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Botanical bonanza

Published 26 Oct 2016 by Julia Harris (Reserve Manager)

An amazing array of yellows, white, purples, blue-greens and reds have recently brightened the often subdued colours of the arid-zone landscapes across outback South Australia.

Winter rain with some good follow-up falls in early spring has created perfect conditions for a botanical bonanza at Bon Bon Station Reserve. It has been very much enjoyed by the local fauna, as well as local staff, volunteers and visitors.

Although we haven’t had flooding rains (only 169mm in the gauge at the homestead to the end of September), but we’ve had enough showers followed by cooler days and dewy mornings to create perfect conditions for the local flora to flourish.

We’ve seen every possible daisy in flower and they’ve carpeted the landscape with their spectacular colours.

We’ve also seen many of the Swainsona species in flower (including Sturt’s Desert Pea), Ptilotis species (including the spectacular Pink Mulla Mulla), Eremophilias (Emu Bushes), Acacias (wattles) and Chenopods (salt bushes and blue bushes). They’ve all produced an amazing display.

The mossies have also been abundant – making good use of water puddles and green vegetation along with flies, grasshoppers and moths. We’ve spotted some geckos, spiders and micro bats in hot pursuit!

Local birds, along with many visiting flocks have been making good use of the flowering plants for nectar as well as the associated insect bonanza. We’ve observed many nests and young chicks (including emu chicks); we’ve also enjoyed waking up to their songs and chirruping.

October has arrived with some wild, windy weather but we have escaped (so far) without damage to our infrastructure and so have fared better than many areas in South Australia.

However, the ground is fast drying out and the plants are starting to hay off and set their seeds.

We hope you enjoy a taste of the amazing plant life and the colourful hues of Bon Bon’s winter-spring through these photos we’ve collected over the past few months.

Western myall (Acacia papyrocarpa) flowers (close view). Photo Julia Harris. Western myall (Acacia papyrocarpa) flowers (close view). Photo Julia Harris.
Western myall in flower. Photo Julia Harris. Western myall in flower. Photo Julia Harris.
Emu chicks captured on a monitoring camera. Emu chicks captured on a monitoring camera.
Chenopods (blue bushes) flower. Photo Julia Harris. Chenopods (blue bushes) flower. Photo Julia Harris.
Pink daisies. Photo Julia Harris. Pink daisies. Photo Julia Harris.
Purple swainsonas and poached-egg daisies. Photo Julia Harris. Purple swainsonas and poached-egg daisies. Photo Julia Harris.
Gunniopsis sp. Photo Julia Harris. Gunniopsis sp. Photo Julia Harris.
Purple, white and yellow - a spectalur highlight taken near Lake Puckridge. Photo Julia Harris. Purple, white and yellow - a spectalur highlight taken near Lake Puckridge. Photo Julia Harris.
Silver tails (Ptilotis obovartis) in flower - creating a pale purple hue. Photo Julia Harris. Silver tails (Ptilotis obovartis) in flower - creating a pale purple hue. Photo Julia Harris.
Parakeelya dune. Photo Mike Chuk. Parakeelya dune. Photo Mike Chuk.
Parakeelya in flower. Photo Mike Chuk. Parakeelya in flower. Photo Mike Chuk.
Pigfaces (Disphyma crassifolium ssp. clavellatum). Photo Julia Harris. Pigfaces (Disphyma crassifolium ssp. clavellatum). Photo Julia Harris.
Unusual striped pink and white flower (Eremophila alternifolia). Photo Julia Harris. Unusual striped pink and white flower (Eremophila alternifolia). Photo Julia Harris.
Sturt's desert pea. Photo by Henry Rischbieth. Sturt's desert pea. Photo by Henry Rischbieth.
Yellow-daisy road. Photo Julia Harris. Yellow-daisy road. Photo Julia Harris.

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