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I've been a Canberran since moving here from Adelaide on the first day of 1980. I now live in suburban Duffy with my partner Louise Maher, ABC 666 radio and on-line journalist. Among my early memories is following Sleepy Lizards (Shinglebacks) around the paddocks north of Adelaide, guarded by the faithful bull terrier. I have always been passionate about the natural world, trying to understand how it works, how the nature of Australia came to be, and sharing those understandings. My especial passions are birds, orchids and mammals. For much of my life I have been a full-time naturalist, running bush tours, writing books etc, doing consultancies, presenting a regular radio slot on local ABC, chairing a government environment advisory committee and running adult education classes. Recently I have eased back somewhat, but am still writing, teaching, doing some radio work and running overseas tours - as part of my fascination with our Gondwanan origins I've been running tours to South America for the past decade. I was awarded the Australian Plants Society Award in 2001 and the Australian Natural History Medallion in 2006, both for services to education and conservation. In January 2018 I was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for 'service to conservation and the environment'.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Spring Wildflowers (3)

Unexpectedly I had an hour to spare yesterday between engagements near Black Mountain (dry eucalypt forest near the centre of Canberra) so I did a short walk near the summit. In particular I wanted to see if the spectacular Golden Pomaderris were flowering, and I was duly rewarded. Most Pomaderris have relatively inconspicuous flowers, white or greenish; moreover they tend to live (around here at least) in wet mountain gullies. This one, Pomaderris intermedia, defies both those generalisations. In fact I strongly suspect that many people, understandably, mistake it for wattle from a distance.

Another welcome addition to the spring celebrations is Nodding Blue Lily, Stypandra glauca, one of the first of the forest lilies to appear here.

The last two I want to share are both much less conspicuous, as is the wont of the family Euphorbiaceae, known here best for weeds such as Castor Oil Bush and the spurges. (An exception is the coastal Wedding Bush, in being both native and spectacular, which I featured recently under Nowra Flowering.) The flowers of both these following species are tiny, only millimetres across. 

Thyme Spurge, Phyllanthus hirtellus, above and below.
Small Poranthera, Poranthera microphylla.
I think there can be as much satisfaction - and beauty - in these tiny and oft overlooked species, as in their flashier neighbours.

Plenty more to come in this series, as October looms!

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