Rose Study: David Austin in my garden

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Spring has sprung with a kind of sudden joyful ferocity in my garden, and the roses I pruned (my first time) a few months ago have grown long stems which are heavy with fat buds. This David Austin rose has delicate pink blooms with a very sweet fragrance that reminds me of freesias.

Everything’s rosy in my garden right now!

Please click image to view full size.

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Sneaky Portrait: two cameras and an orchid

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I wasn’t having much luck photographing the tiny orchid, which bobbed on its slender stalk in the slight breeze, so I looked up to observe Lex taking photos, and decided to focus on her instead. At the end she looked up and realised what I was doing, and took a photo of me taking a photo of her!

Please click to view Lex full size.

Shingle-back and Banksia: a striking resemblence

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The interesting thing about the Australian bush is how well it regenerates after a fire. Last year this patch of bushland was partially destroyed by fire – but now, it’s a haven for tiny orchids and plenty of regrowth.

As Lex and I ran about looking for orchids, we encountered this shingle-back lizard (also known as “sleepy lizard”, “pinecone lizard”, or “stumpy-tail”), a large skink which is common throughout Australia – I found a similarly-sized one in my garden today. I wish I’d been able to get it in focus while it opened-wide its mouth and displayed its blue tongue, because the similarity to the burnt-out banksia cones was striking! This image online shows you clearly what I mean.

Please click image to view full size.

Wimmera Wildflowers: a lunchtime scramble

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Recently my dear friend Lex drove me out to a local haunt she knows of, where native orchids grow. After twenty minutes’ hurtling along sandy tracks in her Toyota Prado, we arrived at an unassuming clearing where she assured me many wonders were soon to be revealed. As it turned out, she was right. (That’s her, taking a photo of a very tiny orchid, which you can see in slightly greater detail at top right.)

We leapt out of the vehicle, then scrambled along at a harried pace with eyes glued to the ground (me in inappropriate Italian Leather shoes which made me feel rather like I was running in sand dunes on tiptoe, being unprepared for the excursion when I dressed for work that morning), tripping over jutty-outy-bits (not me so much, since I was being extra-careful how I trod), laughing and screeching and generally scaring the wildlife.

The wildflowers were oblivious to our shrieks, though, which was just as well. Regrettably, however, they wouldn’t keep still in the light breeze, so I struggled to get things in focus.

Can you name any of these flowers? Please click image to view full size.