Reptiles get wake-up call

Jason Barrow welcomes the kangeroo paws of spring.
Jason Barrow welcomes the kangeroo paws of spring.

Kambarang this year has started a little earlier than usual, though with the lingering Djilba rains it might be a little hard to believe. Many balga or grasstree flower stalks have started emerging from their crowns along Joondalup Drive and Burns Beach Road.

The flower stalks will be especially evident in areas that were burnt last summer, but we should also see many balgas in flower because of the better-than-average ‘spring’ rains. These flower spears can grow rapidly (5cm-10cm per day) and will start to open from the northern facing side of the spear first.

Another good indicator of the change in season is the emergence of reptiles from their winter hibernation particularly snakes and lizards.

Take care when walking through bush areas, including along the coastal dune paths, as October is the number one season to see snakes. In the trees and skies be alert for the ‘swooping’ koolbardies or magpies. Kambarang this year will see a second clutch of eggs for some Koolbardie family groups.

As the rains start to ease up into November we’ll start to see the yellows of the candle stick banksias (banksia attenuata) and another of the signature flowering plants of Nyoongar country, the mooja or the Australian christmas tree (nuytsia floribunda) with its masses of orange flowers that will signal the break of Kambarang and the start of birak season.

Keep an eye out for some fantastic examples of these along Joondalup Drive and also at the corner of Grand Ocean Entrance and Marmion Drive.