Sam and I recently visited a small patch of coastal scrub, in search of seeds for propagation.
The seeds on the giant River Red Gum, pictured below, were immature; we will have to try again later in the season. That magnificent tree must be well over 500 years old.
We found mature seeds on the local grass trees, Xanthorrhoea. You can see the ‘spike’ which carries the flowers and seeds; the tips of the seeds are needle sharp.
Local callitris and sheoak have recolonised the slope (probably because the land is free of sheep). We collected seeds from both types of trees, and also a few seeds from the scattered stands of Melaleuca lanceolata at the top of the property. These are ancient trees, and look to be gradually dying out, so it is important to support their offspring.
Despite its name, Banskia Scrub, there were no banskias to be found. Last week we tracked down a small stand of banskias ‘protected’ by the local council in a reserve.
Kunzea pomifera, Muntries, provides a good ground cover – important for sandy soil. I gathered a handful of ripe fruit, which had a refreshing, Muntries sort of smell….
If all goes well, the resulting trees, shrubs and creepers will be planted on the Cricket Pitch Paddock, just to the south-east of our Boatshed.
We spotted fifteen or so Grey Kangaroos in our travels – including a diminutive youngster, and an old buck of formidable aspect.
Halfway down the slope there are two deep burrows. Sam felt this was encouraging evidence of the all-but-vanished Normanville Sanddunes Wombats. He may well be right. I had a suspicion that the burrows were fox dens – and I may well be wrong.