Wildflower Exhibition in South Western Australia -Feature article

South West Exhibition includes hundreds of rare and exquisite wildflowers

Now its 94th year, Busselton Wildflower Exhibition is gearing up to welcome local enthusiasts as well as visitors from further afield this September. The South West corner of Western Australia is renowned for having one of the richest and most diverse flora in the world and attracts visitors from around the State, Australia and overseas.

Kangaroo Paw

Exhibition chairman Barry Oates said it was an opportunity to see spectacular wildflowers you couldn’t see anywhere else in the world. “It is a truly unique experience and a great way for people to connect with part of Busselton’s community and history,” he said. In addition, Geographe Community Landcare Nursery’s Coordinator, Rod Cary will be onsite to assist wildflower enthusiasts to learn more about the local varieties. Mr Oates stated that the relationship with Rod and the Nursery is highly valued for advice on Exhibition day plus assistance with accurate naming of the diverse range of wildflowers.

The City of Busselton has been a long-time supporter of the exhibition. Mayor Grant Henley said the exhibition highlights a wonderful array of native flora, rich and diverse in the South West.  “Much of the flora on display would not be experienced by any one person at any one site, so it’s a rare and fantastic opportunity to do so,” he said.

Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association’s Joint CEO/GM Marketing, Sharna Kearney said, “The South West region provides a rare opportunity to experience exceptional concentrations of endemic wildflower species. You can get a close look at a wide range of these wildflowers at the Busselton Wildflower Exhibition as well as by getting out and about in the region.”

The exhibition is loved by locals as well as visitors “One doesn’t have to be a gardening or wildflower expert to be amazed at the beauty and variety of specimens on display” says Busselton resident, Deirdre Chell. “I come back year after year and always find something new to view or photograph” she said.

Wildflowers on display are chosen by people who have obtained licences from the Dept of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (Dept BCA) to pick wildflowers in the week of the Wildflower Exhibition.

All pickers are conscious of the need to preserve native flora and pick responsibly. Rare and endangered species are not picked. The Busselton Wildflower Exhibition gives those unable to ‘go bush’ an opportunity to see a great variety of specimens.

Assorted Wildflowers

Australia’s South West, Chief Executive Officer Catrin Allsop said that “Almost 80% of Australia’s South West’s plant species cannot be found anywhere else in the world. In August through to November, more than 8000 species of wildflowers and 300 species of delicate orchids are in bloom, making it a popular and beautiful time to visit the region.”

Organised by the Uniting Church of Busselton, the Wildflower Exhibition also includes the following:

  • Photography display (Busselton Camera Club)
  • Geographe Community Landcare Nursery sales and advice
  • Waterwise garden display (Geocatch)
  • Light refreshments will be available throughout the day
  • Variety of stalls displaying local produce and crafts for purchase

Bring your camera along to test your skill at capturing the rare beauty of the flowers on show.

Exhibition Details:

Place:    Uniting Church Hall and Grounds, 47 Kent Street, Busselton

Date:    Thursday, 26 September and Friday, 27 September 2019, 9am- 4pm

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Do 4 dolphins = 1 whale?

Yesterday we went on a whale watching tour and enjoyed over three hours sailing in Geographe Bay, Indian Ocean.

The brochure highlighted that around 35,000 whales migrate through the Bay each year on their journey to Antarctica.This includes Humpback, Southern Right, The Blue and Killer whales. But …

There were none to be seen yesterday!

We were heading back to the Port when a pod of dolphins followed the charter boat for a short time. This certainly lifted everyone’s spirits and I took some photos of them. As I was snapping away, my husband said “Do four dolphins equal a whale?”

At this point we actually hoped we didn’t see a whale because the ticket guaranteed if no whales are sighted we  are entitled to another trip for free. We will have another go once the school holidays are over and the weather will be a bit warmer too!

 

Too much excitement …

As we were relaxing and eating lunch today my husband pointed outside and said “snake”. At first I thought he was joking. We do get an assortment of creatures passing by our patio. I got up and had a look and sure enough, it WAS a tiger snake!

Once that thought registered I stood for a moment looking at it – it was quite beautiful really, in a reptilian sort of way! I even went to grab my phone to take a photo. By that time it had moved beyond our sight and I wasn’t about to follow it.

We got in contact with a local group who, according to their brochure they “devote their time and efforts to meeting the needs of injured, misplaced and misunderstood reptiles.”

Unfortunately the very brave, young lady was unable to locate the snake but will come again if there is another sighting. We love living close to the natural bush behind us but it is difficult to come to terms with sharing our space with dangerous reptiles.

snake

 

Character cottage

We went to Augusta yesterday. It is only an hour’s drive from home. It was a nice spot but we decided to come home after one night. I took some snaps of the character features in the cottage we stayed in. They should have mentioned the loo was outside – a big oversight in the advertising.

The location was lovely so we may go back to Augusta again but next time we’ll make sure it has an inside loo. I think I got a bit traumatized when we were living in Fitzroy Crossing W.A. and we found a big King Brown snake in the outside toilet :-).

Augusta Nov 2015 013

Maggies

Over the last few months several magpies have been dropping in to our back garden for a visit and a snack. Sometimes they just hung out there not even looking for food. I took these photos a couple of weeks ago and I am glad I did as we have hardly seen them since.

But of course! It is spring and there are more important things to do!

Today I sat outside in the sunshine for a few minutes and I noticed a big nest in a tree in the bush-land behind our home. I saw a little black head pop up from the nest and the maggie flew directly to my fence and then onto the chair beside me.

I offered him/her some bread but there wasn’t much interest. It wasn’t at all fazed by my presence and would take food from my hand – just to be polite, it wasn’t really hungry.

After a few minutes in hopped back up on the fence again and then flew directly back to resume sitting on the nest. What a lovely encounter with nature :-).

Now for something completely different …

I am taking part in BirdLife Australia’s Beach-nesting Birds Project. I have been allocated an area of beach to monitor along with another woman (see map below).

Map for Western Hooded Plovers 001 (Copy)

This morning I did my second monitoring visit looking for the elusive Western Hooded Plover (pictured below).

IMG (Copy)

These delightful creatures nest directly on the beach or the nearby dunes and their nests are susceptible to being stepped on by people or damaged by dogs. They are so well camouflaged they are very difficult to find. I didn’t see any this morning but I will be back again in a fortnight to have another try.

Here are some snaps I took while at the beach.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Forces of Nature

When I hear the expression, forces of nature, I am reminded how powerful tropical storms are and the damage they cause to the landscape – especially man-made infrastructure.

I took these photos in the mid-1980’s in Fitzroy Crossing, during the wet season, after floods had isolated the town from surrounding communities.