Post-fire beauty

Walking along a fire trail in Crowdy Bay National Park, I was stunned by the beauty of these Hakea bushes.

Gracefully arching, daintily flowering, they are Hakea teretifolia, also unhappily called Needlebush. The leaves are very spiky, but still…

In the long flat stretch of what seems like heath, the Hakeas stand out, etched in pastel strokes. This whole area was severely burnt out several years ago, so such a resurgence is a delight to see.

I had been directed to come here because of the abundance of these Bottlebrush Grass Trees, Xanthorrhoea macronema. The trunk of this variety is underground, and I’d thought it amazing when I saw a single specimen last year, as it was new to me.

Like the Hakea, another creamy white flowering native plant. There were only a few in bloom, but I could see hundreds of spent brown flower spikes across the reedy flat. These plants are stimulated by fire.

In the distance I spotted a few bright solo Christmas Bells.  Perhaps more will appear later in the season.

As the track reached forest and slight rises, the tall gums showed how they had survived the fire, with the many life-saving epicormic shoot clusters, now dead, no longer necessary, still evident.

And on my way back, a swift surprise flashed through the trees by the track; too swift for a good photo, but bird-lovers have identified it as a Brown Cuckoo Dove, Macropygia phasianella. I had thought it a dove by its head, but the long tail threw me. 

Such shared knowledge is much appreciated, and here I have learnt several new things on one walk.

6 thoughts on “Post-fire beauty”

  1. Love the whole group of photos. I have never seen a grasstree like that, before, so beautiful. And the grand, grand old tree…and the Hakeas…and all! Thank you yet again, Sharyn.

  2. Hi Sharyn
    The Xanthorrhoea are also flowering in the bush on the right hand side of the road from Lake Cathie to Port…this is where I first saw them by the hundreds a few years ago, but a few less now. It’s worth while parking the car and wandering a little way into the bush to find them.

  3. Indeed, Wendy. Also, each time I see my Banded Rail, I think of your little Rail family… so thanks for that comment too!

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