There are many rewards for the observer who takes note of the natural environment over a period of time. On 10 November 2010 “Nature Notes” in the Loddon Times reported our observations on the pollination of a Purplish Beard Orchid, accompanied by a photograph of a thynnid wasp on the orchid. The orchid was located in a small area of one of our paddocks which had been fenced off to allow natural regeneration. In November 2012 we have counted over 44 of these orchids at the same site. The pollination has been successful, and the exclusion of browsing animals has assisted the regeneration of a large number of indigenous plant species.
It has certainly been a good year for orchids and lots of other flowers, but how quickly everything changes in the bush once the flush of the spring season is over. The vegetation looks entirely different and it is hard to imagine the many wildflowers that were so prominent only a month ago. Many grasses are now flowering and some grey box trees are also in flower.
A number of local indigenous plant species have quite interesting and significant changes as they reach the end of the flowering season. The Common Fringe Myrtle has many small white flowers. Once the petals drop, the plant still has a showy display of fringed red calyx.
Taking photographs is a great way to keep a record of what you have seen of interest. This Marbled Gecko was photographed on a concrete doorstep. These are our most common geckos and this individual has a very swollen abdomen which suggests she will soon be laying eggs.
Recording events in nature and the subtle changes is a great reward for getting out and looking around in our natural environment. You never know what you might find next.
Article and photo by Annette Robertson, Wedderburn Conservation management Network “Observers”
Figure 1: Marbled Gecko (Christinus marmoratus)