Friday, December 28, 2007

Spring flowers, summer edition.

A few weeks ago, I posted photos of inflorescences of Banksia serrata and Ceratopetalum gummiferum from our garden, with the promise of updated images as they matured.

Here they are:

The small flowers within the banksia inflorescences are hugely attractive to local birds, particularly tiny pardalotes and wrens. In a few months, they'll have formed into follicles on the woody axis. They'll eventually open, releasing seed, but that process is much assisted by the heat of bushfire.

As you can see from the earlier photo of this plant, the flower has changed from white to red. In fact, the red "petals" are actually the bracts, which remain on the flower well after the petals have gone. The bushland here is dotted these flaming red trees, and are very much a part of a Sydney summer, hence the common name of Ceratopetalum gummiferum, New South Wales Christmas Bush.

Frog update: I've seen some tadpoles in the pond! Don't know what species, but I don't think they're Limnodynastes peronii (which is the frog I heard calling there recently) because its spawn is readily identifiable, floating in a mass on the water surface. I didn't see any spawn at all, which suggests it was submerged. I guess I'll just have to wait till they grow up to find out what they are. Deeply good.

STOP PRESS: The male Brush Turkey (Alectura lathami) who lives near us was just in the back garden, with a mate! I've posted this pic before, but here he is again. Just imagine him now: much the same, but with a big grin on his face. :)

Who's got a girlfriend, then?

I'll go and visit his mound soon. When she's laid her eggs, she'll bugger off and it'll be his job to tend the mound, maintaining it at the right temperature, till the eggs hatch. Then they're on their own.

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