When I lived in Canberra, this blog was a diary of my lunchtime adventures in the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Seeing so many interesting things each lunchtime gave me the idea to practice my photography and share my experiences. In 2011 I moved to Brisbane and gained a position as a research scientist at CSIRO. This blog follows my latest adventures as I learn about the wonderful wildlife in this region.
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Merry Merry King of the Bush
Today I thought I'd blog about some of the magnificent trees in the gardens, as they haven't really featured in my blog as yet and there are so many great trees! So, I started out in the obvious place to me, the Eucalypt Lawn. There are about 800 species of the genus Eucalyptus and this almost endemic flowering tree dominates the Australian flora in the non-desert regions. The Eucalypt Lawn has many different examples of the species laid out beautifully, creating a feeling of grandeur.
As I wandered across the lawn I noticed some interesting species common names - such as the large-fruited blackbutt Eucalyptus pyrocarpaand the Nunniong Gum Eucalyptus elaeophloia, 'discovered' in 1990, according to this CSIRO publication!
However, as I walked through the trees I heard the unmistakable laugh of the KookaburraDacelo novaeguineae. I was very excited, as I knew there are Kookaburras about as they often come to the trees outside my office, but I figured to take a picture of them there is 'cheating' as its not in the gardens, so I've been waiting to find them here. He was quiet for a bit, but then I spotted him sitting on a small tree, so I got a good shot as he surveyed the ground below:
Then he swooped down for his lunch! He was so quick and gobbled it up all at once that I only managed to get a picture when it was all gone:
So, I was somewhat distracted from my plan to blog about trees! I did notice one of the Eucalyptus trees had what looked like little branches growing out of it's trunk, I wonder if it was some Mistletoe recently attaching itself?
Unfortunately, it was already time to head back to the office, so the tree blog will have to wait for another day. However, on my way back I noticed a number of interesting flowers beginning to bloom and discovered they were of the Hakea genus. According to ANPSA these are often thought of as a poor relation to Grevillea, but I thought they deserve better than that, particularly the Hakea kincora which is an unusual and very pretty globular Hakea.
Another couple of Hakeas are pictured below, the delicate Hakea cyclopteraaccording to Wikipedia commonly called the 'Elm-seed Hakea' and Hakea nodosa which apparently has a pungent smell, though I can't say I noticed!
Admittedly, the Grevilleas are stunning and two more species I noticed were in flower today, so I will finish with some pictures of two beauties from Western Australia. The first is Diels Grevillea Grevillea dielsiana - though according to that website it should flower in August-September, I suppose it behaves differently here in the East?! The other is the rare Collie Grevillea Grevillea ripicola, which is said to flower at this time of year or in late spring.