Christmas, a northern hemisphere religious/cultural festival associated with the winter solstice and (obviously) Christian and earlier pagan religion, can seem a bit odd translated into the Australian summer.
“Ecology is Not a Dirty Word” has blogged on a few of the Australian christmas-theme-compliant plants and flowers and their ecology. Have a read of that; and here’s my add-on.
Where the volcanic plains were cut through by the river, just east of Bacchus Marsh at Parwan Gorge, giant blocks of weathered basalt tumble over the edge of a precipitous, wind-blasted escarpment.
A harsh environment, on the edge of the fertile plains, above the fertile river valley, but vastly different from either. In this peculiar niche a special community lives: the escarpment shrubland. Crowning it all is a row of ancient Moonah trees (Melaleuca lanceolata). Continue reading →
What’s an inland, arid region tree doing hundreds of kilometres south of its native range? How did it end up here?
Along the Rowsley escarpment and nearby at Melton*, there are a couple of isolated populations of ancient White Cypress-pine, Callitris glaucophylla. The next nearest (isolated) report of this arid-zone, inland species is from over 100km north, at the Whipstick state park just north of Bendigo (according to the Atlas of Living Australia). Continue reading →