Monday, 17 September 2007

Granny's bonnets among the weeds

Brian, John and Phil joined me in the hunt for Geraldton carnation weeds on Sunday. Rain was forecast but didn't happen. Lots of orchids and other wildflowers were out, including the granny's bonnets (Isotropis cuneifolia) see photo below.

Photo: Kerri Boase-Jelinek

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Monday, 10 September 2007

Committee Meeting Spring '07

Spring is always glorious in Shenton Bushland - and this year we have had a good winter rainfall, so there are lots of wildflowers out. These spider orchids are just coming out now, and are quite difficult to see unless you look closely.

Unfortunately, the weeds have flourished also. John, Brian and myself soon found ourselves deep in the prickly thickett of hakea and grevillea near the western boundary of the bushland where the Geraldton carnation weeds (Euphorbia calycina) is at its worst.

At 4pm we adjourned to 'the shed' where we were joined by Phil who helped us demolish Kerri's muffins while we mulled over the issues of managing the bushland.

Among other things, we decided that the nut and date muffins needed more work - they were somewhat bitter - but the banana and kiwi-fruit muffins were absolutely delicious.

We allocated tasks for the up-coming Bush to Beach walk (30th September), and I need to produce maps and walk instructions. Also need to contact the City of Nedlands to see what is happening now that Steve (our bushcare officer) has left.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Bushland Activities - Sunday 2nd September

Spring has arrived in Shenton Bushland.

Brian and I were working in Shenton Bushland today. We came across lots of Leafy Sundew (Drosera stolonifera). The sticky droplets glistened in the sun. I couldn't resist taking a photo. Looking at the photo later, I discovered lots of (out of focus) black shapes of insects stuck in the foliage of the plant. Looking up my reference (The Bushland Plants of Kings Park, Western Australia, by Eleanor Bennett, and Patrica Dundas, 1988) I discover that Drosera plants rely on trapped insects to supplement the meagre diet supplied by Western Australia's impoverished soils. The sticky droplets catch unwary insects, and then dissolve the soft parts of the insect, allowing the plant to absorb its nutrients.

We also came across some Blue Lechanaultia (Lechanaultia biloba). This plant is not native to Shenton Bushland, but was introduced with gravel brought in for the Prisoner of War transfer station built in this bushland during WWII. This plant is all that remains of that time, other than a few mounds left when the camp was bulldozed.

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