is the Cryptandra amara which catalysed this foray.  Although it looks superficially like the Heaths it is actually in the family Rhamnaceae, making it a close relative of Pomaderris, for which it is more to be pitied than criticised.
 I did find a few open flowers.  Certainly the androecium is cryptic (ie its male sexual organs are hidden).
 A little later in the day my attention was grabbed by the dulcet calls of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos.  They were mainly engaged in ripping cones off the Pinus radiata down by Whiskers Creek. (They are thought to be one of the few birds that have benefited from the planting of this softwood species imported from California.)  Apart from flying around with pine cones dangling from their beaks they sat in a former Acacia dealbata looking like a counting problem in a child's book.
 Let's test the zoom.  Not bad for about 50m distance.
The outcomes of this foray are:

  1. Spring isn't yet here, but can probable been seen peering over the horizon (rather like a tsunami is known to be coming after an earthquake);
  2. my new camera does a good job (so I will stop rabbiting on about it)!

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