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My Favourite Nature Images
I'd like to share with you some of the beautiful flower and nature images I've found on the net, or have photographed myself, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
The photo below is a bird of paradise flower in my garden. It took a few years before it actually produced a bloom, but this year, I had two flower stalks. It looks very exotic.
Here are just a few of the violet flowers in my garden. The white aren't growing as much as the others, but they are hanging in there, and here they are hiding amongst the iris leaves. The purple violets like my garden so much I have to clear some out every year, as they spread so easily. The have a beautiful perfume too.
About the Bougainvillea
This bougainvillea is about three years old, and when it was planted, it was only about 30 centimetres (12 inches) in height. It's certainly doing well at the moment, and the weather we've been having, hot and humid, suits it very well.
Bougainvilleas are a tropical and sub-tropical plant, from South America.
While we were in Greece, a few years ago, we were lucky enough to see a couple of wild tortoises in one of the archeological sites.
This one was obviously heading somewhere, so we followed to see where it was going. It went under a small bridge, where we think it would have spent the heat of the day, resting up after eating in the cool of the morning. It was only about 9.30 am when we saw it, and that Greek sun can get very hot.
Spring was arriving when this photo was taken, and the cherry trees were blossoming.
Sometimes I manage to get to the fruit before the birds eat them all, but they are pretty fast off the mark. The fruit bats call around often too, in harvest season, and the apple and plum trees are prime targets.
An Attractive Geranium
This morning, wandering around the garden, I found this geranium in flower, and wanted to share it with you. Although I'm not a huge fan of these plants, they are great for filling in a difficult spot, and they are very easy to care for, so I have a few scattered around the garden. This one is a particularly nice colour.
My Favourite Ti-Tree
This is a ti-tree in my front garden. It has very dark leaves, and when it flowers, it looks magnificent.
Here you can hardly see the leaves because it's flowering so heavily. This shrub was infested with grubs the year before the photo was taken, and was cut back severely. Fortunately, it survived to flower again.
Parrot at Healesville
I'm not sure what type of parrot this is, but he posed beautifully for us. I think he's eating a small piece of fruit. We were spending a few hours at Healesville Sanctuary, a section of the Melbourne Zoo devoted to Australian native animals.
At Healesville you can walk through some very natural seeming aviaries, and get very close to the birds, as they are used to people.
Javan File Snake
These snakes are really difficult to see, even at the zoo, where this photo was taken. Most times, when we've looked for it, the animal has been too well hidden. This was a lucky shot. (Sorry about the flash reflection)
Javan File Snakes live in the tropics, and are found in the North of Australia. They are used as food by the indigenous people of the area.
Banksias are one of our iconic flowers here in Australia. This is a close-up of one flowerhead on my Banksia spinulosa. (At least, that's what I think it is- I'm always losing or mixing up the labels.)
When this shot was taken, this banksia was recovering after having been cut back quite a bit, but it seems to be happy about it. Perhaps all the rain we had at the time helped, after the drought of the previous 10 years or so.
Another Wild Tortoise
Here's another tortoise from our trip to Greece. This particular one has obviously just finished its breakfast; you can see grass hanging out of its mouth.
From what I've been able to find out, it is a marginated tortoise (Testudo marginata), which are found in the Mediterranean area. I've also seen similar animals near Hammamet, in Turkey.
Rosella In My Plum Tree
Rosellas are just one of the animals and birds that come to my back garden and help themselves to my fruit. We've had musk lorikeets, rosellas, fruit bats, possums, blackbirds, wattle-birds, and others. So long as we get some of the fruit, they're welcome!
Wreathflower - An Unusual West Australian plant
While we were in West Australia, we discovered the existence of these beautiful and unusual flowers. They only seem to grow in one area, and look exactly like a wreath, which is how they got their name.
The Visitor Centre in Millewa told us about them, and we were really glad we made the detour from Geralton to Millewa, as they are worth seeing. Sometimes there are a lot of them visible in the Spring, but some years there don't seem to be many at all. Maybe it depends on the rainfall.
West Australian Wildflowers - Leschenaultia
This caught my eye on a trip to the Perth Botanic Gardens recently. It's a brilliant blue, and I'd love to have some in my garden, but the soil doesn't suit them.
We saw some growing in the wild as well, along with so many other wildflowers. West Australia is truly lucky in the amount and variety of their flora.
What is your favourite flower?
I love spring flowers, and daffodils are among my favourites of all time. They don't seem to do well in my garden, however - perhaps it's the clay soil. The multi-coloured hybrids are the type I like best, and they never come up again, so I'll have to stick with the ordinary varieties.
Cowslips - Primula veris or Primula officinalis Hill
Cowslips are native to Europe - I remember seeing hundreds of them in fields in England when I was a child.
This particular plant I found as a seedling in a herb shop in Melbourne, Australia, and it lasted for quite a few years. Currently I'm trying to find another, or some seeds.
A Couple of Finches
Although I don't know what kind of finch these are, I thought you might like the picture. I took it in the Butterfly House at the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens. It's really lush in there, and the temperature is tropical. The finches are quite well camouflaged, aren't they?
Calla Lillies - Zantedeschia
Although they are commonly called "calla lilies" these flowers are not really lilies, but belong to the Zantedeschia species.
The picture is a newly planted bunch of callas in my garden. Hopefully, they'll reproduce and spread around that area.