Saturday, July 28, 2007

Small things.

I've been pottering about the garden, taking advantage of my camera's lovely macro facility. I know I keep banging on about Lomandra obliqua, but it just captivates me. Click on these images to see larger versions--they look much better big.

Viola hederacea

And what better way to celebrate my new job with the bryophytes than to take a photo of moss?

This moss is growing on the rocks above the pond. And speaking of the pond, take a look at what we got up to today! (If you've a burning desire to learn how to glue PVC sheeting to fibreglass--and let's be honest, who doesn't?--it's very much in your interests to read it.)

There are more photos of small things on my website.

Ringtail Possum Drey

I took Bob's advice, and constructed further accommodation for the local ringtails....

Thanks, Bob!

I'll let you know as soon as someone moves in.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Further Agapanthus Massacres

Oh, it's so satisfying to fill up the green waste wheelie bin with bloody agapanthus!

Today I planted on the escarpment on the high side of the front garden:

Prostanthera rotundifolia

Leptospermum "Cardwell"
Banksia oblongifolia
Grevillea longifolia

I'm beginning to itch for spring.

Brown Cuckoo Dove

This beautiful female Brown Cuckoo Dove (Macropygia amboinensis) was hanging out outside our sunroom this morning, clearly deeply fascinated by us. It was remarkably lacking in fear when I took these photos. According to my Simpson and Day Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, its habitat is rainforests, forest margins and regrowth thickets along the east coast of Australia.

I'm thinking I'll have to start a section on my website about the birds we have visiting. At least a census, but with as many photos as I can take. Pretty much every week I see a species I've never encountered before, ranging from wonga pigeons to tiny spotted pardalotes. Eek. I'm turning into a twitcher.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

'O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!' She chortled in her joy.

I just got great news---I've been offered the job I'd applied for at the Herbarium, working on bryophyte data for Australia's Virtual Herbarium! It starts early August, three days a week.

It's been such a dream of mine to work at the Herbarium, since I did the Internship there. That, and the part time science degree.... Excuse me while I do a few handstands.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Plant Science Internship Website Update

Well, if this Wahlenbergia communis flower doesn't get your juices running, frankly, nothing will.

Isn't it a stunner? This is one of the photos on my updated Plant Science Internship pages. I've added a section on our Mount Annan Botanic Gardens field trip. Hope you'll take a look.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Flora Rolecall

Many of the plants I've put in since we moved here have died or failed to thrive. There are a few reasons for this: the dogs wee on them; the huge downpours we've had have drowned the smaller tube-stock plants; and my dear friends, the rock wallabies, have been having a banquet.

As a result, I've had to take firm action, fencing off some garden beds and putting protection around some young shrubs and saplings. Not pretty, but I hope it'll help deter the mammals. (Why don't they kill the bloody agapanthus, I ask myself.)

The fenced-off beds have a few additions, mainly ground-covers:

Rhodanthe anthemoides
Dampiera diversifolia

Scaevola humilis

Dryandra nivea

Hibbertia vestita
(My spell check just suggested that should be "libertine transvestite", by the way. Novel.)
Chrysocephalum apiculatum
Crowea exalta

Chorizema cordatum x varium

You can see the poor old Corymbia in the foreground, with all its soft new growth chewed off. I don't think there'll be flowers this year.

Elsewhere in the garden I've planted:

Melaleuca bracteata
Eucalyptus cladocalyx

Cassinia denticulatum

Podocarpus spinulosa

Acacia floribunda
Stenocarpus sinuata
Syzygium australe

Some of these will grow to very large trees, and no, they're not near the house!

I've removed the rampant fish-bone fern from the fernery by the side of the house and put in a few other indigenous ferns:

Asplenium bulbifera (Hen and Chicken Fern)
Adiantum aethiopicum (Common Maidenhair) (Or, as the spell check would have it, "Quantum Ethiopian".)
Doodia aspera (Prickly Rasp Fern)
Cyathea australis (Tree Fern)

Erosion is a bit of an issue around the pond at this point, so I hope some of the plants I've put on the pond banks will help with that.

Asplenium australasicum (Birds Nest Fern)
Myoporum parvifolium
Viola hederacea (Ivy-Leafed Violet--almost a weed around here, but it's great for stabilising soil)
Lomandra confertifolia
Doodia aspera
Doryanthes excelsa
Baloskion tetraphyllum subsp. tetraphyllum (still in pots)
Gleichenia dicarpa

The latter, also known as Pouched Coral Fern and Tangle Fern, grows in a lot of the garden and in the adjacent park. It's so pretty and delicate, I really want to encourage it.

This is Lomandra obliqua, which is growing over the rocks above the ponds.

Finally, I came upon this, growing on the sandstone shelf above the fernery. I don't know what it is, but it certainly seems to be insectivorous. I'll send photos off to the Herbarium next week to get an ID, but in the meantime if anyone knows, please, post!

Who am I?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Oh, my apologies, Pseudocheirus peregrinus.

This afternoon, I was watering the plants on my front verandah, and noticed that this Acalypha reptans (pink cats-tail) was looking a little sad. Half dead in fact....

But I thought I'd try to revive it with some water, and out leapt an exceedingly indignant ringtail possum! It stared at me from the branch behind for a few moments, then darted up onto the roof.

So I looked at the other side of the hanging basket and found its nest, beautifully constructed from various plants. It was probably very cosy until I drenched it.

Hopefully, the possum will return once its home dries out. The Acalypha won't be getting any more water, so its days are numbered. I didn't get a photo given the possum's clear desire to run away, but here's one from the Australian Museum of a relative.