Thursday, April 22, 2010


It was autumn for just a few days.

I don't even know the proper names for the most ordinary of the fungi.

*stops being helpless and looks on the internet*

Field Mushroom (Agaricus campestris)

Short and Sweet ...

... if that was autumn, it was very nice, thanks , but too short.

28C here right now and heading for 30C, according to the forecasters.

That which was soft and damp underfoot yesterday is crunching today.

I think I won't light my little covered (and so VERY ) dry patches of bush until I return from New Zealand.

I am heading off tomorrow morning for some time with our two "plant and food" researchers.
While there I will be figuring a way to proceed with this blog.
I have photos of many birds and plants and reviewing them will give me something to do when I am indoors.

I'll try writing about my time there on my "NanaJude's Journal" for the grandkids.
I let that slide while they were without internet access ... no more. :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Classic Autumn Days

Our weather has moved from warm-to-hot (and dry) to cool and cloudy, with sunshine and showers taking turns.

The change is very welcome.

About a month ago we had our first good rain of the season, 40mm, which prompted new growth on everything.

Blossoms always catch my eye, but it is great to see the fresh new foliage on the trees and even the smaller things like the Yacca, or Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea semiplana ssp semiplana) trees and theTrigger Plants (Stylidium graminifolium) .

Above is a general view of the Oyster Bay Pines (Callitris rhomboidea) area and below is detail of their foliage, a lovely soft texture and colour.

Tiny things are difficult to spot with so much active growth underfoot, as well as so many years of accumulated leaf litter. However ...yesterday I found a further 11 Parsons Bands Orchids in bloom.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Parsons Bands" or "Autumn Rabbit" Orchid

Yesterday I found several tiny terrestrial orchids, known as Parsons Bands, flowering beneath the Oyster Bay pines (Callitris rhomboidea).

The 8 flowers I saw were all less than 2cm across and stood between 10 and 15cm tall.

These are generally found in this district from April through May, according to Mr Bob Bates, who has been helping me learn about them and has undertaken a survey of plants on the block.

More information here, on South Australia's online "herbarium" fact sheets.

Here it is :)

I live on a small patch of scrub in the Adelaide Hills district of South Australia.

Because of its shape and the general "poorness" of it (dry and exposed), the ridge it occupies above Aldgate Creek was not considered worth fencing for grazing.
As a direct result, it retains much of the original vegetation.

Here is an aerial view of the entire block.

It is a long, narrow and triangular, bounded on the two long sides by made roads and on the third by a dry stone wall built by the neighbour.

North is to the right.

Having lived here for 16 months now, I am beginning to appreciate the enormous variety of plant and animal life - and my unreliable memory.

Those two factors have me determined to learn to record the life on this little patch of scrub as accurately as I can, if not as comprehensively as a biologist might.

It is very much a "learn as I go" project, but anything has to be better than what has happened to date, which has been very much occasional emails to friends accompanied by a photo and statements like, "I think I saw this much earlier last year" or "I think this orchid is new to me" and then, on looking back through photos, finding that I had actually photographed it last Autumn and then forgotten it.

This blog is for me and my education and enjoyment, but if others should find it and enjoy it too, that would be a bonus.
So, to any who drop by, a hearty welcome.