04.10.2015 - 04.10.2015
Flecker Botanic Gardens
Dating from 1886, these gardens are known for their collection of more than 100 species of palm trees. they also house many tropical plants.
The gardens include an area of Queensland rainforest with native birdlife.
The Centenary Lakes were created in 1976 to commemorate the city's first 100 years.
there are separate Saltwater
and freshwater lakes
It was amazing to see such a varierty of birdlife.
In the photo above there are Pelican, Royal Spoonbills, Australian White Ibis, straw necked Ibis, Intermidiate Egrits, Little Black Cormorants!
and then, along came this amazing Jabiru
even bigger than the large Pelicans!
and with quite a wingspan
and around the lakes, were plenty of Scrub Hens
This brilliant blue butterfly can be seen flying most of the year but is most common from February to May and is found in rainforest areas from Cape York to Sarina in Central Queensland.
It is one of thirteen species found from the Molucca Islands in Indonesia to the Solomon Islands and Australia.
Lots of other butterflies were flitting around the Flecker Gardens
Most of them much better at sittign still than the infamour Ulysses!
These Choclate Beehive Giner plants caught my eye
Fishing pole bamboo – these plants are native to China where they are highly valued and have many used, including construction of fishing rods.
And as always, bush turkeys were busy going about their business
Tropical Palm Forest
Alexander palms, Queensland Fan Palms and the climbing palm or Wait-a-whiles thrive in moist swampy soils.
Palm Rattan used for weaving
The bright red seeds of the Alexander palms are consumed and spread by birds such as the migratory Metallic Starlings and Torresian Imperial Pigeons. Many seeds fall as the base of the palms where they germinate but fail to grow due to insufficient light and space.
The vicious recurved hooks of the Wait-a-Whiles allow this fast growing, climbing palm to reach the canopy and sunlight. The canes of this plant are commonly used in the production of furniture and baskets.
From August to January the bright blue fruits of the Blue Quandong cover the nearby forest floor. They are relished by Cassowaries and various other native animals.
Native ginger, Wild cardamom and Scrub breadfruit are the most successful of the understory inhabitants.
Lowland Paperbark Forest
Giant Paperbark trees dominate the landscape. These magnificent specimens are the product of several hundred years of growth and their flowers provide nectar and pollen for insects, bats and small marsupials. Rainforest Aboriginals used their bark for covering shelters, constructing bark canoes and to hold food. Native Hibiscus is unable to remain upright in the swampy soil and grows vine-like through and across neighbouring trees.
Red Arrow Circuit
Climbs the slopes of the Whitfield Range and on to Mount Whitfield Conservation Park,.
The steep walk passes through rainforest, eucalypt woodland and grassland and provides views of Cairns city, coastal mangrove forests, the Barron River,
and northern beaches.
It was a long way up
but worth the view
Water Tank Gallery
As part of the Botanic Gardens, there large old water tanks house various galleries
Unfortunately, they were closed this day, but it really made me think - what a cool house I could make from one of these discarded relics!!