Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Swift Moths swarm to porch light, after first decent rain in a month

Tonight many Swift Moths (Oxycanus dirempta) swarmed to my porch light, after the first decent rain in a month.

This brightly coloured specimen liked me enough
to cling to my hand.
Their fondness for appearing in large numbers is reported in the literature for this species - as well as having been repeatedly commented upon in this Blog.
Ted Edwards has written a few notes about this, in the Atlas of Living Australia entry which is linked.

"..... when there are good autumn rains they emerge with the first rain after about 5 April in large numbers. So precisely is their emergence timed with rain that hundreds may be seen on that wet night and almost none before or after." Ted Edwards. CSIRO ANIC.

These are just a few of the moths which had been attracted to my front Porch light earlier on in the night,

You can see more photos of them at this album on my Facebook page.
The album is "Open", meaning you do not need to sign up for anything to view my images.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A week in the bush, south from Bega, NSW.

This link takes you to a Facebook album, which is "open" and one does not have to sign up to anything to view the photos.

Here are a few images to be going on with.

Grey Kangaroo standing his ground
at Panboola Wetland Reserve.

A Honey Bee loading its legs with orange-coloured pollen
from a Tree Dahlia flower.

Mt Imlay seen from Eden Wharf.

A plate of Red Pine Mushrooms prepared for cooking.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Gang-gang from Mt Rae flies to Canberra

 Mark Selmes from Mt Rae Forest is also known as Cranky Koala, and in this disguise, the cranky Gang-gang Cockatoo. Why is he always cranky? Because his forest home is constantly being threatened by firewood logging, under the guise of Private Native Forestry.

Regular readers will be aware of the many faces of Mark Selmes, otherwise known as Cranky Koala, famous Hunger Striker of Macquarie Street. Sydney, and resident of Mt Rae Forest; These people are also the scourge of firewood loggers, and more recently, supporters of the Laird State Forest opponents of Maules Creek Coal Miner, Whitehaven Coal. Recently he joined the Whoop-whoop riders from the Liverpool Plains

Mark Selmes joined the
Whoop-Whoop ride as it went past
Crookwell, NSW.

Mark lives in Mt Rae Forest, north from Goulburn and west from Taralga. 

I have written about Mark's patch of bush before, mostly because his block

is home to the rare and endangered Diuris equalis Orchid.

Diuris aequalis at Mt Rae.

Regular readers will know that Tim TheYowieMan, a  correspondent from the Canberra Times, is a keen supporter of natural wildlife and on occasions, natural eccentrics. He has written about me (and the Stinkhorn Fungi)  and now Mark Selmes.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Sasanqua Camellias starting, and Magnolias doing their "off-season" thing

The Garden is looking quite happy at present (apart from the weeds which are thriving, but i ignore them).

The Camellias were playing host to a pair of King Parrots a few days ago - which is always nice to see.
Female King Parrot eating seeds of
a Reticulata Camellia
just outside my bathroom window.
Male King Parrot on ground
also eating Camellia seeds
(Sorry about the grainy image - taken through window)

 Anyway, the new season Camellia flowers are looking good now.

The Sasanqua Camellias (a very generalised term these days, given their propensity to hybridise) are looking good. This is Camellia "Chansonette" (which is sometimes classed as Camellia hiemalis or one of the "Snow Camellias")

Camellia hiemalis "chansonette"
It is a very free-flowering plant
and the earliest of these Camellias to flower, for me.

This next one is similar, but unfortunately I cannot find its recorded name.
This one is darker and brighter than Chansonette.
It is a semi-double and not a formal flower.
The leaves look right for a Sasanqua.

The next is an un-named variety, as far as I  know.
The centre of the flower is a bit untidy, but it flowers happily for me, so I reward it with space in my Camellia garden.
An un-named Camellia (as far as I know)
A nice cheery free-flowering plant.

Here is a lovely white flowering Sasanqua with a delicious sweet scent.
To my nose its scent is reminiscent of the scent of Lemon flowers.
I believe it is called "Setsugekka".
Camellia sasanqua "setsugekka"

And now we come to the lovely "out-of-season" flowers of the pink Magnolia soulangeana. Please don't hold me to "brand" name on these, for once again, Magnolias have been cross-bred like crazy, and so many varietal names are simply made up and not at all reliable.

I like these Magnolia buds at this time of year, because I confess to not liking Magnolias flowering on bare stems in winter/spring. partly because they are subject to front burn, and also the colours look better (to me) when surrounded by foliage.

Magnolia x soulangeana  bud
The King Parrots and Rosellas are fond of nibbling the flowers, but that's OK with me, as the birds are at least as beautiful as the flowers.