This afternoon we went for a walk along the cliff-tops to Bells Beach and were rewarded with a sighting of a blue tongue lizard * beside the path. These are beautifully patterned creatures, this one about 40 cms nose to tail. The little bit of sunlight must have brought the lizard out to warm itself up.

The fleeting sunshine also brought out the echidna to the delight of our visitors.

These photos show the echidna * crawling out from underneath the house to the terrace where it can drink from the saucers under the pot plants.

Because an echidna has very poor eyesight, by my keeping completely still it continues foraging, apparently unaware of my presence.  This close-up gives a good view of its tough 'snout ' which it uses to push into the earth in search of ants.

Earlier in the week we were surprised when Laurie looked up to see that our grevillia robusta * had flowered for the first time. It has been growing slowly for about 25 years. Perhaps the heavier than usual spring rains were what it has needed.

This photo shows the small flowers about five metres off the ground, taken with the camera on zoom.

We are not going to live long enough for it to reach the glorious height of this mature tree in the grounds of Melbourne Girls Grammar School. There are some similarly mature trees in the nearby Royal Melbourne Botanic Gardens.

This one beside the garden's cafe allows me to show you the way the flowers grow horizontally on the otherwise pendulous branches.

Like so many Australian plants the flower's form * is defined by a mass of lines. In this case having no petals.

I think it is the multiple small translucent lines that makes the flowering tree appear to glow when in full sunlight. Here is a link to more information about Grevilleas * .

This week's ikebana is of two arrangements of nandina domestica * made eight months apart, but using the same glass vase. 

I made this first arrangement in April using nandina berries from a friends garden.

The second arrangement I made two weeks ago using flowers from the nandina in our garden. The two arrangements contrast an autumnal feel and an early summer feel as we head toward Christmas.

Greetings from Christopher
11th December 2016 

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