27 December 2013

A new blog header...and Central Coast Wetlands - part one

...thinking that I'll make changes every now and then to my blog-header.  The chosen bird will have been photographed at, or near, the accompanying location image. 

Mostly they will have been taken fairly near to home, but some times, the locations will often be hours away, and inland, from where I live, on the east coast, Australia. 

What was once the site for Pioneer Dairy from the 1800's, is now gazetted as Crown Land for environmental protection and public restoration, according to Wyong Shire Council.   Now administered by a Community Trust (since 2002), under the Crowns Land Act.

Black Swans, Pelicans and White Egrets were sighted in the distance.


Dedicated teams of volunteers have worked well to help create this.  Large picnic shelters, walking pathways and more.  I'll show you around; we may not see many birds at this moment; it's pretty hot out there, and steamy!
 

A lot of vegetation over this water-course; I'm sure it wasn't this thick last time I was here. 
 

a pair of Pacific Black Ducks kept their distance
 

 still want to keep walking?


embedded in kikuyu grass and filled with recent rains; not sure it's going anywhere

 I heard a noise overhead .... a light plane
 

 Skydive Australia in action!  Taken from their site, "once on-board, the plane climbs to around 14,000 feet.  The first part of the jump is around 40 seconds of free falling and then another five or so minutes under the canopy of the parachute floating above the coastline."  Are you up for it I'm wondering?? 




 the sign said 'Strangling Fig'

it reads: Strangler figs are tropical, vine-like trees that start as tiny seeds that have fallen on the branches or roots of an existing tree of another species.  The seeds begin to grow, and the young trees encase the host in a tangle of roots and trunks, ultimately strangling it to death.  All that's left is the thriving fig. 

This part I found interesting, "like all other figs, strangler figs rely on a tiny wasp to survive.  Worldwide, scientists have described more than 600 different kinds of fig wasps.  Usually, each is linked to a specific species of fig, although some figs appear to have more than one pollinating wasp.

These tiny insects pollinate figs by crawling into a tiny hole in the base of a special flower, which ultimately becomes a round or oblong fruit.  Female wasps often lay eggs inside the fruit, and the young fight their way out after hatching.  They then fly off to find other flowering fig.  Timing is everything, since the wasps don't live long and the trees often flower unpredictably throughout the year."

28 comments:

Jeanne said...

I have tried many things, but skydiving is not in my repertoire. Hope your Christmas was lovely. I am going to be a great grandmother again............. Love your new header.

John @ Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

That is interesting about the fig and wasp coexistence. Now if I were real good at photoshopping and had that picture of the sign , I would change it to read 'Beware of children' just to see if anyone would notice. ;)

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Love your new header, Carole! What I wouldn't give for the warmth and green of Australia right now. It has been so cold here and it snowed again on Christmas Eve.

Deanna said...

That is very interesting...isn't nature just so fascinating!!

Our photos said...

Also I Love your new header, Carole!
Greetings, RW & SK

TexWisGirl said...

i like the cute robin. and the pacific black ducks, always. :)

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I like the way that you show the environment as well as the birds - so many people don't do that. Like John I'd have been concerned if the sign had said "unsupervised children". I do get a bit fed up with all these signs though; this year I've seen "Muddy ground can be slippery" - really? - and "Do not interfere with the hornets' nest" - as if one would!

diane b said...

Good idea with the new header, bird and its environment. Lots of strangler figs up this way I took a photo inside one that had killed the host tree, which had rotted and left the fig hollow. It was on my post about O'Reillys.

Irma said...

Beautiful photos of this landscape, Carole.
I love your new header.
Greetings Irma

Russell Jenkins said...

Looks like a great place for a walk and an explore. Interesting info about the wasps, too, thanks. I like the signage warning and educating.

Linley S said...

That warning sign would keep the wimps away Carole., a lovely walk. Happy New Year to you and yours, cheers.

Joop Zand said...

Very nice new post and a beautiful header.....nice done Carole.

Greetings, Joop

David Gascoigne said...

Looks like an interesting place to visit.

eileeninmd said...

Carole, I love your header with the cute Robin. Looks like a beautiful place for an outing even with the warnings. Wishing you and your family a Happy New Years!

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan said...

Captivating pictures of the landscape and vegetation and breathtaking & daring para jumpers.

Christian Perrin said...

See, it's facts like that which make insects so interesting to me!

We don't have such detailed warning signs here in QLD - except for ticks, all of those 'dangerous animals' live in my garden!

Beth Edwards said...

gorgeous blog header shots. great picks! ( :

i love the skydiving shots. i can only imagine what it would be like to take that on. not sure i would be able to. i might get to scared.

Gert Jan Hermus said...

Love this series Carole. And indeed, I love your new header!

I wish you a great weekend! ;-)
dzjiedzjee.blogspot.com

Montanagirl said...

Really like your new header! It looks so nice and green in your photos. It's 45 below zero this morning at my daughter's home in Alaska!!

Wally Jones said...

Carole, I really enjoyed your post!

Looks like a wonderful area to explore. We have Strangler Figs here and they're great places to find birds, especially during migration.

Very nice header!

Jan Castle said...

Your header is lovely, but I hope you will bring back the pretty little blue birds someday!!!
Great walk....and I. The safety of my home - hope you did not encounter any of the 'warning' insects. If you skydive, who will take the pictures???????
Hugs,
Jan

Andrew Fulton said...

A wonderful post Carole...

Carole M. said...

thanks all for your comments, and good wishes; I really enjoy reading your thoughts; glad you liked the new header too. So many of you are in the depths of COLD, but I enjoy seeing your snowy photos ....

John! I could've tried that editing trick to the sign but there might be repercussions for misrepresentation!

Diane, I remember seeing that fig host at Lamington; so enjoyed visiting there and hope to go back some day.

Christian: That surprises me in this day and age that few signs up there.

Wally: Next time I'll get closer to the Strangler Fig and see what birds might be in there; I didn't walk over there this time, just took the photo from the pathway.

Jan: Didn't encounter any of the warning of natives there, but, DID have a Yellow faced Whip Snake near the back door a couple days ago! Did get a photo of it through the screen door. It's the second time this season I've seen one/or it. So, like Christian, the wild-life is right here at home too.









Stewart M said...

I think that the sign is there just to mess with the brains of the tourists!

The relationship between wasps and figs is a wonderful story of co-adaptation. I used to use similar life history stories when I was a teacher.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Brian King said...

Gorgeous place! You're having the heat while we're in the cold. I like your new header. That's a beautiful little bird!

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Carole this is a wonderful place to explore. Nature is just wonderful especially if man would stop interfering with it.

Marilyn said...

I loved the tour of the coastal wetlands. Nature has so many beautiful dresses and different for each occasion (geo location). These are some spectacular scenes. I do love your new header too.

Red Nomad OZ said...

Hahaha! LOVE that sign!! Will have to look up the wetland next time I'm in the area ... maybe there won't be quite so many stinging things in winter??!!