Monday, 29 September 2014

Wilsons Promontory

Australia has many magnificent national parks, ranging from tropical rainforest and the coral cays of Capricornia I shared previously (click here), to the harsh beauty of the Outback. Wilsons Promontory in Victoria, affectionately known as the Prom, is the southernmost national park on the Australian mainland and a particular favourite of mine.
When my English friend, Jayne, visited last year we hoped to camp at least overnight to explore this national treasure with my cousins, Trish and Keith. Unfortunately, the weather forecasts were ominous, so we settled on a day trip and a walk around one of the headlands to nearby Little Oberon Bay.  The bad weather held off and, as you can see, we enjoyed a marvellous walk in a very special place.
View of neighbouring islands from the road into the Prom

Tea tree and perhaps a kind of myrtle in flower

Red Wattle Bird at the Tidal River general store - the starting point for our walk

My companions sallying forth

Norman Bay

Magnificent Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos

And they're off..

Little Oberon Bay

Some of the beautiful wildflowers - this is a Scaevola or Fan Flower


Even in Paradise, there is a reminder that Nature is not always so benign.

These birds are Short-tailed Shearwaters, known as Mutton birds. Every year they migrate the length of the globe from Siberia to the south of Australia to breed, covering 15,000 km in 6 weeks. Many of the exhausted and starving birds fail to reach their final destination, and last year seemed to be especially tough.  What made it even more poignant for me was that these birds had made so very far, against all odds, to fail at the finish line.


Black Wing Gull - "I'm ready for my close up, Mr De Mille."

"...or is this my best side?"


Back to Norman Bay

Tidal River

As we headed away from the coast, Wilsons Prom still had more to share.

We stopped to photograph a pair of emus

But we weren't the only audience

The surrounding trees were full of birds

Corellas, and Pink and Grey Galahs

Simply stunning

It's almost 12 months now since our visit to The Prom.  After having been so remiss with my posts  this year, I thought about just picking up from this Spring, but I really think The Prom is worth sharing.  Hope you agree!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Garden heroes

It is a sign of the times - but hopefully only temporary - to see that I have only managed 9 posts so far this year, when I used to sometimes post that many in a month. But the blog is not all that has been neglected of late, so today I embarked on the a big tidy up in the garden. I don't think it's too late to get it looking prettier in time for Spring, but it was very much left to its own devices over Winter, our dry season. 

Thank heavens for the bromeliads.  What troopers they are, soldiering bravely on and producing their extraordinary flowers, many of which last for months, despite the neglect.

This is the same bromeliad as the previous photos but a little earlier, before the flowers had emerged.

These snorkel-like buds emerging from the foliage belong to one of my favourites.

The bloom revealed - I love this brilliant colour scheme of intense blue and red and had a great display this year.

Tiny mauve, peach and pink flowers on the same bloom

I secured this bromeliad with burgundy foliage to a tree branch to displaying the hanging flowers.

Besides being very prickly, the leaves of this bromeliad are patterned on the underside, which is unusual. 

This brom is one of my brother Tony's that I am coveting - such a beautiful blue.

Another of Tony's that I recently added to my collection.

There is two-way traffic between Tony and me - this is a Guzmania wittmarkii that I gave him.

Another beautiful, not-yet-in-flower Guzmania that has had each and every leaf shortened by mysterious creatures.

Mmmm -- butter wouldn't melt in their mouths!

This and the bloom below are the two most recent additions to my bromeliad collection, picked up at the markets last Sunday. This stunner is orange and charcoal (not as blue as photographed).

The second of my purchases from last week - this one has variegated foliage. Both, I think, are Bilbergias.

Finally, not a bromeliad, but my King Orchid, Dendorobium speciosum, which always delights me with its spring flowers despite being forgotten for much of the year in the top of my Poinciana.  I shared some wonderful specimens of this in my post on the Australian Native Orchid Exhibition last year.  Just click orchids  to visit.



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