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Looking for a spring in autumn

June 28, 2013
A spring?

A spring?

We moved to our property during the drought years. Living in the Spring Creek catchment I always wondered why it was so called. I had noticed that at the same elevation in each of our valleys there was an area of ‘greener’ vegetation. It hasn’t been until the last three years we have actually seen water welling up out of the ground. Now that we are deep into autumn, which usually brings rain, I am again looking for signs of the springs.DSCN1957

I recently noticed down the valley a bright patch of green standing out against the dried grass. The spring is back, I thought. Closer examination showed the green to be ‘pickings’ from an exotic Irish Strawberry (Arbutus unedo) a ‘nasty’ weed-of-a-tree, I’ve been told. And the culprits weren’t too difficult to spot against the green foliage… Crimson Rosellas (Platycercus elegans, from the Greek platukerkos, meaning broad-tailed and elegans meaning elegant, referring to the tail shape that is distinctive from other parrots). These birds, like most other parrots, must spend half their life shredding trees. Not only do they get food this way but they aid in propagating the tree by dropping the seed or flying off and distributing the seed in their droppings.

DSCN2129And to show that they get stuck into Aussie bush tucker as well, the photograph (left) shows a Crimson Rosella eating a Calllistemon seed pod ‘corn-cob’ style.

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