Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Twitching the Blue Puya

The weekend SMH had a photo spread of an oddball Chilean Bromeliad in full bloom at the Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens – 8 years in the making.  No mean feat, the Mt Tomah BG even beat the Kew BG in the race to entice this species to flower.  Competition knows no bounds!

With a Sunday to kill, and tendonitis of the right elbow to nurse, Anita and I made a day of it and joined Iain, Neil, Tony and Cathy (and Matt!) in the Bluies, for coffee (if nothing else).  Whilst the climbing troupe went to the crag we went on a hunt for Red-browed Treecreepers and Beautiful Firetails.  As with virtually every species we’ve set out to twitch, we completely dipped on the birds. 

Fortunately we had the Blue Puya to fall back on, which was going to have a significantly harder time running away, and which, at the very least, might be adorned by New Holland Honeyeaters, if the pic in the SMH was anything to go by.  I’ve never been to Mt Tomah BG before, despite having driven past it countless times, and countless times pondered dropping in.  No time like the present.

We found the Blue Puya positioned near the bottom of a beautiful Japanese-style arrangement of cascades, ponds and Protea beds.  Numerous impressive flower spikes projected skyward, decorated by squabbling squadrons of NH Honeyeaters and the larger Wattlebirds (Red and Little), all eagerly supping on nectar which will be on tap for the next month or so.  Well worth the trip, and entry is free!

And whilst on the subject of plants, my late afternoon commute through the LCNP currently features beds of Flannel flowers, and the odd monotreme ambling about.