And the bush has friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him, In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended, And at night the wonderous glory of the everlasting stars.

Banjo Paterson (1889)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Winter Days in Perth

The nights and days have been cool in Perth lately. We live up in the Darling Range hills and it's usually a couple degrees cooler up here than down on the coastal plain. Even though it's a bit cold and windy, some birds in our area are beginning to call and chase one another around as they get ready for spring. Another month or so and we should see the start of some early nesting.
The Jarrah forest near our home has lots of large granite outcrops and these usually have a good supply of geckos and other reptiles, but due to the cool weather you would be lucky to find one under the rock slabs. Most it seems have found deeper cracks and holes to hide in. We went for a walk yesterday and basically found very few animals.

One animal you do find under granite slabs this time of year are these beautiful native millipedes, so much nicer than the introduced ones. In Perth, especially up in the hills we have a problem with the introduced Portuguese Millipedes, which when conditions are right swarm by the thousands into local homes. On certain nights you can hear a millipede drop into the house just about every minute from a window or door. All they need is the smallest hole or crack to get in.

At this time of year with the rain the sundews start to make an appearance in the forest, getting ready to catch the rush of spring insects. Usually they have flowers in long stalks, as you don't want to catch your friendly pollinator insects!

There many not be many geckos to be found in the forest, but our resident backyard colony of Marbled Geckos (Christinus marmoratus) are happy to live out the winter high and dry under the slate slabs on our brick barbecue. I made little homes for them there about two years ago by layering old slate slabs on small sticks.

I took the above photos this morning when the sun came out and this lovely little fellow wanted to get some warmth.

This Marbled Gecko that I found last year had a weird split in his tail, probably from some damage when he was growing up, as his tail looks like an original one. Maybe he's still in the garden somewhere, sure can't mistake him if I see him!


JRandSue said...

I came across your Blog whilst looking at Tonys excellent Blog.
Glad I did.

S.C.E. said...

I never really thought of millipedes as beautiful before.......... in fact I've never even thought about them before at all.

I assume the Portuguese ones were introduced by mistake?

Richard King said...

Yep, another great accidental introduction!