About Me

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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.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Spring Wildflowers (4)

This morning we paid another too-quick visit to Black Mountain - part of Canberra Nature Park, dry eucalypt forest, overlooking the centre of the national capital - and October is living up to its reputation as the peak flowering month here, although recent late frosts have dampened the enthusiasm of the herbs, including orchids. Here is a sample of what's on offer now; see postings 1, 2 and 3 for earlier samplings, and I don't repeat ones I reported earlier. I'll leave my favourite pic of the day until last!
Silver Tea-tree, Leptospermum multicaule, a low sprawling shrub which produces
a superb massed flowering - it's just beginning.

Slender Oxalis, Oxalis exilis; there has been debate about whether this is a
native species, but the current feeling is that it is.

a Bush Pea, Pultenea procumbens.

Candles, Stackhousia monogyna; John Stackhouse was an early 19th century
Cornish seaweed specialist! (Please don't ask me the connection...)
Trigger Plant, Stylidium graminifolium; the bent-back columns will whip over
when an insect touches the sensitive triggers on the flower tube, delivering or
collecting pollen. Full story another day - it's a beauty!
Black Mountain Donkey Orchid, Diuris nigromontana; believed to be endemic to the Australian Capital Territory,
and just to a few hills near the city, though here it is abundant. nigromontana is of course Latin for Black Mountain!

Musky Caps Stegostyla moschata, one of several superficially very similar
white finger-orchids (also called Caladenia).
Waxlip Orchid (also known as Parson-in-the-Pulpit) Glossodia major; a favourite of mine,which can form huge
colonies, but I do like the Salticid (Jumping Spider) lurking on the petal waiting for an unwary pollinator.
There will certainly be at least a couple more in this series.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am not in a position to view this web site properly on firefox I think there's a problem.

Ian Fraser said...

Hi and thanks for the feedback (for some reason your comment was consigned to Spam and I've only just seen it). No-one else has mentioned this problem, and I use Firefox myself; I'm no computer whizz, but perhaps you have an older version of Firefox? Sorry I can't help beyond that.