On New Year's Day I walked along the clifftop track to Bell's Beach, about 4 kms west of Torquay.

This photo is looking toward Bell's Beach and shows the heathland of low growing shrubs and grasses on the left-hand side above the clifftops. Flowers in this landscape are mostly small and only look spectacular when they flower en masse in spring. However, I had some fun taking some photos including trying to take some close-up images.

These are the fruiting bodies of the Prickly Tea-tree * (Leptospermum continentale). Although they are quite small there are so many of them the branches seem covered in the rich red berries.

A long time ago my friend Fermi identified this sweet little flower, which was growing along side the path, as Centaurium erythraea * . When I discussed it with him recently he pointed out that it is, in fact, an introduced species that has naturalised. However, he pointed out that it is not a particularly invasive weed and can fairly easily be removed. 

This prostrate Banksia marginata * was also growing beside the path. In this very exposed situation, where it is subject to strong and salty southwestly winds, it only grows as a small dense shrub. Inland it may grow to tree height.

The small stems remind me of cherry tree bark because of their colouring and shiny surface.

Another favourite is this Spyridium (S. vexilliferum) that is known locally as Propeller Plant. It is interesting to note that the silvery white 'propellers' are actually new leaves, in the centre of which is the multiple flower head.

 In the photo above a minute yellowish flower can be seen in the red circle. 

This week's ikebana has a Banksia (B. oblongifolia, [I think]) from the garden), some Dock weed, and a small yellow everlasting multi-headed flower from Western Australia. The beautiful wood-fired, Shino glazed vase is by the Canadian ceramic artist Don Goddard * from Lachine.  

Here it is again with some red and white mizukiki strings added, to wish you a happy New Year.

Greetings from Christopher
4th January 2015

* Click on blue text for further information.

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