Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Saturday, December 06, 2008

A day at Sutton Forest

I have already mentioned that Liz and Wayne from Watermark Australia visited with Bernie, Kim and myself the other day. In fact we all met at Kim and Peter's property at Sutton Forest.

One of the advantages of that is that we could go out and stroll around the property, and inspect Kim's wonderful veggie garden, and her flower garden. This provided a very useful and relaxing interlude.
Asiatic Lilium (hybrid)
The same plant - single flower
One of Kim's David Austin Roses
This is a fine example of the "old-gold" coloured Graham Thomas
This image which I published before, is just to remind you that Kim really does grow vegetables amongst her Roses. Stunning red and green lettuces.
This is a favourite plant of mine, which my Mother absolutely adored. It makes a splendid cut flower. It is the Jacobean Lily, which is a bit of a misnomer. It is Sprekelia formosissima. These plants originate from Mexico, but are a popular garden flower, amongst discerning gardeners.

Life and Death in the Garden, at Sutton Forest.

Lest you think I have gone all soft, amongst Kim's beautiful flowers, here are a couple of scenes which caught my eye while wandering around there.

A Bull Ant (Myrmecia sp) was attempting to drag a large wood grub into its nest (to feed its young). However, a group of very hostile smaller ants overpowered the much larger ant, and made it give up its prey. (Click to enlarge).
Quite remarkable when you think about the relative size and power of these two species of ants. The power of numbers won out. No wonder social anthropologists are fascinated by the workings of ant colonies.

Later on in our walk, over at the cattle yards, I found this dead small brown beetle. It had been caught in a spiders web, and it died with its wings still in flying position. This shows clearly the manner in which Beetles fly, by lifting their hard shelled wings (elytra) (the two brown wings which cover their back when not flying) so as to allow the lower wings to do the flapping. The soft membraneous wings are much longer than the brown elantra, so presumably those soft wings are folded in some manner, when not flying.


Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I like dead grubs, those brown beetles drive us nuts in Oklahoma in the summer. The swarm any light and buzz around and land on all of us. We don't like them much. I grow 'Graham Thomas' and like it very much.~~Dee

mick said...

I love the Jacobean lilies which I got many years ago from my aunt. I have taken them with me through a number of moves. They require very little care and give splendid flowers.

Duncan said...

Bigger is not always better Denis, In a similar vein, two Little Ravens dropped into the courtyard to take an apple core I'd put there for the bowerbird, and one of the Willie Wagtails put them both to flight, without the apple.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Dee
I take it that you prefer a dead grub to a live one. Understandable, from a gardener's point of view.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick and Duncan. Thanks
Mick, I was surprised that Jacobean Lilies do well where you are, but then remembered they are sub-tropical plants naturally. So it makes sense.
Duncan. Yes size is not always the answer. What's that quote? "Its not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog". Willies certainly have that characteristic.