What’s Bobtail been eating?

Go away…eating, says Bobby. Lowlands Reserve 31 October 2020

Normally placid bobtail, prepared to defend her breakfast of Koma (Patersonia).

Day 7 Koma (Patersonia) and the Hungry Blue Tongue

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Blue tongue with breakfast Koma petals in his mouth. Day 7 31 October 2020

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.

I’m a gentle flower eater , but dont disturb my breakfast. Lowlands ridge walk Halloween 31 October 2020
Hoverflies love the Patersonia, Lowlands Reserve 31 October 2020
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As its Halloween, here’s a photo of some predigested Lowlands skink remains, possible owl regurgitated. Photo 30/10/2020

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).

I havent heard of Koma being bush tucker for humans, but Youern (bobtail) obviously enjoys the flowers as a treat. Koma plants are also an occasional part of kangaroos diet. Research shows the Koma leaves contain unusual flavinoids. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031942200978816 .

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

Walks 26 March 2021 to 19 May 2021

26 March 2021 Southern Terminus to Parade Street https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/run-2021-03-26-18-45-32-b5c24ab

27 March 2021 Tennessee South Road to Shepherds Lagoon https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/20210327-tennessee-to-shepherds-lagoon-80f2f15

28 March Tennessee South to the eastern edge of Lowlands Beach https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/afternoon-hike-99c83c9–97?p=-1

29 March 2021 Tennessee South to Gilgie https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/20210329-tennessee-to-gilgie-ridge-detour-a4b4a77

30 March 2021 Hartmans to Perkins https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/hartman-s-to-perkins-figure-of-eight-with-scrambles-09a630e

31 March 2021 Torbay Road to Dingo Beach https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/karri-to-dingo-spirals-2d5951d

1 April 2021 Shelleys to Bornholm plus Lake William https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/20210401-shelleys-circle-with-side-trip-to-lake-williams-3812f9a

2 April 2021 Lake William plus Hartmans to Torbay hut https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/20210402-lake-william-and-hartmans-to-torbay-hut-e53a0a2

5 April 2021 Wilson Inlet Jetty to Pelican Point https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/20210405-jetty-to-lookout-wilsons-inlet-f7e2b2b

6 April 2021 Quarry to Quarry https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/20210406-fairy-hill-complete-quarry-to-quarry-3d191ef

7 April 2021 Healing Beach plus Fairy Hill https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/20210407-fairy-hill-and-healing-beach-loop-f64b246

8 April 2021 Muttonbird Loop https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/20210408-muttonbird-to-torbay-inlet-plus-floodgates-6e3b0bf

21 April 2021 Muttonbird to Torbay (with Caralynn)

24 and 25 April 2021 Lowlands to Ocean Beach (with Caralynn) https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/20210425-lowlands-to-denmark-653ac11

26 April 2021 Muttonbird quick loop https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/20210426-muttonburd-quick-loop-46e0eae

28 April 2021 Quick loop to Healing Beach https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/mumma-skink-had-twins-06c284d

29 April 2021 Parade Street to Princess Royal Drive https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/secret-wetland-85353d3

10 May 2021 Sandpatch steps to Sandpatch Hut https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/afternoon-walk-197cec1–12

11 May 2021 Sandpatch to Windmill 8 https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/afternoon-walk-0d27688–13

13 May 2021 Shelleys to West Cape Howe https://www.alltrails.com/members/lowlands-beach/maps?b_tl_lat=-34.11725650266695&b_tl_lng=115.61775292831055&b_br_lat=-35.27536828275072&b_br_lng=118.313207071688

14 May 2021 Woolstores to Bayview https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/after-dance-class-1819020

15 May 2021 Windmill 8 to Muttonbird https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/windmill-eight-to-muttonbird-hut-dab1263

16 May 2021 Shelleys to Shepherds Lagoon https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/shelleys-look-out-to-bornholm-beach-bench-view-735143e

17 May 2021 Shelleys to Dingos https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/shelleys-to-dingo-beach-a67f096

18 May 2021 Bayview to Sandpatch https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/sand-patch-fire-resilience-0b794a0

Grandmother Rocks and The Deep at the Edge of the World at the End of our Road. Easter Bunny Orchid time!

the end of our road

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.


Sitting a respectful distance from the Grandmother Rocks huddle, eating my cheese tomato and basil toasty and my macadamia, pepitas and choc peanuts and raisins before the chocolate melts
The Grandmother Rocks are content with their own company. On a warm sunny day, when there is only a light wind from the south west, they afford a warm and comfy space to hang out.
Saying goodbye to the Nannas rocks, I returned westwards, to make my way to the dramatic rock formations at The Deep

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

Rocks at The Deep, where I sat and watched the wave action.

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

The Banksia praemorsa in the reveg is doing well
The return trip home has interesting views of “Nipple Hill” , which due to its conical shape looks quite distinctive and recognisable from all aspects
And of course the views of Healing Beach, Lowlands Beach and Bornholm Beach are unsurpassed on the way home

Bum Rock and the Granny Rocks, 24 March 2021

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.

Map produced using All Trails website, but using the gpx file produced on my Garmin inReach Explorer GPS. 3 km to the Granny Rocks, then another extra kilometre to Bum Rock, making it a 7 km round trip

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!

Brekky Walk = Happy Inner Child

Beautiful surf at Lowlands
View to Healing Beach from my brekky granite
Todays affirmation

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.

Tracks of
Yondi skink

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

Yondi skinks’ retreat
Pink pimelia

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

Love the All Trails App. I find it so easy to make maps now, complete with the UTM graticule, which is my fave feature of homemade maps. No longer have to struggle with QGIS or spend a lot of time trying to edit Google Maps, is liberating. Though I am finding word press very time consuming compared to Medium. Which blog app do you prefer? Medium or Word Press?

Ten minute strolls to Healing Beach

It’s under a kilometre and a ten minute stroll from Tennessee South Road to Healing Beach

Following the dolerite. Three visible seams of dolerite extrude at western end of Healing Beach
Sitting on a seam of dolerite ,but the only rocks you can cleary see in this photo are granite. Plus my hand me down walking shoes from Judith
Deceased critters in the pool
Dolerite dreaming brekky
View 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


Fairy Hill, Moodjit Kaat

When your local beach access is closed, head to the hills!

Glorious granites, marvellous marris, colossal karris , also bullich, blackbutt, jarrah , wonnich, snotttygobble and tremandra are featured.

Frog hollow, the wonnich are an indicator that this will be a wet spot at the base of the hill
Soft hairy seed pod with cute curl, unlike most pea pods which open from the side, wonnich pods open from the end
Great to see the bushtucker snottygobble in fruit

Juicy Tales of Love and Lies

Juicy Tales of Love and Lies

Sheila Murray

Sheila MurrayNov 21·3 min read

Day 28 Cryptostylis Ovata, a plant a day, Lowlands Coastal Reserve, 21 November 2020

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Cryptostylis ovata, Lowlands Coastal Reserve , a particularly juicy temptress, 18 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!


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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.