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As the weather becomes colder, general nature photos are getting harder to come by, but the seeking eye can still discover subjects of interest. A wander at Bellbird Corner with the macro lens on the camera gave one opportunity on the little native geraniums that are still in flower. Native bees are hard to find now but honey bees are still at work.

Natural approach grafting is not uncommon on red gums, this example is on one of the venerable old trees in the north of the reserve.

The 100 mm macro lens is not what you’d normally use for bird photography, but if you can get close enough it can suffice. Unusually, these two White-faced Herons on the habitat tree allowed an approach close enough to produce an acceptable picture.

In the garden, the waratah is looking good with seven flower buds fattening up. This jumping spider thought it was a good place to build its retreat.

With many of the grevilleas having a flowering pause at this time of the year, hakeas and correas have been providing nectar for the honeyeaters, and now the Kunzea baxteri is coming into flower to supplement that supply.

Depending on the weather, native birds in the garden can be either scarce or plentiful, one afternoon it was the latter, when the tree tops were alive with small birds like this Yellow Thornbill that’s losing a wing feather.

Sulphur-cresteds are always about though, this one was perched on the TV antenna one morning possibly contemplating a glide down into the paddock for a breakfast of weed seeds.

Click pictures to enlarge.


Celebrating Correas.

Every garden, native or otherwise should have at least one correa, species or cultivar, many of which are available from specialist nurseries. They are all loved by honeyeaters, and there are varieties suitable for shade and open sun, with some very drought hardy. The garden where the following correas were photographed is of over forty years duration, and two of the earliest plantings, Correa glabra in green and red forms are still thriving, the former spanning over three metres in width. Correa decumbens, planted at the same time is now gone, but continues to make its presence felt in hybrid seedlings. Clearview Giant was another early planting, with Correa alba, Marian’s Marvel, Dusky Bells, and over the years various others, including cutting grown plants of Correa reflexa forms from the wild. Those plantings have resulted in seedlings appearing that exhibit a delightful variety of colours and shapes, often germinating far from a likely parent.  One small plant, yet to flower, has just been discovered on the roadside verge more than fifty metres from the nearest garden bed. We have the pollinating honeyeaters, the Eastern Spinebill in particular to thank for all these seedlings. Here then are our present garden correas with some brief notes.

Correa lawrenceana var. genoensis with immature Eastern Spinebill.

The oldest self sown hybrid, probably reflexa x decumbens.

A recent seedling growing in the shade of an Avon River callistemon.

A very hardy and vigorous plant that germinated adjacent to where the decumbens once grew.

This elegant flower is on a plant that germinated at the base of a large Hakea purpurea, and is growing up through that shrub. The honeyeaters are happy to feed on it in the safety of the prickly hakea foliage.

Just a metre away this red flowered plant is growing similarly at the base of Baeckea virgata.

A small flowered plant with dense pale green foliage.

The venerable Correa glabra, green form.

And planted at the same time all those years ago, the red form.

A relatively recent seedling, with a lovely flower.

Correa reflexa var. nummulariifolia.

Correa Marian’s Marvel, reflexa x backhousiana.

Correa Misty Pink.

Correa reflexa, Port Albert, long flowering, small foliage and red flowers.

Correa reflexa, cutting grown, from the Mottle Range, East Gippsland.

The same form growing in more fertile soil, exhibiting clustered flowers.

The newest seedling to flower, possibly with Dusky Bells in its makeup.

Correa reflexa is extremely variable, both in foliage, and flower shape, size, and colour. This final image is not from the garden, but of a plant surviving on a back lane in farmland just south of the wooded foothills to the north. Another form worthy of cultivation. Click all images to enlarge, and enjoy the beauty of our Australian Correas.



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