Mount Tomah Botanic Garden (2013)

Sunday, 10 March 2013
Little wattlebird Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera)

Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera)

If you’re making your annual trip to the “Plants With Bite” Display and Fair at the Mount Tomah Botanic Garden in the Blue Mountains, you really should take some time to walk through the gardens as well, especially if the weather is good. The place is beautifully maintained and full of interesting plants and wildlife.

These photos are the result of an hour’s walk-and-stalk. Weather: warm and very slightly hazy, with high cloud and bright sunlight.

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A few things

Saturday, 7 November 2009

A cluster of hazelnuts

Someone nearby has planted a hazelnut tree of flowering age, because for the first time in four or five years I have many clusters of hazelnuts. Then again, this fruiting may be a response to the very aggressive pruning I did last winter. I’ll have to do some research to find out why.

I did prune the apple tree as well, and this happened:


Apples on the tree


Bee and leek flower

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Red clover (& obligatory skink)

Monday, 12 October 2009
Trifolium pratense (Red clover)

Trifolium pratense (Red clover)

This is a two-year-old Red Clover (Trifolium pratense), grown from seeds (and Rhizobia inoculum) supplied by Green Harvest Organic Gardening Supplies.

It’s a pretty plant but not altogether suited to the purpose for which I acquired it: providing the rabbits with food all year round. Red clover is a biennial and its growth slows down to a crawl during winter. Of course, the plant is absolutely flourishing now that it’s Spring.

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More skinks

Monday, 5 October 2009
Eulamprus quoyii

Eulamprus quoyii

I took this series of photos of Eulamprus quoyii (Eastern Water Skink) late this morning. This animal is about three-quarters the size of the one featured in a previous post, has never dropped its tail and has all its limbs intact.

The orangey colour of the concrete is a legacy of the recent dust storms.

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Skink and Sarracenia

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

I fished a large skink (approx. 30 cm from nose to tail) out of a bucket containing about 2 cm of water this morning. It perched calmly on my hand for about twenty minutes and then panicked and escaped when I started to stroke its back.

While I’m pleased to have saved its life, I’m also aware that its predicament was my fault: I should have stored all the buckets in the backyard upside-down just to prevent this kind of thing.


Eulamprus quoyii (tentative identification)

[Edit, 18 Sep 2009] This is one of the skinks that make their home in my backyard. Note the missing toes on the left hind leg, and the scars left over from dropping its tail and growing a replacement.

Could it be my rescuee? Well, maybe. It’s about the same size…


Eulamprus quoyii (tentative identification)

Tentatively identified as Eulamprus quoyii, or Eastern Water Skink.

I hand-pollinated a Sarracenia flava flower a couple of weeks ago. By this morning the petals had all dropped off and the stalk straightened out completely. The whole structure is completely up-ended and the developing seed capsule is now protected by an umbrella that used to be a bucket.

Flower of Sarracenia flava, two weeks after pollination

Flower of Sarracenia flava, two weeks after pollination

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