Only about 500 metres from my house is a stretch of bush between the houses and the main road. Every year when spring comes I go there to look for wild orchids to photograph. Sadly foreign weeds and grasses are choking out the natural vegetation and every year I see more and more weeds (you can see them in the top RH photo trying to choke out the beautiful mauve wildflower - the wild violet).
And now some of the beautiful banksia trees are starting to die. The last couple of years have been very dry and the water table has dropped - and some believe it is because of climate change and global warming.
Today when I went walking in our patch of bush some of the new spring wildflowers were starting to bloom. In this photo you can see wild violet, hovea and fire bush. Soon I will go again to look for the wild orchids.
It is lovely to have a small stretch of bush to walk in so near my home.
If you are Australian you would have heard of the book "Snugglepot and Cuddlepie" by May Gibbs - a much loved Australian children's book about gum nut and wattle babies and their adventures. (a bit like Australian fairies I suppose)
In the book the bad men were the "banksia men". If you look in the first picture - this is a picture of the banksia nut after the flower has died off. The "eyes" pop open and the seeds fall out. This will especially happen after a fire. You can see why May Gibbs may have used the "banksia men" as the bad guys - they look pretty fearsome.
The banksias flower in our patch of bush around Christmas and the flowers look like giant Christmas candles. The one in this picture would be about 1 foot - 30cms - long.
In the picture below you can see a close up of the parts of the flower, just before they open.
We haven't had a lot of opportunity this year to go bush walking (with other goings on in our lives) but now that spring is just around the corner I hope we will be able to get out and do some bush walking, and I will again be able to indulge in my passion for wild flower photography.
Have a wonderful weekend, and hug the ones you love.