Thursday, December 29, 2011

Flora and Fauna Late December

There are dozens of these coming out in flower right now, but after an hour of looking through books and websites, I haven't yet been able to identify this plant. It grows to about 40-50cm high.

Having had a large huntsman in the house recently (see previous post) and recognising it easily, I was then surprised to find this on a tree trunk and discover it's also a huntsman - a Badge Huntsman (I think!).

We've been moving wood around and clearing up for bushfire safety reasons, but I've found lots of interesting creatures along the way. This leads to photos, which then leads to attempts at identification via the net! I think this is Friedman's Bark Cockroach.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wildlife in the Hills

A nice big huntsman decided to visit - I think he/she likes the warm bricks at night. Hopefully he/she won't make a habit of it! I like them better outside where they belong.
We have had some trees cut down recently for bushfire safety (way too close to the house - less than 5 metres) and found some caterpillars on the trees.
This is caterpillar 2 - also about 3 inches long.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Late spring arrivals

As the rain continues, there are ever more plants springing up all over the place that I have never seen in the area before. This is fireweed, which has grown previously but now we have massive plants over a metre high everywhere.

Wasn't sure what this was initially, but it is only growing in the swampy areas (which we haven't had in ten years) - it's called Swamp Isotome.

And the kangaroo apple is flowering again, plus there are two more little ones growing. Lo and behold, all around the plant the grass is flattened where the kangaroos have been laying around - probably waiting for the fruit!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

New Kids on the Block

With all the rain over the past year or more (after 10 years of drought), it continually surprises me what I find popping up - plants I have never seen before, that obviously have been biding their time, waiting for sufficient rainfall to sprout again. Some I am having trouble identifying so all help gratefully received! I think the one above is either a trigger plant or a wax flower.
The stems are tall and the flowers grow up the stem - leaves at the bottom like a lily.

This one is a wattle mat-rush (thanks to my Wildflowers of the Brisbane Ranges book).

This is a very striking mat-rush, the many-flowered variety (I think).

And this is a lily I have rarely seen. We have a lot of beautiful fringe lilies, and a few others, mostly vanillas. I think this is a chocolate lily, although if I'd realised when I saw it, I could have sniffed to see if it really did smell of chocolate!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More of Spring

I can see why this is called Love Creeper as it twines around whatever is nearest, usually bracken.
The first butterflies after winter are these ones - smaller and brighter than the thousands that come later in summer.
This wallaby seemed interested in checking us out - usually they bolt away as soon as they see us coming.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Different Kind of Spring

Purple coral pea - first time I have seen this on our place, and it's quite a big, sturdy bush. It's interesting to see what a difference the constant rain over the past 18 months has made. Plants such as this have emerged, and others, such as the lace flower, seem to have almost disappeared.

Another new one I haven't seen before, growing in the middle of the track. A very bright red - hard to miss. Running Postman!

Creeping Bossiaea, which has spread considerably.

Everywhere we walk, there are literally huge beds of these tiny Ivy-Leafed Violets. In the past there have been plants here and there. Now it has erupted into a virtual ground cover plant.
Again, on the other hand, the Blue Pincushions are hardly to be seen.

And of course the bracken continues to thrive and grow, in some places above my head. I'd like to cut the lot down, but also recognise that it creates cover for small animals as well as havens for finches and wrens.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Winter Notes

I haven't posted for a while - it's been so wet and gloomy that I've hardly taken a photo worth sharing! But now have a few that were interesting (to me, anyway). The wombat has been very busy and we find plenty of diggings every weekend, along with poo markers. In this case, it managed a very neat line along the track! Couldn't resist a photo.

The rain brings with it a mass of moss, mostly on the ground but on logs, too. Not much in the way of fungi yet, probably because it's not warm enough.

This was hanging from one of the water tanks and caught my eye today. A tidy little place to hang some eggs? Or a different kind of cocoon? What might have constructed this?

As you can see, when we turned it around, the leaf is neatly sealed along its length. That wouldn't be easy to do with a brittle, dry gum leaf!
All thoughts from you on what might be inside are welcome.

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