April and May is when the shrubs really start entering dormancy, waiting for the rains. Last month saw only the occasional dormant shrub, but whole areas of heath are now looking brown. I’ve noticed the flowers of the Banksia sphaerocarpa have been removed from the shrubs and are laying on the ground. I think birds may have broken off the flowers while trying to get to the nectar. It also appears that an animal has been into the Isopogon pruinosus, as the budding flower parts were scattered on ground in one particular spot. I didn’t see any other plants affected, and I haven’t seen any tracks that would give me a clue as to what has been feeding there.
I was lucky to find Calothamnus gracilis in full flower, as well as Daviesia lancifolia and Acacia stenoptera.
Have you ever wondered why you see spider webs with a rolled-up leaf in it? The spider is actually hiding inside the leaf as a protection from predators. You normally only see their legs sticking out. They are called Leaf-Curling Spiders and are a small orb-weaving spider of the genus Phonognatha. It is believed that the species in WA are different from those in the eastern states.
My next visit will be the 6th of May. If anybody wants to come along, let me know and we can meet up on site. If you have any questions, you can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 0439978550.
Article supplied by Jolanda Keeble
Pictured above L-R: Acacia stenoptera; Calothamnus gracilis; Daviesia lancifolia