Thaxter and Hepburn Parks

October GOLLY Walk

‘Two for the price of one’

Due to a ‘senior’s moment’ I planned our Golly Walk in Thaxter Park, Landsdale a month too early!

Consequently, the mass showing of Christmas Morrison (Verticordia nitens) was nowhere to be seen. Nevertheless, our short walk through the park did reveal at least 20 other species in flower, the most notable being:

  • Summer Starflowers (Calytrix flavescens),
  • Conostylis (aculeata?),
  • Eremaea pauciflora,
  • Purple Flag (Patersonia occidentalis),
  • Pixie Mops (Petrophile linearis),
  • Leafless Fringed Lily (Thysanotus sp.)
  • and a very tall Holly-leaf Banksia (Banksia ilicifolia).

As we finished our walk within the hour, we had enough time to visit our second Landsdale venue: Hepburn Park. The name was quite appropriate, as the purpose for visiting this 10ha of remnant bushland was to view the contrast between the area purposely burnt by the City of Wanneroo in early winter and the unburnt bushland. Although the contrast was not so obvious until we walked the firebreak between the two, the first thing to strike us was that every Balga (Xanthorrhoea preissii)—and there were hundreds— was in flower.

Also noticeable were the numerous bushes of the Holly Pea (Jacksonia floribunda) which we later concluded were restricted to the burnt area. Further along we found a flowering WA Christmas Tree (Nuytsia floribunda) with many new seedlings surrounding it—again, all post fire.

As we walked the firebreak, it was striking to realise that there was not a single Balga flowering in the unburnt area. Also there was an obvious greater abundance of Purple Flags, Native Violets (Hybanthus calycinus) and Cats Paws (Anigozanthus humilis), in the burnt area compared to the unburnt area.

We did not venture into the unburnt area to compare the insect abundance but did notice plenty in the burnt area (perhaps because there were more flowers?) The most numerous insect was the Spring Sun-moth (Synemon sp.)

We found several different ants along the way and recorded several skinks.

It was noticeable that there were many more bird calls coming from the unburnt area than the burnt area (due to more foliage cover, perhaps?)

In the end, the senior’s moment led to a very interesting morning. But GOLLY, I hope they don’t become too frequent!

Don Poynton