Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Big Day Out

Headed off early with a list of interesting places to visit; a new quilt shop, a quilt display, some junk places. Scheduled in afternoon tea with my folks, and a trip to Lal Lal to check on everything.

Had fun visiting everything on the list, and a few others beside, but all the photos are from Lal Lal.

The weather this year has been great for insects, and now the birds are having a great time. The block was full of the sounds of birds. I think we saw at least 6 different species of "little brown birds", but I didn't manage to photograph any of them. The birds moved quickly as they chased insects high in the trees, and the light level was very low. Here's the best I could do; some variety of fantail darting about high overhead (and you can see how dark the sky was).

Other forms of wildlife are also enjoying the insect boom. The golden orb spider at home has gone, but here's one alive and well:

It has also been a great season for plant growth. This tree I always think of as the "duck tree", because a duck nested in one of its hollows the first year we owned the block. Since then it has lost a lot of branches, but this year is covered in new growth:

Unfortunately the weeds are loving the conditions as well.
This bluebell creeper (Sollya heterophylla) is one of many that have shot up this year. A major effort is required to get rid of all of it, but we noticed that a neighbouring property has huge uncontrolled clumps, so it will keep coming back.

In autumn and winter clumps of snow lichen (Cladia retipora) appear through a lot of the block. You can see some of it in the picture of the duck tree above, but here's a close-up of its delicate structure:

Isn't it lovely?

Fungi push their way up through the leaf litter:

It was a lovely day, except for the last five kilometres of the trip home.  Freeway roadworks caused a huge traffic jam that took an hour to negotiate. It was a relief to finally get out of the car!

1 comment:

  1. I love the Lichen. Lovely photo. Reminds me of Coral.