Friday, October 14, 2016

First spring flowers after the fire

 Such a relief to see them slowly coming back. This is the first bossiaea to flower. Small patches here and there in the north section.

 Lots and lots of Early Nancies. One of the wildflowers to come back in much greater numbers than before.

 Just a very few Common Riceflowers.

Here and there - Ivy-leafed Violet.

Prickly Starwort!
Blue-beard Caledenia. (I think.)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Mid-September and lots of rain

 More fungi growing in odd places.

 This is at the front of the house in between the pavers. I have to say I have never noticed moss "flowering" like this before. But then maybe I have only started looking down at small plants since I've been doing this blog!

 In twelve years, we've never seen so much water on the property. This is one of the tracks, where the water is now 6-8cm deep in places. Water is running everywhere, from high points all the way down to the creek. Quite amazing.

 This is the creek - running fast. Larger ponds of water to the left. If I ever get the video below the limit I will post it!

Did you say something?

Friday, September 9, 2016

Spring on the way

 Amazing how much rain we have had. There is a stream running down the central track, and it's growing algae and duckweed! This is the creek, which has probably even more water in it now, since we've had rain all day today.
This creek is dry three years out of four.

Scented sundew out in flower. Several big patches of this near the house but nowhere else.

We often see this wallaby mother near the house. Recently she's had a joey hanging out of her pouch as she eats. Now the joey is out and about, running in wide circles around her (father was present today for the first time) like a mad toddler finding its bearings!

 Here he/she has run in the widest circle all the way up the slope and suddenly stopped as if to say, "Er, hang on, where am I? Where's Mum?" !!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Winter fungi after the fire

It's amazing how so many fungi have come up, especially those growing on burnt/dead trees. Also dozens of puffballs in the ground everywhere.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

May 2016

 With the amount of rain we've had, the sprouting from the gum trees is continuing, and in some trees there are signs of canopy growth, too.

 The tussock grass is re-sprouting around the edges, making them look like monks' tonsures!

 In the lower areas and gullies, most of the trees are showing signs of sprouting, even if only at their bases.

 Rain on the new gum leaves sits like liquid jewels.

 There is now a lot of bracken making it look green, but underneath the bracken the ground is still bare and/or black. With the continued rain, we're starting to get grass and various green native plants growing (even a native violet or two) but nothing substantial yet. It will take until spring to see what is really going to regrow.

 This is the top end of the property where the fire was clearly fierce (as it usually is at the top of the hill). Some sprouting here but many of the trees are still black and may never come back.

 An example of sprouting from the trunk. This one is quite big and the branches at least a centimetre in diameter. It will be interesting to see how much of this trunk sprouting survives into full branches. Some of it has already fallen off.

 There is a huge amount of lemondra growing, far more than I have ever seen before. This is the first I've seen with flowers starting to show.

There are still some trees with trunk sprouts for the first time, in beautiful colours like this against the black.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

January and February

We had two good lots of heavy rain that stimulated a lot of bracken growth and sprouting from the gum trees (about 60% of them are now showing signs of sprouting to various degrees). We've now had no really good rain for a few weeks, and things are either slowing down a lot or, in some cases, dying off.

 First signs of sprouting mostly on the trunks. This is late December.

Fascinating to see how the bark is forced open and the green springs out.

 In January I found these burnt fern nubs growing in the dry creek bed - the first of this species I've seen. But with no rain, by the end of February they were all dead.

 Towards the end of January the rain we'd had meant a lot more tree growths.

This is early February, in one of the greener spots.

 The wallaby seems to be used to us now and hangs around the house more often!

With the new growth, as well as bracken I'm seeing some of the native vegetation coming back more - lots of rushes, some heath, some bosseia, and very occasionally a bluebell or a vanilla orchid. A fair few grasshoppers and dragonflies. However butterfly numbers are very low. At this time of year there would normally be dozens everywhere I walk, but I'm lucky to see a couple at the moment.

A lot of the ground looks greenish with the bracken, but when I look closer, there is no leaf litter and it's all still bare. With the heavy rain, a lot of the ash has washed down into hollows.

A few of the bigger birds are around, including kookaburras. A few wrens and finches still, and occasionally bigger birds but not many. It may take a while for the insect population to build up to create a food chain again.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Last week of December - more green

 Large skink (around 12-14 cm) basking near the track.

 Cascades of new leaves from a burnt gum tree.

 New bracken is growing the most on south-facing slopes. Here it's creeping towards my favourite rocks.

 But with the bracken regrowth come the birds returning. We now have finches, wrens and wagtails in the thicker bracken, and with the fuzzy new growth at the tops of some trees, we have magpies, cockatoos and kookaburras as well as smaller birds.
This is, I think, a forest kingfisher, and I don't remember ever seeing one here before.

 The new leaves are determined to get out, splitting the burnt bark of the eucalypts.

 I was very happy to see lots of spots where the bosseia is regrowing at the north end. This had become a widespread ground cover with bright, deep yellow flowers in spring. Glad it's making a comeback.

Already with the bracken growing, some of the burnt, fallen and broken trees are being hidden.
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