ROUNDED NOON FLOWERS or PIGFACE (Disphyma crassifoliu subspecies. clavellatum)

Browsing through my archives last night, I came across the images I took at Newells Paddock Nature and Conservation Reserve, located about 4 kms (2.3 miles) along the river path, around this time in 2017.

Photo below was actually made on 26th March 2017 and is a great view of this remarkable area.

Photo taken in summer of NEWELLS PADDOCK NATURE RESERVE main pond. Melbourne city in the far upper right background.

You can read a little more of the history behind this wetlands and conservation area here.

ROUNDED NOON-FLOWER (Disphyma crassifolium ssp clavellatum)

It’s Rounded Noon Flower season now as I noticed a tiny patch at the opposite end of my apartment building last Wednesday (left).

In the meantime, here’s a few images made in 2017 to remind long-time followers of the stunning display of Pigface (or Rounded Noon Flowers) below.  These fowers have various names so you might know them by a different one.

I’m hoping to go back again this year to photograph more of the bird life, but since it’s a bit far from the bus stop, it might have to be a taxi journey there and back, as I can’t walk as far as I used to pre hip osteoarthritis.    I’d rather use my limited walking range to walk around the wetlands and reserve, than waste it on walking from the bus stop through ordinary residential areas to actually get there.

I did walk home along the river path back when I first moved to this western suburb of Melbourne to live in 2016, so I know by the walking trail signposts exactly how far it is.

Not far for normal healthy fit people to walk, but nowadays, too far for me.

In the meantime, here’s a sample of that stunning splash of colour on the ground at Newells Paddock.

ROUNDED NOON-FLOWER (Disphyma crassifolium ssp clavellatum)
ROUNDED NOON-FLOWER (Disphyma crassifolium ssp clavellatum)
ROUNDED NOON-FLOWER (Disphyma crassifolium ssp clavellatum)

This area is also where I was so engrossed with the camera up to my eye, I didn’t notice a White-faced Heron walk up to about 10 feet away from where I was standing.

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HOUSE SPARROWS (Passer domesticus)……….and the weather

The wind has been more than a little gusty in my area over the last 5-6 days.    In fact, the Spring winds have been downright ferocious and threatened to blow my garden away.

Check out the background in the image below.  Can you see the Japanese Maple branches and foliage are near horizontal?  At one stage, the Maple’s branches seemed to bend over in half and almost touched the ground.   I had grave fears for the tree’s well-being, but it seemed to bend and sway with the elasticity that most young saplings have.

I’ve stood at the lounge window each morning in hope of seeing more Spring shoots on my Herbs and Veggies, but they have made little headway in the last week (for this time of the year) and slowed right down in their growth.

Not enough sun I fear.

No Superb Fairy-wrens in sight and just a few very tiny House Sparrows.   To the casual observer, they are just faded-looking females, but on the ground here, I can see their tiny frames and washed-out looking head feathers denote very young juveniles.   They are almost as small as the adult Superb Fairy-wrens.

The 2 sparrows I photographed last week stayed on the balcony fence for some time, seemingly motionless.   Last night, it was not until I reviewed the 4 photos I’d taken that I realized their tiny claws were hanging onto the frame that holds the blue ceramic birdbath in place (so they didn’t get blown away?).

The bird that stood on the fence bar itself didn’t stay long.

I made 4 very similar photos and can’t tell which is the best out of them, so thought to post all of them.

Today, the wind has finally dropped and I can see by this morning’s weather forecast I have 4 clear, rainless days to do something outdoors.

Perhaps prune the herbs to start encouraging them to flesh out into more robust bushes perhaps?   Doesn’t sound much, but at least it’s better than lying in the hospital hooked up to a heart monitor 24/7.   Those 6 days in the hospital were the most boring I’ve experienced in many years.   I don’t survive too well when I’m out of green surroundings and don’t have a Room With a View.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

I like to encourage people interested in gardening or planting to begin with a simple herb garden. Even if you live in a small apartment, you can have some herb pots.

Anna Getty

 

MY SECOND, (or previous), BALCONY GARDEN – ABBOTSFORD (inner north-east Melbourne suburb) – IT GREW AND GREW AND EVENTUALLY THREATENED TO TAKE OVER MY LOUNGE ROOM. NO DIRECT SUN, BUT AMAZING LIGHT. Nothing like waking up in the morning to the sound of Spotted Turtle-doves cooing and the fragrance of Herbal Essences permeating the air.