A walk in the park

It’s 9 am, 2 deg. and sunny. I start at Lorimer Street near the punt. People everywhere – jogging, dog-walking, fishing, a walking race, cycling. The river is glistening and calm, other than the occasional boat wash.

Across the way, industrial neighbours and Atriplex cinerea softening the rock wall.

Revegetated only 2 years ago, the river section to the south is looking lush. Good rain has brought lots of weeds but carpets of Disphyma are holding their own and young Banksia integrifolia are at last growing strongly.

Frost and beads of dew hang like jewels on anything still in the shade along Southern Wetlands west.

And plants are vivid in the early morning sun.

The remnant saltmarsh vegetation in Redgum Lagoon and around the saltwater lakes is thriving.

I head to the dam and the Freshwater Lake where water levels are high. It’s likely that the Purple Swamphen has been uprooting the Triglochin procera for its tubers, judging by the ribbon leaves floating on the dam.

On my way back I notice red flowers on what looks like Eucalyptus leucoxylon which doesn’t seem right – must ask George! Banksia flowers are plentiful which is good for nectar-eating birds.

Favourites of mine along the river bank are Alyxia buxifolia – Sea Box with its small white windmill-shaped flowers with orange stems and Zygophyllum billardierei – Coast Twinleaf which is a ‘scrambler’ with succulent Y-shaped leaves and masses of bright yellow flowers. It’s listed as Rare in Victoria but we have several large and healthy patches.