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Goldfields March 8th, 2012 09:05 AM

Hooray! It's Autumn.
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9 months till our next hot Summer. Yay! Must be Spring in the cold countries so I hope to see someone else's flowers and gardens soon. To start this thread though, a Blood Lily, Haemanthus coccineus. Given to me by my S.I.L. and flowering for the first time. :thumbs up
Then a Kniphofia(red hot poker). I rushed out the other morning to try and get a photo of a New Holland Honeyeater that was feeding on the nectar of this plant, and while I failed because that bird had flown, I did get a photo of this female Crimson Rosella, a very rare and welcome visitor here. The male is a stunning bird and I am hoping they are shifting into this area.

Melinda March 8th, 2012 09:31 AM

oh my god, I love that bird, can't imagine seeing them flying free. our snow is starting to melt, have unseasonally warm weather right now, I see flooded basements in the near future

hazelrunpack March 8th, 2012 10:19 AM

I love that Rosella, too! Hope you can manage to catch a shot of the honeyeater later, GF! :D

That blood lily is pretty!! I've never seen one before...

lindapalm March 8th, 2012 08:49 PM

It would be fasinating to see a bird outside like that instead of robins and sparrows all the time.

Goldfields March 8th, 2012 09:50 PM

Here is a link to Crimson Rosellas. We saw them a lot as we drove down beside the Grampians Mt range to dog shows at Hamilton but all the time we have lived here I've hoped we'd see them shift into this area.


Our common Rosella here though is the Eastern rosella.


We often have these in the garden and see small groups of them in the forest opposite us, or along roadsides. Strange that they are so colorful against our very drab 'bush'.

The Blood Lily is strange, Hazel, it puts up two huge leaves, then when they die down you get these red shaving brush-like flowers. Quite expensive to buy, prices range from $13.50 a bulb to $33 or more. Glad mine were a gift. :D

lindapalm March 9th, 2012 09:33 PM

I thought the crimson one had amazing colors, but so does the Eastern. Are they really loud birds? I wouldn't care how much noise they made, they are beautiful.

pbpatti March 9th, 2012 10:13 PM

So different, our N.American birds and the birds of the rest of the world. Thanks for sharing your birds with us Goldfield.

Goldfields March 9th, 2012 10:42 PM

Lindapalm, the Eastern Rosella is the smaller of the two ,28 - 33cm, compared to the Crimson's 35 - 38cm. Now this is taken from my bird book. Voice of the Eastern is "Bell-like 'pee-pity, pee-pity' on one note. High ' clink, clink' in flight". Quite unobtrusive really. The Crimson on the other hand is "Brassy 'kweek, kweek' in flight, 'p-link, p-link'; bell-like whistle, perched" . That bell-like chiming call is very nice, but the 'kweek, kweek' is noisy, one flew by just before I started this.
We also get heaps of smaller, pretty birds like Red-Rumped parrots, Musk Lorikeets and Purple Crowned Lorikeets, and just the occassional Rainbow Lorikeet. The really noisy ones though are the ever present Galahs, Sulphur Crested Cockatoos and Long Billed Corellas. Big flocks of them that come in to drink at our dam and spend the nights in our trees so they can wake us up at dawn, screeching . :evil: When it rains after a long dry spell they go nuts, Hanging upside down from branches, wings spread out for a chance to bath, flying madly in all directions, you can easily see how they are loving it. :D

lindapalm March 10th, 2012 09:46 AM

It must be fasinating to watch all that color in the sky. We only have blue jays or orioles, which don't even come close to yours. What do they eat?

Goldfields March 10th, 2012 07:29 PM

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LOL. Funny you should ask, lindapalm, because this morning I discovered that Crimson Rosellas eat pears. I wondered why she was hanging around when we had no berries on our cotoneasters, then found her trapped under the bird net on our pear tree. We'll take the net off so she can have the pears without getting hurt, pears being cheap to buy. Oh, she safely made her escape by the way. Basically they are seed and fruit eaters, with some insects.

I thought I might include two better photo's of the Haemanthus coccineus, to show how it grows, with that very thick stem. Last photo is the rose, Just Joey.

Goldfields March 24th, 2012 09:10 PM

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Sorry I've not posted in this thread for a bit, I wasn't gardening due to health problems. Now the roses are just starting their Autumn flush so here are 3 to start with.
Brilliant Pink Iceberg, which I like because of its pink stamens.
Ebb Tide.
A mystery rose. Labelled as Claire Austin when I bought it but it looks more like Twilight Mist to me. :shrug: Nice anyway.

Goldfields March 24th, 2012 09:24 PM

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A new Grevillea I bought for the honeyeaters to enjoy.
The birds love this red Nerine.
A plain orange geranium.

Goldfields March 24th, 2012 09:48 PM

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Something a bit different now. A Bromeliad. Wickedly sharp points on the leaves. I thought I'd put it somewhere safe, out near the front birdbath, but it still got me when I was filling it! :eek: :D
This rose is 'Leander'.
Cheating a bit here, this final flower is a Banksia up at my friend's place. Her property is sandy so she can grow these Natives, but down here we have clay, worse luck.

hazelrunpack March 24th, 2012 10:03 PM

Very cool bromeliad and that Banksia is something else! Beautiful roses, as usual!! Do you see a lot of honeyeaters?

Hope you're feeling better!

