It started off with a discovery when I was watering some pots on the verandah, I noticed the upper leaves on a small cassia plant were tattered. It didn’t take long to realise the cause and spot it, a looper caterpillar, larva of a geometrid moth..
As usual at this time of year the Gold Dust Wattle, Acacia acinacea is putting on a great show in the garden, and while admiring it I noticed native bees collecting pollen, the activity was full on and they were very difficult to photograph.
The majority were Lasioglossum species that pack the pollen into the hairs on their legs, I could plainly see the females loading up with movements of their legs. Then I noticed a different bee, it was a small reddish Reed Bee, Exoneura species, and as can be seen in the third photo it packs the pollen on to the under surface of its abdomen. For lots of good info on native bees visit the Aussie Bee website.
The bees provided the impetus for me to then head out into the foothills hoping to find more on the spring wildflowers. My first stop was the slope where the B anemonifolia was a picture.
Also flowering heavily close by was Brachyloma daphnoides and a Leucopogon species, but the only bees in attendance were feral honeybees and this state of affairs continued with no natives to be seen. The area is noted for a large number of pomaderris species, especially along the river, one species on the ridge above was coming into full flower.
The Hoary Sunray plants that were just starting to flower on my previous visit were now well under way putting on quite a show, they grow in the driest most inhospitable ground imaginable.
Above the sunrays Daviesia leptophylla was also flowering.
Generally speaking the only flowers to be seen on the roadsides in the farming areas and close to the town are weeds like capeweed, and various garden escapes, however on a dry bank not far out of town, plants of Eutaxia microphylla have persisted for as long as I can remember. It had been some time since I last checked them, so on the way home a stop was made and happily they still survive, although perhaps not in the numbers formerly seen.
Click to enlarge.