Normally placid bobtail, prepared to defend her breakfast of Koma (Patersonia).
Day 7 Koma (Patersonia) and the Hungry Blue Tongue
I’d already chosen Koma ( Noongar name for Patersonia occidentalis, purple flag, morning iris) for today’s flower, as the plant I was feeling most attuned to on my daily walk. There’s so many flies about I was fascinated by the pollinators, mainly hoverflies, on the 3 petalled Koma flowers.
Lizards are my favourite, so I stopped to say “Hi” to this local resident who lives high on the ridge. Her diet obviously includes Koma flowers. The Noongar name for this bobtail is Youern.
Circle of life, as a little while earlier , I’d come across the predigested remains of Lowlands Skinks.
On sunny mornings in Lowlands Coastal Reserve, Koma’s flower petals open the widest, making the most of early rising and pollinators, as well as adding lots of colour to my bushwalk. City of Albany uses blue Koma and pink Pimelia to great effect for mass plantings on Irrerup (Mt Adelaide).
Noongar children made whistles out of Koma buds, and the straplike leaves are a useful weaving resource. Other Aboriginal uses of this plant include the use of its crushed stem as a fixative in ochre production. Keeps the ochre stronger in colour for body painting.
Youern (bobtail) are one of the totems of the Bilya clan of the Wadjuk people of the Noongar nation
Its only 5 kilometres to the end of our road and the edge of the world. The next land further south is Antarctica. First off though I went east towards the huddle of rocks I call the Grandmother Rocks and packed my lunch. The simple toasted sandwich of parmesan cheese, my home grown cherry tomatoes and fresh basil was delicious, tasting just like a margarita pizza!
I recorded my walk on my Garmin inreach explorer GPS, but I uploaded the GPX file to the All Trails website to make the map.
The Easter bunny orchids are now flowering in Lowlands Coastal Reserve, right on cue. These ones were by the side of the Bibbulmun track less than a kilometre west of Tennesse South Road
It is a steep climb back up the hill. The climb is made pleasant as you can avoid the 4wd track, and instead carefully and slowly pick your way next to the community reveg. The knot grass in the reveg is of course thriving, and some acacias are hanging in there.
At the Deep, the rocks seem to me to have a more masculine energy, and the ocean was certainly more dynamic here.
The community reveg is going well , especially the Banksia praemorsa, who use their nodular mycorrhizal roots to extract what nutrients they can from the sand
Bum Rock is less than 3 km from our house, but it was such a beautiful day, and visiting the community reveg is so heart warming, that it was late afternoon before I returned home. The first photo is the “silent sentry” at Bum Rock, the second photo is the Granny Rocks, such a feminine feel at this spot , the third photo is the amazingly successful community reveg of Banksia praemorsa at one of the blocked off former 4wd tracks to Bum Rock.
Surf was quite wild and the swell was big, so that Bum Rock seemed to be having a bidet-douche style spray!
Arrrived at Healing beach while it was still overcast, then by the time I got to Granny Rocks the sun was out. Surf was still wild though.
Bush tucker at Bum Rock included Rhagodia berry salt bush and pigface, and surprisingly, a short hedge of mallee-style marri hedging the track just above the first large granite
Returning by the reveg, I noticed that the acacias arent doing quite as well as the banksias, as some of the acacias with insect galls have died. But there are new self-seeded acacia seedlings appearing. The golden yellow new growth on the banksia praemorsa is eyecatching, as are the views from west to east!
Having such a beautiful affirmation on my calendar today encouraged me to go for a brekky picnic on my favourite granite rock overlooking Healing Beach. Weather is gorgeous, and surf is perfect. Thank you Nadene for the calendar.
Healing Beach is only a 20 minute walk from my house or a 10 minute stroll from Tennessee South Road.
From a distance
I recorded the stroll on my All Trails app so that you can walk there too, starting from South Tennessee Road
On the Western edge of Healing Beach, some Yondi skinks are making a home. They are still quite shy though, not like the crevice skinks in Ancestor Rock on the east side of Healing Beach. I saw the skinks this morning, but they saw me too and didnt stick around for me to take their photo. They left plenty tracks though. Pink pimelia are still flowering, one of my favourite plants as readers of my blog at “Medium” know https://lowlandsbeach.medium.com/pimelea-and-nostalgia-forauthentic-aussie-tacos-f4d1de09d860
It’s under a kilometre and a ten minute stroll from Tennessee South Road to Healing Beach
Any number of combos of fence line firebreaks , kangaroo trails, 4wd tracks and of course the iconic Bibbulmun track will take you to the glorious Healing Beach. today there were Kings skinks (yondi) in the rocks at the western end. there are also crevice skinks at the eastern end rocks
Day 28 Cryptostylis Ovata, a plant a day, Lowlands Coastal Reserve, 21 November 2020
A lonely male wasp looking for love, cannot resist this juicy orchid temptress, and mistaking her for a female wasp, enthusiastically grasps her and consummates his brief courtship, leaving behind a little sperm souvenir, and incidentally assisting pollination as he moves on to the next luscious female wasp pretender….Yes its true. Although the cast aside and ignored genuine female wasps can still reproduce asexually, they produce only males…and so the feedback loop carries on, the more male wasps, the better the pollination chances for the cryptostylis orchid. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/587532
Cryptostylis ovata orchids are pollinated solely by misguided Lissopimpla excelsa “orchid dupe” wasps. They are called “orchid dupe” wasps, because they are fooled into pollinating the orchid — they mistake the flower parts for a female wasp and then copulate with it. The orchid has evolved an alluring scent and colouring to trick the male wasp. So yes they are masters of sexual deception!
The slipper orchid (Cryptostylis ovata) has been flowering for a few weeks in Lowlands Coastal Reserve. Our Slipper orchids often continue to flower throughout the summer in our reserve, as each stalk can bear ten or more blooms, with one or two appearing at one time on each stalk. Unlike our other orchids, this one has large visible evergreen leaves throughout the year, making it one of the least elusive species, for our zealous orchid hunting enthusiasts.
Slipper orchids are not tuberous, but they do have fleshy roots. Our other orchid species, notably beak and sun orchids have large tubers and are Noongar bush tucker species.