Tough little perennial Penny Woodward

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Thrift (Armeria maritima) was one of the plants that I grew in my first garden and I have loved it ever since. It is a delightful tough little perennial that grows, in spring and summer, as a small clump of tufting, grassy leaves with white, pink or red button flowers on slender stems. Their ideal home is rocky, well-drained ground near the coast (perfect for Somers gardens). They grow beautifully in cold and warm temperate regions but are not much good in the sub-tropics and certainly won’t survive in the tropics. They also show no signs of self-seeding so won’t grow into the coastal foreshore or other bush areas.

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A fishy surprise on South Beach John Blogg

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On a first light, early morning walk along South Beach this time last year, I was surprised to find a huge fish lying on the sand at the high tide line from the night before. As graceful as it was there wasn’t a mark on it to suggest why it had died, not even a broken hook in its mouth. It measured exactly one metre in length, with huge scales, and it weighed around 20 kilograms. I sent photos and information on where it was found to Jeff Weir at the Dolphin Research Institute for proper identification. Jeff informed me that David Donnelly, their research officer who – according to Jeff – ‘knows his fish’, said it was a blue-eye trevalla.

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Mangroves in danger Henry Broadbent

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The weekend of July 9–10 brought shocking pictures of the die-back of mangroves on the isolated shore of the Gulf of Carpentaria between Burketown and Karumba. While global warming was quickly suggested as to the cause, a more sober assessment suggested that drought was likely to be the culprit.

Westernport Bay has what I understand to be the most southerly mangroves in the world. Are we in danger of losing them? Particularly if the recent forecasts of imminent large sea level rises actually happen. Was it serendipity then that a notice arrived into my inbox on the very subject? Already primed I was intrigued to see an article published in the New Concepts in Global Tectonics Journal, by Albert Parker, titled: Darwin mangroves are not battling a sea level rise of +8.3 mm/year but increasing population and development. In the article, Albert Parker states: ‘We show here that the sea levels are rising in Darwin much less than the alleged +8.3 mm/year. Mangroves may suffer more from locally increasing population and development rather than the global carbon dioxide emission.’

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Looking after our beach nesting Plovers Roger Richards

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If you go down to the mouth of Coolart Creek at fairly low tide you may encounter the little Red-capped Plovers as I did on Monday 25 May when I saw six. Fortunately at this time of year with fewer people on the beach, there is less pressure on this charismatic little beach-nesting bird. I think it is quite amazing and special that they still come to this spot when there is so much human activity.

You can watch them feeding for hours as they rush along the water’s edge, then stop abruptly, before darting forward again. Unlike most plover species, the male is distinct from the female with a more rufous head.

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The local region Your guide to a cool summer street look

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Somers is part of a fascinating Australian coastal environment that has evolved over eons. Its natural plant and animal life form the distinctive landscape character and quality that makes the area so attractive. Somers’ impressive Coastal Banksia, She Oak and Manna Gum woodlands shelter magnificent wildflowers and unique wildlife.

Somers – why we came here Kevin Close

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Williams Point

We came; we saw; we were conquered!

We loved the dolphins playing with a dog the day we saw this house. We holidayed at Shoreham for years until the winters without power became bleak and we moved to Flinders. On retirement our permanent option was our dream home at Mt Martha but rising costs killed that. An inspection at Somers, a walk on the beach and we were hooked.

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