Australia, Friends and Family, Plants
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Wireless Hill (Gone Bush, part II)

In which my family wanders off the path, I scold them, and they tell me I am too Germanified.

I am not even kidding.

Let’s head up to Wireless Hill with my family… and other animals:

I may have mentioned it before, but one of the most amazing things about my small corner of the world, is the plant life.

In fact, the southwestern region of Australia, where I grew up, is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. These hotspots are defined as key areas of land that should be prioritized for conservation based on their rich diversity of species. 

In order to be a hotspot, a region must have at least 1,500 vascular plant species as endemic (found there and nowhere else), and must have 30% or less of it’s original vegetation (i.e., the land is threatened).

The hotspots, of which there are now 35 worldwide, represent only 2.3% of the lands area, but support more than 50% of the worlds plant species!

Anyway, that’s the science of it.

The other side of it, is that the plants around Perth just look super cool:

This last one, a red and green kangaroo paw, which is incidentally the floral emblem of my state, is also rather dramatically artistic right? Or at least somehow mythical.

This one looks like a many legged dragon, or that thing from the never ending story, or a tardigrade flying through space.

It’s even being ridden through the galaxy by a tiny, furry antennaed bug friend.

Also rather spectacular are the grass trees, which present as large hay-bale-esque spikey balls scattered throughout the bush.

When they flower, an event which, as for many aussie plants, is encouraged by fire, they produce giant spikes. Just to throw a bit more drama into the scene.

One of the things I love about the Aussie bush is that, from a distance, it mostly looks like a fairly grey-and-brown sprawling mess. 

But if you get a bit closer, you see a thousand bursts of colour…

… and maybe even a couple of critters too:

Speaking of things that creep, this fellow was quite determined to get away unnoticed:

(Don’t worry, she’s not petting it- she’s a lefty using a camera phone).

Also eager to camouflage:      

Although I was a bit late in the season to get the majority of the wildflowers, I was lucky enough to get the last of the snail orchids.

As I mentioned, it’s all about getting up close and personal. From a distance, these guys don’t look like much:

But when you get face to face with them, I think they look kinda magnificent:    

Ok, that’s it for Wireless Hill… I’ll leave you with a couple more shots of the beauties which greeted me on my visit:    





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