Readers’ wildlife photos

Please send in your good wildlife photos, or rather, get them together to send to me in a week or so when I return from Boston. Today we have some lovely plants from Australian researcher, naturalist, and photographer Tony Eales. His notes are indented:

So I got to go back to Western Australia—only my second time there. It is in some ways like going to a different country. Some of the insects and birds are familiar, but many occur only there and some things common on the east coast are absent there. But the big difference is the plants. There are a fair few familiar groups but the species are visibly quite distinct—often in spectacular ways from their east Australian cousins. SW Western Australia is a globally recognised biodiversity hotspot and my biggest regret was that I couldn’t have stayed and explored longer.

Here’s a few examples, first Banksias, which are clearly related to the south African group Protea, providing good biogeographical evidence for continental drift. I am not a great plant guy so some of my IDs may be off at the species level.

Banksia coccinea is a threatened species that grows in a relatively few stands in areas that humans would also like to build houses and beach resorts. Generally Banksia flowers range from orange to green with the majority being shades of yellow. B. coccinea in contrast, is a striking scarlet with some purple tones. Again I was out of season but lucky enough to find one flowering.

Banksia menziesii were in flower all around the state capital city Perth. Here I have an open flower and a close-up of unopened flower buds.

Western Australia is also famous for the flowering gums, closely related to Eucalyptus in the genus Corymbia. I found C. ficifolia in flower around Perth city.

Some more genera from the Proteacea family. Grevillia fasciculata and three stages of flowering in the famous Pin-cushion HakeaH. laurina:

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Lastly a plant I have wanted to see ever since I saw a picture of one in a book back when I was a fresh faced teen. Kingia australis. Another bizarre-looking plant, the only member of its genus and from a tiny family of Western Australian endemics. It is, in form, extraordinarily convergent on the much more widespread grasstree-group, Xanthorrhoea but the inflorescences are very different. I’ve included a picture of X. australis from eastern Australia for reference [JAC: bottom photo].

19 Comments

  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Someone should make slo-mo videos of many of these plants –

    • Jonathan Wallace
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Time lapse rather?

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Who needs art when you have nature.

    • mfdempsey1946
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      No offense to nature, but who needs art?

      I do.

      • rickflick
        Posted May 20, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        It’s not an either/or, is it.

        • mfdempsey1946
          Posted May 20, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

          “It’s not an either/or, is is?”

          No, it isn’t. The first clause of my sentence indicates this.

  3. rickflick
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Extraordinary variation on a theme. I may never get to AU, but with images like these I don’t feel the void as strongly.

  4. Posted May 20, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Fascinating plants. I wish I could visit there too!

  5. Posted May 20, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Beautiful

    • mallardbrad
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Ditto. Absolutely Beautiful. Really good photography, as well. Every time I have been to Oz, I have been amazed at the fauna. Spent 28 days there in the 1960’s; no two days were alike.

  6. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Of course

    I tend to write as if speaking out loud – this is the problem. When speaking, I can rapidly correct myself and no one would care. But it gets me in damn trouble here – I’m glad this time it is innocuous.

    Then there’s the not-fully-awake-yet factor.

  7. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful photos.
    The Australian proteas are, like the resembling South African ones, in a Mediterranean type of climate, with a cold gulfstream near the coast and a desert at the back.
    Are these leftovers from ‘Gondwana’ or is there also some convergent evolution?

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      And (related to the cold gulfstream an deserts) found on the western part of a southern continent. Are there proteas or protea-like flowering plants in Chile?

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        Checked it, indeed there areproteacea in Chile!

  8. Mark R.
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Gorgeous flora here. I would welcome more RWP posts featuring plants. I think I may have a batch I could round up. (Not as nice as these though.)

  9. Posted May 20, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Excellent images!

  10. Charles Sawicki
    Posted May 20, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Great Pictures!

  11. Posted May 21, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Wonderful photos; thanks, Tony!


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