Saturday, 25 August 2012

My two weeks in Western Australia - Part 3

When I was a kid, the creek on the farm where I grew up was the most exciting place to visit.  On those scorching hot days we had in summer of 38d C plus, I would imagine the creek ran with water all year and I could take a cooling dip.  Unfortunately they were only dreams.  My my sister and I had much fun when we went down there to play.  Sometimes when the creek had water running for a short period of time in winter, it would create an island of sand in the middle and come spring/summer, we would play imagining we were living on an island.

Those days are long gone of course but a visit to the creek when I am home on the farm is mandatory.  This visit I wanted to walk to the creek for a number of reasons.  To revisit childhood memories, see how the little trees and shrubs planted within the last few years were growing, to see what kind of bird life was living there and visit my "Standing Up When Falling" tree, a photo of which is on the banner of my other blog of the same name.

As a I mentioned in an earlier post, Western Australia is suffering rather bad salinity problems and measures are being undertaken to try and improve the problem.  Landcare is an organisation which donates indigenous tree and shrub seedlings to plant.  Some years ago, perhaps 5 to 7, I can't quite remember, the east part of the creek was planted with many little trees and shrubs to help with salinity and erosion of the creek.  What a difference it has made, it is like a little Western Australian bush oasis in the making.  Here are some photos I took as I was walking around.

This poor old Mallee tree (Eucalyptus) on the edge of the creek is long dead but the sculpture it makes is quite beautiful.  The grey of the weathered wood and gnarly, curly pattern are wonderful.

This one looks like it has had a second attempt at growing.




New tree plantings on the south side of the creek.  Some cropping land was used to make way for these plantings and fenced off to stop the sheep eating them.


I love the contrast between the two different coloured leaves on these young Eucalyptus trees.


You can just see a bird, a Scrub Warbler,  near the fork of the little tree.  My brother was very happy to learn that these new tree and shrub plantings are supporting a colony of these birds.


Another clearer photo of a Scrub Warbler on the little twig in the centre of the photo.


I also saw a little colony of Willy Wagtails which gave me much pleasure.  They use to live around the house and farm sheds but the Butcher Birds have killed them off .    They seem to be safe here.
  




This bird is a  Micky Miner, they are extremely noisy.

 I saw quite a few of these ant hills on my walk.






The colours of the bark on this tree are incredible.  I feel a painting coming on.

  In this photo are pink and grey Galahs, a Port Lincoln parrot commonly know as a 28, and a Crested Pigeon which is sitting above the two Galahs in the bottom centre of the photo.  This photo is not particularly good as I was looking into the light.  The Crested Pigeons and 28s are shy and would fly away when they saw or heard me move.




Here is my "Standing Up When Falling Down" tree and it's looking better than ever.

I was delighted to discover a birds nest in the branches.  It was empty so I assume it was either a nest from last year's nesting season or someone has an early start on this years nest building.




I love the trees in the foreground of this photo.  I'm fairly sure they are Swampy she-oaks.







After my lovely walk to the creek, I came back to have a look at this bird nest near one of the farm sheds and the dam.   Dad told me was a Butcher Bird's nest.


So this is how I spent the morning of my last day in Western Australia, relaxing in the great outdoors, enjoying the smells of the bush and bird watching.

Back in Melbourne, everyday life has resumed.  This afternoon I was treated to a visit in the back yard by a male and female King parrot.  I went outside to give them some seeds and was able to stroke the breast feathers of the female.  That was a very special moment.

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend,

Anne  xx



7 comments:

Cheryl said...

Wow, the scenery is stunning and so different from what we see here, I can't imagine going for a walk and seeing birds like that, so colourful - beautiful! Have a great w/end. x

Kar said...

What a treat to see all those beautiful birds while out walking. Thanks for sharing again Anne so that we can see sights that are different from ours in the the States. :)

Jerra said...

What beautiful pictures! :) I am totally enjoying your blog posts!! :)

Jerra xx

Diane said...

What stunning scenery - so very different from our own. Great photographs. xx

Little Blue Mouse said...

That red tree bark is so interesting, It would be a good subject for painting.

Louise said...

Hi Anne! I've just caught up with your blog and really enjoyed your visit home! It was nice to see more of Australia and learn a little about it. I'm glad your parents are still managing to live at home and remain fairly independent but it must be a worry for you when you're far away.

Claire said...

Hey Anne, what a lovely way to spend your last day at the farm......
I loved seeing all the trees and the birds nests. Willy Wagtails are so full of character, it's great that they have found a little sanctuary in the tree belt. I hope the tree plantings can make a difference to the salinity problems. I never realised it was such a big issue.
You must be a bird whisperer, hehe...... how special to get so close to the King Parrot a wonderful welcome home. They must've missed you...

Claire :}