Banksia littoralis

Swamp Banksia grows in and around wetlands, lakes and rivers throughout the Swan Coastal Plain and the Darling Range. It’s common at Lake Gwelup. Some have been planted in revegetation projects eg. along the boardwalk. Others are original vegetation, like this enormous tree on the east side of the lake which is countless years old.

looking up to Banksia littoralis

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Hardenbergia comptoniana

Now that Cockies Tongues is flowering, Hardenbergia comptoniana follows close behind and paints the winter bushland purple. I got home from camping in Cue to find the Hardenbergia that climbs up my garden fence covered in blooms and bees a-buzzing with nectar drinking.

Hardenbergia comptoniana flowers in my garden

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mulga country

I spent last week camping in the arid inland mulga country at Cue in outback Western Australia, 650km north east of Perth. It’s a beautiful red dirt landscape of low scrub dominated by Acacia with many Eremophila species.

a breakaway southeast of Cue township

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at the lake

If I go to the lake without a camera, I see with more clarity, filing pictures in my mind that I can’t share, but capturing everything with crisp lucidity.

The clear blue expanse above, wrapping my shoulders in the afternoon kiss of winter sun. Endless glassy depths, smooth and tranquil in their watery glory.

The flooded gum reflected in rising waters, encircling a majestic trunk. Seedlings marching toward inundation at the lake’s edge. Girding their roots to withstand the long dry summer, only a memory in these chilled and waterlogged months.

The click and chatter of random frogs, interloping on their diurnal neighbours, waiting for sundown to fully awake a crescendo of song.

A swan’s black arch repeated in reverse of graceful symmetry, gliding smooth and imperceptible. A whistling kite grazing silent loops on a current far from the water’s opaque lacquer.

My brain remembers this idyll by noticing more, a wide vista of serenity.

reflection of flooded gum

These photos were taken another day under cloudy skies, but when the water was as glassy smooth.

greywater in the garden

I have a greywater hose running from the washing machine to the garden so I can reuse the washing water on the vegies. Today the newly sprouted garlic needed a drink.


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frog life

frog in the pond

The motorbike frog tadpoles (Litoria moorei) in my garden pond have all metamorphosed into frogs, sadly the cannibal tradition continues.

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autumn rain

running free at the lake

Overnight on Friday Perth had 18mm of rain and the mud island in the middle of Lake Gwelup is no more. The waters are rising with this good start to winter.

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time to plant garlic

garlic I grew in my garden

Now’s the time to plant garlic in your garden (in Australia). I blogged about how to grow garlic a few years ago:

I planted garlic cloves in late April and they are just showing their first leaves. April is the best time to plant garlic but it can be planted until mid June when the soil temperature cools…

Read more: Garlic from the Garden

garlic plants in my garden


water level through the seasons

The dog helps me take photos when we pass the water level markers at Lake Gwelup.

In autumn March 2015 the water is close to its lowest point. Two birds sit on a partially submerged log next to the furthest marker. (Click to enlarge.) The first marker is hidden behind the gum tree.

water level markers at the end of summer

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karst landscapes

Threlkeldia diffusa growing in limestone

Karst landscapes develop when there’s limestone near the surface and lots of groundwater movement. Perth has both. Over time underground water works on the soluble limestone to excavate caves and sinkholes. Yanchep National Park has limestone caves and I grew up playing in the “pirate” caves at Trigg Beach.

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