Tag Archives: Discovery Bay Coastal Park

capeweed

While out at Discovery Bay last weekend, I got a bit obsessed with photographing Capeweed (Arctotheca calendula), an environmental weed on mainland Australia. Capeweed is found in areas of habitation (gardens and lawns), among agricultural crops and pastures and in conservation areas, displacing ephemeral native species, harbouring pests that threaten indigenous species and posing a threat to the integrity of plant communities and the survival of threatened species in these sites.

So why photograph it? As soon as I got up close to this garish flower, I caught a glimpse of a much more subtle beauty. I often think that, if we can see beyond the context of our understanding of this and other species as weeds, we are able to simply observe them for what they are.

And also to learn how and why it is able to spread so successfully. It’s hard not to be amazed by the strategies of nature.

From budding to withering…

1: Bud

1: Bud contained within juicy, feathered bracts

 

2: Petals tucked in

2: Bracts retract to reveal the “petals” neatly tucked in. Daisy flowers are actually inflorescences or groups of  florets; the outer ring of petals are ligular florets with a ligule or strap that looks like a petal.

 

3: Petals unfurl

3: The ligules unfurl

 

4: Opening

4: Opening to reveal the inner tubular florets

 

5: Open

5: Open for pollination

 

6: Outer ray flowers gone and

6: The falling of the tubular florets reveals a tangle of wool that surrounds each cypsela or fruit

 

7:

7: Fluff

 

8: Star-like

8: The star-like floral attachment points resemble Venetian glass beads

 

9: The pappus becomes more and more fluffy in order to catch the wind for dispersal

9: The woolly cypselas become increasingly fluffy in order to catch the wind for dispersal

 

10: Fuzz

10: Ready for dispersal

 

12: Achene (or fruit) starting to be dispersed

12: Cypselas dispersing

 

15:

15: Subtle colours… this woolly covering attracts moisture, creating a little germination bed and increasing the chance of survival of the seeds inside, once on the ground and ripe.

 

14: Matrix

14: Dispersal reveals a beautiful receptacle

 

14:

15: Remains of the tubular florets that ring the receptacle

 

16:

16: All parts weather and brown

 

17: Beauty

17: Beauty in senescence

 

 

discovery bay

We recently spent a weekend camping with friends at Discovery Bay Coastal Park in the west of Victoria, an area with abundant history and natural beauty.

We went for a hike in an enchanted forest of moonah trees…

Walking

Walking

Moonah forest

Moonah forest

Lichen and mosses abound in the Enchanted Forest

Lichen and mosses abound in the Enchanted Forest

Spider

Perfect web

Rockwall

Rockwall

And visited a surreal landscape originally believed to be made up petrified trees but now recognised as the result of mineral erosion…

Lunar scape covered in Leucophyta brownie

Lunarscape covered in Leucophyta brownii

Pillars

Pillars

Small pillars

Small pillars

Tree trunk shapes

Tree trunk shapes

Eroded pillars

Eroded pillars

Blue sea

Blue sea

Waves at the Blowholes

Waves at the Blowholes

Discovery Bay is known for its huge sand dunes and we were keen to get among them.

Dune walking

Dune walking

Sand dunes

Sand dunes

Reeds

Reeds

Scotto on the dunes

Scotto on the dunes

Not much speed but lots of fun

Not much speed but lots of fun

It was a weekend of chats, fires, walks and discoveries. And lovely time with good friends, including this sweet little man…

Determined to carry his own things

Determined to help!

And I had some time with my camera…

Kunzea leaves

Kunzea leaves

Kunzea flowers, which become muntries, a bushfood with a spicy apple flavour

Kunzea pomifera flowers, which become muntries, a bushfood berry with a spicy apple flavour

Kunzea

Kunzea

Pimelea

Pimelea

Polygala myrtifolia- weedy but spectacular

Polygala myrtifolia- weedy but spectacular

It’s a very beautiful area to spend time and well worth the five-hour drive from Melbourne…