Monday, December 27, 2010


Back in the highlands, the contrast with Christmas couldn't be greater. No wonder ...

(Storm front meets leader of Sydney Hobart yacht race on Boxing Day - from The Australian, photo AP)

The southerly blew through here last evening. The temperature plummeted, a heavy fog suddenly appeared as it does when the temperature drops and the humidity is high, wrapping itself around everything, and it rained steadily overnight.

What really caught my eye in the light morning drizzle was a silver aura around the Hakea teretifolia (Dagger Hakea) , whose sharp acicular leaves give it its name. The laminae are so reduced in surface area (an adaptation reducing evaporative loss and so increasing drought tolerance) that the leaves are fine stiff needles, and with nasty sharp points. Beware. I've planted them as a bird refuge.

The lovely shimmer was lots of little rain droplets giving a strange chandelier effect over the whole bush. It seems incongruous that the leaves without laminae were actually hanging onto the most water, by some sort of capillary action I suppose.

Similarly the terete leaves of the Petrophile pedunculata (Stalked Conesticks) glistened with rain drops.

The lovely Baeckae virgata (Twiggy Heath-Myrtle) gets heavy with its summer flowers at the best of times, but after rain it droops into a gently swaying white willow echo.

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