Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Friday, June 01, 2007

Some things disappear - to be replaced by others

Last week I photographed a new Greenhood Orchid bud, just opening. I went back today, but it had disappeared. Things which live in the bush appear to like to eat Greenhoods. I have seen flowers apparently eaten by slugs or snails.
Bunochilus longifolius
Today there were numerous shoots of the Long-leaved Greenhood chewed by either wombats or wallabies, it seemed.

This one had a nice tall stem with one open flower, another about to open, and a series of buds on top, yet to open.

Note the lateral sepals (which in the species below form the "points" or "ears"). Here they are deflexed (downward pointing), touching the stem. That leaves the underneath part of the hood open - to facilitate pollination.

Diplodium grandiflorum
This is the Cobra Greenhood, a large-flowered Greenhood, with a medium tall stem, with several "cauline" leaves (leaves along the stem).
These plants are so photogenic that I end up lying flat on the ground photographing them in profile, to get a shot of the distinctive "tongue" inside the flower.

Lycoperdon pyriforme - from side and top

But while some things disappear, others appear. I have been going back to this area since March, and the fungi have changed over, several times. Today I was surprised to find these Puffballs. This one has a Latin name which means pear-shaped, for fairly obvious reasons.
This is mass of fungal material (what one would think of as "roots" if they were plants), on the deep leaf litter in a perpetually damp area in a creek bed - underneath a thicket of Melaleuca squarrosa plants.
I will keep monitoring this area, and see what turns up here, in due course. This mass of hyphae (if that's what they are called) is more than 3 metres long, spreading around the base of many, many Melaleuca plant stems.

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