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Peter

Perth field trip

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Hello everyone

I thought I would make the most of a sunny winters day and visit one of my favourite Drosera watching spots Ellis Brook Nature Reserve in the outer suburbs of my hometown, Perth, Western Australia. Living in the inner city I had given little thought to the news reports that we had just recorded our driest start to winter since records started to be kept in 1878. June is usually our wettest month with an average of 178 mm. So far we haven’t had a drop. But arriving at the park I really was amazed at how dry things were. The brook was completely dry. Normally at this time of the year it would have a steady flow. The walk I usually do follows the brook up a valley to the 60 foot falls (a very pretty little water fall) up around the top of the falls then along a ridge through some wandoo forest then back down into the valley and back to the start through an old quarry. I would normally see literally hundreds of drosera all along the walk especially around the base of the granite outcrops on the way up the valley and up near the top of the waterfall. Well not this time, I saw two drosera in the entire two-hour walk and I spent lots of time looking. Everything was extremely dry, the only plants I found were just emerging and were both found underneath bushes at the top of the falls.

First of all sorry for the poor picture quality its quite hard to get good shots lying on your belly under bushes trying to take pics of such small plants.

This one hadn’t even had time to put out any tentacles

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This one was a little more advanced but only about 3 centimetres tall. I think it may be a D menziesii but I’m not sure any ideas?

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in this close up you can see the tentacles on the stems and the pronounced downward bend in the petiole.

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Any way the view from the top of the scarp was great

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You can see Perth City on the horizon if you look carefully.

Hopefully the rains will arrive soon and it will bring some of the dormant tubers to life. I will visit this reserve again in a few months and hopefully there will be a few more picture opportunities.

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Mid June and they're only just emerging! Things have been bad over this side of the country as well but there are still plenty of Drosera to be found.

The Drosera looks as though it could be D. menziesii ssp. menziesii but it is virtually impossible to be positive at such an early stage.

Look forward to checking out shots from your next fieldtrip.

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Peter -

How sad. :cry:

Is there any way I can blame George Bush for this? (joke, sorta)

I'll do my rain-dance for you, my brother.

setep

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Hello Peter,

thanks for the field trip report - though the news weren't so good. But I hope you'll get enough rain soon - and post some pics again then :)

Regards

Martin

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Hi Peter,

Many thanks for the photos - it's great to see the plants in the wild, but sad to think that human-accelerated global climate change could have a dramatic impact on these and similar plants (and animals of course) - they just won't have enough time to evolve and adapt to the new conditions as the changes will be too rapid (centuries or millenia instead of 10,000's to millions of years), thus I fear for the continued survival of these wonderful living gems. :cry:

Nevertheless, many thanks again, and I hope that the rains come soon. Also, I know too well how hard it is to take good photos in the field (particularly on a windy day). I look forward to seeing more of your photos in the future. :lol:

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I too am from Perth and have been to numerous pygmy drosrea hot spots but have only found Drosera paleacea in a sad and sorry state, we also just had the warmest July night on record and not a lot of rain for the month either, water restictions are on the way!

Cheers

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