We are fortunate to have friends who know all sorts of things about flora and fauna. So, when I was talking about what I thought was the discovery of a new bee hive, my friend enlightened me. The European Honey Bees were swarming. Apparently this occurs approximately once a year, when an existing hive splits … Continue reading Games with A Bee Swarm
We have, of course, seen European Honey Bees in our garden since we moved in. However, until today we had not seen a hive. This one was discovered by Richard when he was mowing the grass around the house. The hive is hanging beneath the nest of a Red Wattle Bird in a native Australian … Continue reading European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)
Sometimes, standing still in the bush brings the wildlife to me. On Friday I had found a fallen branch and was standing, thinking about ways of photographing it – the branch was very large. After a few minutes, I heard shuffling sounds in the undergrowth. Expecting an echidna to emerge, I quietly turned around, camera … Continue reading Blotched Blue-tongue Lizard (Tiliqua nigrolutea)
Banjo Frogs were breeding last month. This month they are food for the White-necked Heron.
The Banjo Frogs were calling loudly from the dam in the middle of October. A day or two later, lots of frog spawn appeared on the surface of the water. I am guessing we will have a healthy population of Banjo Frogs next year. While I have not seen tadpoles in the dam in previous … Continue reading Frog Spawn
For many years I have been photographing the Spotted Sun Orchid (Thelymitra ixioides) on our property. I was aware that there was a variation in colour and often in the location of the spots. Recently, with the help of ‘Bush Gems’ an excellent reference to Victoria’s orchids by Gary Backhouse, I realise there are two … Continue reading Rush-leaf Sun-Orchid (Thelymitra juncifolia) vs. Spotted Sun-Orchid (Thelymitra ixioides)
One of the things I most enjoy about my Fifteen Acres blog is the communication with people who are interested in nature and who enjoy sharing flora and fauna finds – both on my site, and on their own. For those long term followers who must wonder where I have been, I want to write … Continue reading 12 Months On
Another orchid to make a first appearance in 2017 was the Purple Beard-orchid. Two separate plants grew right on the edge of the walking track at the back of our property, and another two on a cleared section near the Brown-clubbed Spider-orchids. We had seen one Red Beard-orchid in a different area in 2013, and … Continue reading Purple Beard-orchid (Calochilus robertsonii)
We primarily have Brown Clubbed Spider-orchids on our property, but in October 2017 I photographed this Plain-Lip Spider-orchid. Among a few straggly bracken stems, there were two Plain-lip Spider-orchids, squat and dark compared to the brightly coloured Brown-Clubbed Spider-orchids with their green combs. I missed the orchid season last year, so I don’t know if … Continue reading Plain-Lip Spider-orchid (Caladenia clacigera)
I am looking for some assistance here. For the last three years I have watched this patch of what I think are Chiloglottis leaves grow and then curl up in late Spring/early Summer. I haven’t seen any flowers grow on them. The leaves are growing beneath a mature eucalyptus tree approximately halfway between the house … Continue reading Mystery Leaves (6 Photos) Can You Identify This Plant?
On a warm January night, we were sitting in the lounge room watching TV when a loud bang on the screen door startled us. Initially, we couldn’t see anything outside, so Richard grabbed a torch and shone it into a nearby tree. We saw a bundle of grey feathers and thought it was a solitary … Continue reading Tawny Frogmouth
Out for a quick walk, I didn’t take my macro lens with me. Pity, because I came across a luminescent insect about 2cm in length, sitting on a broken acacia trunk. Turns out it was a large parasitic fly. According to Museum Victoria, the Tachinid Fly larvae feed on Scarab Beetle larvae. The adults also … Continue reading Tachinid Fly (Rutilia lepida)
Over the years we have been here, I have photographed many plants which are waiting to be identified. I first photographed Hedge Wattle in 2013 when I spotted a spindly branch dotted with yellow flowers in front of a tree I was trying to capture. In October 2017 I found another specimen of Hedge Wattle … Continue reading Hedge Wattle (Acacia paradoxa)
I thought I would start off 2018 with a happy story about Kookie, the kookaburra without tail feathers. Looking back through my posts, I can see mentions of Kookie “the tailless Kookaburra” since late 2012, but we first really began to observe her in 2014. Back then, we didn’t know if she was male or … Continue reading Two Kookaburra Chicks
Happy new year to all of you who follow Fifteen Acres. I got quite a shock to realise I haven’t posted since May – 2017 has really been a strange year. I must admit to looking forward to a brand new beginning in 2018, and getting back into the swing of regular updates. There are … Continue reading Goodbye to 2017
When we first moved in, almost five years ago now, there were very few native plants around the dam. We pulled out a heap of Agapanthus plants and a large cactus plant which, to us, were at odds with sclerophyll bushland surrounding it. Since then, grass grew, kangaroos and wallabies grazed, and each year we … Continue reading Self-Seeding Cranberry Heath
Last Monday was a good bird day. We often have birds sitting on the jetty railing. Usually, Australian Wood Ducks; often Little Pied Cormorants; rarely, a White Necked Heron. On Monday, all three species were sharing the space. The Little Pied Cormorants have been here every morning since then, diving for food and airing … Continue reading A Mixed Flock
Lately I have been looking back through my photographs. Over the years my knowledge about species has grown, so I recognise some that are not included in my A – Z Native Species List. The Yellow Admiral Butterfly is one of these. The Yellow Admirals have been plentiful every year in Spring and Summer. … Continue reading Yellow Admiral Butterfly
Common Heath can have white, pink or red flowers. We don’t have any red flowering heath here, but it is found in a reserve about ten minutes drive down the road. Over the years I have found about 3 or 4 plants with deep pink flowers, but predominantly we have white flowering Heath on our … Continue reading Pale Pink Heath
Summer flowers are very welcome for the small dots of colour they provide among dry grass and bracken. These Poison Lobelia flowers were growing right on the edge of the dam in sandy, moist soil. While I have photographed Poison Lobelia in previous years, I have just realised they were not included in the species … Continue reading Poison Lobelia (Lobelia pratioides)
When I first found these pretty blue flowers, a year or two ago, I thought they might be native. I put the photograph aside for identification, and got too busy to search for the species name. With the wet spring weather, it is plentiful again this year. Unfortunately, it isn’t a native Australian species, but … Continue reading Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis)
I had the opportunity to go walking up the back in the bush yesterday. The sun reflected off an object laying on the ground which seemed vivid green. Seeking this, I found a leaf covered with a cluster of large spherical attachments – too large for eggs, so presume they must be some kind of … Continue reading Another Puzzle: What Is This?
Duckling Story 3 may be a continuation of Duckling Story 2 – it is a bit difficult to interpret these events. An hour or two after the seven ducklings disappeared into the long grass, we saw a female duck with two ducklings grazing in that green spot all of the ducks seem to love. We … Continue reading Duckling Story 3
For some reason I associated the disappearance of the seven ducklings with the first sighting of the Swamp Harrier. When I check back through the photographs, I note that the single duckling disappeared on that date. The seven ducklings made their first appearance a week after that date. As is common, the adult Australian … Continue reading Duckling Story 2