Oh--and I thought of you the other day. A stray 'red heeler' was found in the county and ended up at the shelter. I mentioned that it looked an awful lot like an Australian Cattle Dog...heheh...which, of course, it was! :laughing: I had no idea (or had forgotten, take your pick) they were the same... :o

Goldfields March 24th, 2012 10:06 PM

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Can't finish this without a 'pretty in pink' post.
First one of the Asters I particularly liked.
The rose 'Skylark'.
Crepe Myrtle.

hazelrunpack March 24th, 2012 10:08 PM

That aster is stunning! Ours are mostly white or lavendar/blue. Your crepe myrtle blooms in fall? I think it's a spring/summer bloomer here (but I could be wrong since I've never had one).

And surprise!! Another beautiful rose!! :D

Goldfields March 25th, 2012 10:45 AM

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It is a pretty pink Aster, Hazel, a real nice shade of pink I mean. Yes, the crepe myrtle is blooming now, but that's actually my friend's tree. We had one when we first came here, a much darker pink than that but it died, I was an even worse gardener back then than I am now. :D
We mainly see New Holland Honeyeaters, White plumed Honeyeaters, Red Wattlebirds and Noisy Miners, but get annual visits from Blue faced Honeyeaters and maybe 8 others on rare occassions. Our prettiest were Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters but they have only been here once in 35 years. A recent visitor is this little Restless Flycatcher, aka a 'Scissors Grinder' because of his very unique call, continuous whirring hisses as it hovers. Unmistakeable. It lives in the forest opposite us but usually appears in the garden at this time of the year. It has a small erectile crest.
I'll forgive the confusion about the name red heeler. :D Look how many people kept calling GSD's Alsations after the name change. The breed was originally shown as Australian Heelers, and of course you either owned a red heeler or a blue heeler. Hope the one there finds a good home. They're a great dog.

hazelrunpack March 25th, 2012 01:34 PM

That's a sweet little flycatcher! Here, flycatchers tend to be a pretty drab bunch--mostly brown or olive with the occasional wash of yellow. Your restless flycatcher looks a lot like our tree swallow! :)

Goldfields March 26th, 2012 02:00 AM

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Do any of your flycatchers hover? This bird, the Magpie, is one of my favorites. They carol beautifully, they are so intelligent I had one mother bringing her youngsters over here to eat the cats' food, and while they are a common bird, I just never get sick of them. In this photo two Magpies had been checking out my sheep feeders for leftover crumbs of ewe supplement pellets. :D

hazelrunpack March 26th, 2012 06:33 PM

Magpies in the US tend to be opportunists, too. :D They're not found around here, though. I'd have to go further north and west.

The master-hoverers around here are the hummingbirds, which hover to drink nectar and can fly in any direction (including reverse). North American flycatchers, on the other hand, are for the most part drab little guys that gather insects by hawking. They can hover, but only for a brief amount of time, usually only as they grab an insect and are about to fly back to the perch they're hawking from. And most of the smaller species all look alike--they're the devil to try to identify unless they're vocalizing.

Goldfields March 26th, 2012 07:56 PM

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I'm almost certain we do not have a bird here that can fly backwards, Hazel. LOL. Amazing. I'd swap you all of these for one little hummingbird. :)

hazelrunpack March 27th, 2012 12:32 AM

Ooooo...if they were mine to give, I might take you up on that! :laughing:

Goldfields March 27th, 2012 01:58 AM

LOL. We always want what we haven't got. I find myself wanting Queensland birds down here in Victoria, and it isn't going to happen!.

lindapalm March 27th, 2012 08:21 PM

I would take you up on that too, if I could. It would be great to look up in a tree and see those birds. Are you going to miss your flowers, now that Autumn is here, or are you glad for a break?

Goldfields March 28th, 2012 02:37 AM

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Autumn should be okay, lindapalm, because the roses will have an Autumn flush, but Winter will be depressing. Although ..... last year I may have had flowers all year round. You could have all the noisy white cockatoos, the Galahs here are more to my liking, a quieter, gentler bird. They were feeding in the paddock last night and glad they could find something to eat because my sheep can't. We are almost back into drought conditions again, worse luck. I couldn't get closer to the galahs or they'd have flown off.

Goldfields March 28th, 2012 03:57 AM

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Look who turned up to eat in the garden this evening. Excuse the grainy look, it's taken from a distance at dusk, and my camera is nowhere near as good as Hazel's. A pair of Eastern Rosellas.:lovestruck:

hazelrunpack March 28th, 2012 09:31 AM

Oh, beautiful! Both the Galahs and the Rosellas! They look so exotic to my northern hemisphere eyes. :D

A shame you're getting droughty again. We're in the same boat this spring--they keep promising us rain, but it misses us, and we're coming off a winter with little snow. The forest is starting to get crispy... :eek: I think it's going to be a long fire season this spring. Hope you get some rain soon!

Goldfields March 28th, 2012 07:42 PM

Imagine what beautiful photo's you could have got with your camera, Hazel.

I feel for you with your fires season upon you. Yours and mine are great places to live when conditions are ideal. All Spring and Summer here we had to watch storms go either north or south of us, or just drop down to the south before they got here. So ridiculous when so much of Australia has been flooded. I more or less feed lot my sheep. Feed them hay and pellets, so no grass but they're fine. The effect on my garden though is so depressing.

lindapalm March 28th, 2012 08:20 PM

You get to see so much color when you look out your window, all we see are black crows and brown sparrows. I, too, am waiting for hummingbirds, not only are they pretty, but interesting to watch.

Goldfields March 28th, 2012 08:29 PM

We're getting a bit of a sparrow infestation now too, lindapalm. It happened once before, back when our cats were young, and between them they got rid of them totally. Scared them off most likely, they'd go up to the rafters where the nests were. Now my cats are old I think we could be swamped by them.

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