Tag Archives: Eremophila

Gluepot in August: Part 1

A big gap between posts  …. too difficult to keep up when we were often out of range and then there was the delightful distraction of our adorable grandchildren.  I’ll gradually catch up – we are now home again and appreciating our own backyard which, in spite of a few weeds, is looking particularly beautiful.

Having retreated from the Coorong in the lull between storms we spent a lovely few days with one of Allen’s sisters who happens to live right near the Barossa Valley.  Bird watching is a wonderful occupation and we are very happy spending time amongst native vegetation but we also appreciate any form of horticulture and that includes vineyards.  So when we left for Gluepot we did have a couple of bottles of red packed safely with our food stores!

We were inspired to visit Gluepot after reading several Gouldiae reports on his visits there. We now understand why he is so fond of this reserve and revisits regularly.  On arrival it is a requirement to book in at the visitor centre and we were delighted to find lots of information on the numbered walks and driving tracks, all of which was a great help in planning our stay.  There are leaflets which describe each walk and provide additional information on the local fauna and flora which we found very interesting.

Chestnut-backed Quail-thrush
This Chestnut-backed Quail-thrush was one of the first birds we saw as we were setting up our camp.  Later on he wandered quite close when we were sitting quietly, neither of us with a camera, so we just appreciated the moment….and although we resolved to keep the camera handy when sitting he didn’t wander quite as close again.
Olearia muelleri - Mueller Daisy-bushOlearia muelleri – Mueller Daisy-bush above is one of many white flowering plants.  Although we were a bit early for some of the Spring flowering there were still a lot of shrubs and herbaceous plants with blooms to admire.  As usual we were floundering with some of the identification but I found a wonderful little publication in the Gluepot visitor centre called “The Mallee in Flower” which was quite helpful in addition to our other reference material.
Olearia pimeleoids - Pimelea Daisy BushOlearia pimeleoids – Pimelea Daisy Bush above makes a striking contrast in the Mallee landscape with its lovely grey foliage while the grey understorey below is predominately made up of Chenopods.  Chenopodiaceae is a large family of saltbush species and close relatives.

Mallee gums with grey shrub understorey
Chenopod close-upThis is one Chenopod we were able to identify thanks to its colourful fruit.
Enchylaena tomentosa commonly known as Ruby Saltbush.
Enchylaena tomentosa - Ruby Saltbush
Not so many flowers in blue-mauve-purple hue about but Olearia ciliata or Fringed Daisy bush certainly caught our attention, as did
Olearia ciliata-001                                          this Eremophila scoparia.
Eremophila scopariaA  delightful selection of Eremophila shrubs provided splashes of colour in the landscape as well as, more importantly,  a plentiful nectar supply for the Honeyeaters.
Eremophila - bright pink Eremophila - pink Yellow EremophilaWe hope to return to Gluepot only next time we’ll aim for a mid Spring visit, it would be very interesting as well as a spectacular experience.  

Bladensburg National Park

Home again after our wonderful camping adventure and here is the first of my retrospective reports.  Internet coverage is only available in the vicinity of a few towns in the western part of Qld. and I didn’t feel like spending much time in front of a computer when there was so much to see so that is my valid excuse for an absence from blogging.

Bladensburg is about 80 km SW of Winton – it was lovely to be in a quiet spot, camped on the edge of a waterhole in the shade of some Eucalypts after the crowded campground in Longreach. We had a view towards a large area of Spinifex through which a Bustard was walking when we arrived, a rather nice welcome we thought.   Large numbers of macropods were present, the majority appearing to be Wallaroos, particularly evident at night when they were busy feeding on the grassy areas amongst the spinifex.  Our bird highlights here were Crimson Chats and White-winged Fairy-wrens but the Rufous-crowned Emu-wren remained elusive in spite of various excursions to suitable habitat.

The flowering plants were lovely but trying to identify them from the books we carried with us was often quite a challenge.  Sometimes we just enjoyed them, whatever they were called!  This Sandalwood was growing on the river bank  just along from our camp.

Santalum lanceolatum - Sandalwood

From the camp-site we drove to Skull Hole and clambered down to the creek bed where we found quite a variety of plants in a somewhat sheltered situation subject to seasonal inundation.  There are a number of subspecies of Senna artemisioides and I am not certain enough of our identification to name them.

And we kept finding more and more Eremophilas which provided a lovely variety of colour and form.

While Spinifex is not very friendly to wander through, I particularly
like the form of this Pincushion Spinifex (Triodia molesta).  The swept back look of the seed heads gives the clump a sense of movement – as if any moment it will take off again or perhaps my imagination has been let loose!

Pin Cushion Spinifex

And while walking through the Spinifex in the early morning, enjoying the warmth of the sun, it is wise to keep a look out for other creatures looking for warmth and food.  We treated this Mulga snake with the greatest respect (after annoying it slightly trying to get a good angle for a photo or two) and it was more than happy to disappear into a nearby clump of Spinifex.

Senna notabilis, another one of the many Sennas in flower, has the very appropriate common name of Cockroach Bush.

Being so used to tall trees in our home environment I found the vast areas of grasses and shrubs to be an interesting contrast.  It is difficult to capture the feeling of vast distance in a photo and so often I decided to enjoy the moment and forget the photo.  However, this lovely specimen caught my eye with its pleasing shape – Bootlace Hakea (Hakea chordophylla) which we found flowering later in the trip.

Hakea chordophylla - Bootlace Oak