Australian Flora and Fauna

I often fantasize about being a biological illustrator back in the day when people were in a frenzy to discover and classify the plants of the world. True dreaming, since my drawing skills are limited to stick plants, but I love the idea of being on the hunt for plants and that’s one of the things I find intriguing about going to new places–different plants from Upstate NY!

And so you’ll have to bear with me on this post because it’s going to be about plants–mostly flowers, with a few animals thrown in to keep it amusing.

What I find so interesting about the desert is that taken as a whole it’s a drab and barren landscape. But look at the individual bits and you see beauty and individuality and uniqueness. It’s very much the same if you look at a country–like China, let’s say. When we speak of China, it’s so often as “CHINA”, with all that means to us from our American perspective. But look at the individuals and you see beauty and individuality and uniqueness, and then you realize, like the old cliche, that we really do have a lot more in common than we have different.

This long view shows a rather monochromatic barren landscape. Can you see a bit of color change on either side of the path that starts from the bottom of the picture, near the sign?

That color change is from these bright purple flowers that were in peak bloom all over the Outback.

We only saw these particular red flowers twice.

Even the prickliest amongst us can have a beautiful side.

Yellow flowers, purple flowers, red dirt–See the desert really is colorful!

These silver colored flowers provided little hits of brightness in the desert’s somber palate

Another purple flower

I loved the subtleness of the color of these flowers.

Another kind of purple flower, this time with yellow centers and berries.

Hi! Surprise! I’m sitting in the flowers sticking my tongue out at you!

And yet another purple flower

A lot of different plants used the pod method for seed distribution. Must be it’s windy a lot on the Outback

A popcorn bush!

Look! We even saw giraffes! This was in the rock sculpture garden while waiting for the sunset.

The giraffes were very nice and offered to take our picture

Here is a big patch of the “bleached blonde” of the Australian grasses.

These were as close to daisies as any of the flowers we saw.

This is the view we saw on a hike we took near Broken Hill.

Can you see what’s hiding under the tree to the left, right on the trail path?

It’s Mr. Kangaroo enjoying a bit of shade!

And having a bit of a bath. Those claws look kind of wicked, don’t they?

This one had an itchy belly.

And now for some action shots!


Here’s a whole gaggle of kangaroos (yes I know geese come in gaggles, not kangaroos), enjoying some man-made shade.

Not only did this trail have bottled water for us, there was this discreetly disguised “peewee” too!

There was a tree with a bird bath under it that was filled with a variety of singing birds like this one.

In Silverton we saw cockatoos and parrots. They looked like they were sitting in church listening to the sermon.

You always get a few that can’t resist talking during church!

Someone had planted lavender in Silverton. It was doing really well in the sun and heat of the desert.

I was surprised we didn’t see more of this type of plant with the succulent foliage, since they are so adapted to desert life.

These red “bottle brush” bushes were really unusual

I’ll end here without a picture of the elevator flowers as this has been all about flowers “au naturel”, and sometimes those are more amazing than the man-made arrangements.

Thanks again to Mark for taking the majority of these pictures while I was recovering from my shoulder surgery and couldn’t hold a camera for extended periods of time.


About DECRYPTKNIT: knitter on the loose in Shanghai

Hi, I'm Marisa Newhouse, a former pharmacist (for a brief time during the Reagan administration) who's real calling was probably anything that has to do with cooking, plants, literature and especially knitting; hence my last and favorite job, working at Woolyminded, a wonderful yarn store. But now, I have moved half a world away to Shanghai where my husband will be working. Lots of people are interested in what we will be doing here and I have always kept journals of our travels, so I thought I'd do it the modern way and keep a blog.
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4 Responses to Australian Flora and Fauna

  1. Nevin Dawn Harmison says:

    Hi Dear Sister! Loved these flower pictures w. some animals too. Bottle-brush bush — do you remember we had these near the front door of our house in Calif? (it was a ways back….) I thought they were the most unique flower I’d ever seen at the time! Love ya!

  2. Anne Lawson says:

    I love your photos! I have just been up into those areas, especially Menindee, doing botanical drawings of flowers in the area. It was so nice to see some old favourites blooming on your blog! Thanks.

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