19 Oct 2016

Grandad's L'il Helper

Some homes have "No Junk Mail" stickers on their letter boxes, but I actually enjoy receiving these glossy catalogues from the local shops and supermarkets advertising their weekly specials.

After all, the only other mail I get are bills!

Grandson B, the naughty one, seems to have settled down a little and, at times, appears to be quite eager to please and be of some help.

He was helping me collect the junk mail the other day, but his little fingers were having  problems with the number of catalogues, their size and, it would appear, the slipperiness of the glossy paper.
They're going all over the place!

Don't worry, Granddad!  Everything's under control!

It's getting difficult again!

Hmm - this looks interesting.  I might buy one.

12 Oct 2016

Backyard Blooms

Our winter has been reluctant to depart.

September, the first month of spring, turned out to be the coldest in Perth since records started. 

In fact, the average daily minimum in September was lower that that of the three months of winter!

The abundance of rain, however, has led to not only the wildflowers having a boom year, but also the plants in our yards.
Our backyard is nothing to shout about, and I've to admit it needs quite a bit of work.

But everytime I look up from my keyboard and out the window, these yellow flowers of the broom just leap out at m.
The broom is a native plant and is nothing much to look at most of the year, but at the moment its display of these yellow flowers is quite spectacular.

To the right of the broom in the general backyard pic above is the nightshade, a plant related to potatoes, tomatoes and aubergines.
Whether ours is the "deadly" variety or not, I don't know
A lone hibiscus shows its face.
And our orange tree has buds, blossoms and tiny fruit forming all at the same time.
My favourite, though, is the nasturtium.

We had a big patch of them growing many years ago, and their seeds would appear to have blown into various parts of our yards, as we now have many patches of them growing.
Granddaughter A, now over nine years old, bemused by a nasturtium.

I love their leaves, too, as they hold these lovely beads of rain.  Both flowers and leaves are edible.

Our Indian hawthorn bush is also flowering like crazy.

And Grandma C's roses are starting to bloom.
A final word about wildflowers - when we were away a month or so ago on our wildflower trip, we did miss our favourites : the pink and white everlastings.

We only found a small patch in the little town of Three Springs, which, I'm fairly certain were not growing wild, but were sown by the town's gardeners.
The papery textured everlastings.
The yellow flowers in the background above, however, are not wildflowers.  They are the capeweed daisy from South Africa and are considered weeds. 

Currently these daisies are covering a lot of the street verges in Perth and on some front lawns.

4 Oct 2016

Why Did She Run?

Grandma C asked me to stop the car, as she wanted to check out the white wildflowers that covered the road edges which, at times, look like snowdrifts.

Lazy me took some photos from the driver's seat whilst she stepped out to inspect the flowers and snap some with her phone.

Then I took this pic.
Why did she run?
When we looked at the photos later on at home, Grandma C had no idea why she ran.

So I decided to give her some reasons to run.
One for the family album: Holiday in Pamplona
This one, from the movies.
King Kong vs Godzilla Starring Grandma C
And I've just got to show you these wildflowers we came across in the middle of nowhere.
A bit of ozzie humour, made out of beer cans and bottle caps.

26 Sep 2016

Coalseam Conservation Park

Irwin River
The 140 km long Irwin River, at its mouth, separates the towns of Dongara where we had spent the night, and Port Denison.

We didn't know it at that time, but we were to cross and re-cross this river many times on this day, both in the car and on foot.

Our first stop of the day, was the Coalseam Conservation Park.  

We have never been to this Park, which was reputed to be full of wildflowers this time of the year, and I was hoping to see the place covered with carpets of wildflowers, something I remember seeing on our trip of 1993 a little further north.

Here are a few scans of photographs I took then.  
Memories from 1993
The Irwin River runs through the Coalseam Park; at this stage it appears to be a mere trickle, as at different stages of its journey, it runs underground.
Walking through the Park, we had to cross this river bed at different points.
The carpets of flowers that I was keen to see, though, were there in abundance.

The yellow ones are like little pom-poms, and that, indeed,  is what they are commonly called.
While there are others of similar colour, there are also many different ones - I have no idea what they are called, though.

From the river bed, you can look up towards these towering cliffs ...
... and this is the view from the top.
Note the yellow wildflowers between all the trees
Quite a few hours were spent here, before we left this Park and continued on our journey to Mullewa and Yalgoo.

19 Sep 2016

The Elusive Wreath Flower

In the winter of 1993, when Grandma C and I enjoyed our long-service leave, we took a driving and camping trip to the far north of Western Australia, driving up via the long coastal road till we reached Kununurra, near the Northern Territory border.

It was on our way home, driving down the inland road, that we first heard of the Wreath Flower.

By that time it was spring, and the wildflowers were blooming all along the way.  We had stopped for the night at Ninghan Station, and the lady proprietress there told us about this flower, which had bloomed then for the first time in many years.

As we left for our drive home the next morning, she gave us directions to where the wreath flowers were, but to the best of our efforts we failed to find them.

About four weeks ago, I happened to see on TV that these wreath flowers were blooming again, after our very rainy and cold winter (in fact, that winter was supposed to be our coldest in 22 years!).  Furthermore, the TV show added that we were having a bumper season of wildflowers in our mid-west.
Western Australia Regions
Grandma C said that it was high time I got off my bum and we take a drive up to see the wreath flower.

So last week, we took off in search of this flower again (after 23 years!).  Our target was the tiny town of Pindar in the Mid-West, which I planned to reach on the second day of our trip, as that was where the TV show said the wreath flowers were.
Canola fields near Moora
Grandma C, however, had done some research and had other plans, unbeknownst to me.  At one of our rest stops at the town of Perenjori, she rushed off into the tourist office.
Wattles blooming in Perenjori
She came out with specific directions for me to drive to and we spent time searching for what I thought was some patch of wildflowers.
Searching, searching - a little lost at times
After a few false starts, we found it.  I was surprised, as I didn't know Grandma C's intention at all.
The Wreath Flower
We had to drive up a rather rough track and then reached a home made sign proclaiming the existence of these flowers.  There was a whole clump of them, all in one patch of red earth.

Top view, Wreath Flower
I would say, that on average, they'd be about 40-60 cm in diameter.  They are reputed to be difficult to grow from seed, or to transplant and often the only way to view them is to search them out in the wild.
Side view, with wattles in the background
Sometimes they merge into figures of eight.
Some close-ups follow:

 It was just as well that Grandma C had taken steps to find this place, as the next day, when we finally got to Pindar and found the wreath flowers there, the flowers were already well past their prime, and not as pretty as the ones we saw near Perenjori.
Wreath flowers growing beside a dirt road near Pindar
These have started to fade away.
I cannot finish without showing you my favourite sight in Pindar, serviced as it is by quite a few of these dirt roads, with their fine red dust.
I wonder how many will