Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The Grevilleas are back

Today it was really warming up in the garden, beginning to feel like Australia should again - hot and sunny! I was determined to go and check on the little baby wattlebirds, despite some outrageously inappropriate footwear (stiletto boots) and a skirt.  So I tottered through the Banksia and around the Grevillea section, which is really beginning to come into bloom.  Some are only just starting, like the Grevillea beadleana, a very attractive 'toothbrush'-flowered variety endemic to a very small region in north eastern New South Wales, which I previously photographed in bloom back in March.  Another 'toothbrush' was in full flower and looking beautiful, Grevillea hookeriana - that species is much more widespread in the south-west of Western Australia.
There were lots of bees buzzing around some of the Grevillea, particularly this Grevillea juniperina hybrid where I managed to get a close up of a bee on the flower:
 Grevillea dimorpha, or the 'red spider flower', endemic to the Grampians in Victoria, was looking very good too - this flowers through Winter to Spring.  I wondered if it was called dimorpha as the flowers looked very spiky on some branches but rounded on others, but according to the Australian Plant Society Latrobe Valley Group 'dimorpha' is referring to the variable leaves.  Although called spider flower due to the shape of its flowers, I quite aptly found a tiny spider on one of the flowers (possibly a harmless garden orb spider?)

I also came across a new flower which is just as stunning as the Grevillea, Calothamnus quadrifidus or Common netbush (endemic to south-west Western Australia), Calothamnus literally means 'beautiful shrub' from Greek! 
Anyhow, enough about the flowers, what about those baby wattlebirds!  Well, I was amazed how much they had grown in just a week.  They have lost their scraggly necks, filling out with feathers and even beginning to show signs of the red lobes on their necks that gives them their name 'red' wattlebird. 

  I also spied what I think is another baby bird taking a bath.  I'm not sure what species he is, maybe some kind of Robin - he has those kind of eyes and beak?  There was an Eastern Yellow Robin nearby which may have been a parent, but really I don't know, anyone out there have any idea?! Anyhow, isn't he cute! 

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