This year I managed to get to see flowers on Haemodorum discolor, one of the bloodroots. This genus only occurs in Australia and New Guinea, with 19 endemic species in Australia and 20 world-wide. The other surprise was to find a flowering stand of the Christmas tree, Nuytsia floribunda in the centre of the reserve. I had spotted it to the west of the reserve along the Dumbleyung-Lake Grace Road, but not seen it flowering in the reserve. I was also hoping to see and photograph the fruit of the blue-berry lily (Dianella revoluta) but they have finished flowering and all the flowering stalks have disappeared. Maybe the kangaroos or birds do feed on these?
Finally, it is a great time to go insect hunting at this time of the year as they are easy to spot with few flowering shrubs around, and they are very active at the moment. I managed to get a great photo of one of the jewel beetles and also the Christmas spiders are out. The adult females are less than 1 cm in length, and have several pointed spines on their abdomen, with brightly coloured patches of white, orange and blue. Have a look at their web as it is different from the other orb-weaving spiders. So a good Christmas to you all and a safe New Year ahead. I plan to be back traversing the reserve for another couple of months to enable me to find those pesky plants that I didn’t get over the last two years. To another hopeful New Year.
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Article by Jolanda Keeble