Sunday, September 23, 2018

Wungong Bushwalk

Yesterday was really too hot for bushwalking: 27 degrees in the afternoon!  We arrived back heat exhausted and possibly de-hydrated. The speed of the group was a bit too fast for me. We covered about 13 kms, walking from the main road (SW Highway) up to the Wungong Dam and back again. There are shady picnic spots on both side of the dam wall. People opted for the far one. There was a lovely cooling breeze coming off the water as we walked across. We noticed smoke from a bushfire on one hill to our right. The fire was, fortunately, heading towards the water. Maybe it was a controlled burn?

The air was thick with sweet-smelling blossom from this shrub
which used to grow in JL's garden at Quinns
Blue leschenaultia and white Swan River myrtle
Close-up, out of focus
Water flowing down granite outcrop
Remains of granite quarry
Native clematis
Clematis close-up
Hillside full of Xanthorrhoea
(previously called Blackboy, now no longer pc)

More info and lovely photos here

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Wireless Hill

Many keen orchid hunters descended on Wireless Hill today.  It's the season! We managed to find a few in spite of (or because of) the crowds.

JL found a handy seat
(actually a concrete anchor for holding the wireless cable in place)

Some History

In 1909 the Commonwealth Government decided that wireless telegraphy stations should be established around the coastline of Australia, and in 1910 awarded the contract for the Perth station to Australasian Wireless Ltd. Clearing of the site and construction began in 1911, with the Applecross Wireless Station completed and officially opened on 30 September 1912. Initially the station was used for communications with shipping. This included transmission of weather forecasts, news bulletins and time signals, sending medical advice to ships with no doctors aboard, and monitoring for distress calls.  In wartime, the station monitored enemy shipping. Initially all radio transmissions used Morse code; the technology to transmit voice was developed in the 1920s, and even then Morse code was still the primary method for long distances up until the station closed in 1968. Local residents commonly referred to the area as Wireless Hill, (Wikipedia).

Kangaroo Paws

White Spider Orchid
Red Spider Orchid
Rattlebeak  Orchid
Donkey Orchids

More Rattlebeaks

Cats Paw and Granny Bonnets
Potted orchid at home

At Ninghan Station, 350 km north of Perth, there is apparently a great show of everlastings - according to the weekend paper:
Ninghan Station: nature-ablaze-in-colour

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Kalamunda Bushwalk

After a cold wet week, it was a pleasure to get out in the bush on Sunday! The weather was warm and sunny and the flowering shrubs were coming out everywhere. The path, chosen by H, was a challenge: lots of up and down and stony ascents and descents. It was only 7.5 kms but our knees felt it. I was very stiff next day. We criss crossed the first stage of the Bibbulmun Track (Kalamunda is the northern terminus). The worst thing, for me, was another attack by minute black midges, which bit all the exposed part of my skin: arms, ankles and back of my neck. They were the same variety as those at Wooleen, now migrating south, I deduced from the type of itchy bites I was left with. The flowers were lovely, though!

Piesse Brook

Rocky Pool picnic spot

Granite boulders are a feature of this walk.

Swan River myrtle

Blue Leschenaultia and yellow "buttercup".

Postscript: JL (not up to walking) set up his camping chair and had a picnic in the bush in a sunny spot. He noticed a couple of kangaroo ticks on his shirt sleeve and flicked them off. More of the little blighters must have found their way inside. Every day since, he has discovered another one on his arm. They have little pincers that dig into the skin and have to be carefully removed with tweezers. They can also be burnt out with a cigarette! My preferred treatment is to run a very hot bath for myself. Any tick will let go and float to the surface.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Kings Park


September is the time to see the wildflowers in Kings Park. There are areas depicting the flora in each of the geological parts of Western Australia. As well as showcasing all the different plants, they are trying to ensure that endangered species are preserved.

These plaques are everywhere in Kings Park, memorials to all the young men who set off for adventure and never returned

Cranbrook Bell - classed as "vulnerable"
Huge Boab tree, brought by truck from the Kimberley and kept warm by an electric blanket over its roots!  Not looking too happy, though!
Dressing up for the flower festival to entertain the kids
Always trying to get the best photo of a Kangaroo Paw
Freesias are officially classed as weeds
View from Kings Park to the Swan River: the Perth CBD is on the left; South Perth on the right
Treetop Walk
Aboriginal designs on the iron floor of the bridge