Environmental Recovery. Port Phillip Bay.

It may be a sign of maturity, wisdom and age, or perhaps I’m just a slow learner, but lately I’ve been observing some wonderful changes along the foreshore down by the bay. Where once the sea grasses in the shallow water and the native grasses along the coast were gouged by tractors to create white sandy banks for sunbathers and swimmers, now the native flora is slowly returning. It’s a gradual but discernible march as the native grasses thicken, slowly forming seed beds for the indigenous Coastal Banksia to germinate and creep closer to the tide line. Thick brackets of Casuarina compete with purple Melaleuca along shady pathways to the sand. An early morning walk in and out of the fringing bush is a rewarding pastime.

Purple Melaleuca, Capel Sound foreshore area, Port Phillip Bay, Victoria.

I’ve spent most of my life ignoring the beauty of the coastal Banksia. An irregular shaped woody tree better known for its yellow or lime candle flowers than beauty, shade or shape, I am so thrilled to find new saplings emerging along the small human track forged between the soft headed coastal grass.

In the past, I’ve been more fascinated with the busy shipping lane in Port Phillip Bay or the brilliant sunsets of late Autumn. This year is less technicoloured, as a pastel view of this beautiful bay plays with my soul. I like this change. It’s a sign of hope for the delicate ecology of the Bay’s coastal precinct. And it’s a sign of hope for the future generally.

The Life Cycle of a Coastal Banksia Flower in Images.

 

For https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/favorite-place/

Some previous posts on of Port Phillip Bay:

50 Shades of Bay

On a Turneresque Day by the Sea

The Norwegian Star

Crossing Port Phillip Bay

17 thoughts on “Environmental Recovery. Port Phillip Bay.”

  1. That sounds very hopeful Francesca. I’ve always enjoyed the native flora all over Australia as it is so exotic to my experience growing up in the USA. It’s not easy to photograph or paint, but lovely to see in person.

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  2. It must be wonderful to see these gradual changes. I’m very fond of banksias and the trunks of some of the really mature ones make me think of Jabba the Hutt from Star Wars!

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  3. Coastal banksias are amazing trees (bushes?), but like you I have only begun to appreciate them over the last few years. Perhaps they were too unconventional. Now I love them for their gnarled beauty. The cones are excellent to draw. Do they remind you of the Banksia Men too?

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    1. Their cones are lovely. I am camping with them for three months a year and get to appreciate their beauty and their annoying habits too- the dropping of cones and branches, the attraction on bees to their fallen flowers which bare footed grandchildren, and me too, seem to tread on. They are moving forward towards the water and I hope I’m around long enough to see these babies mature. It is great to see the recent ( last 15 years) development in coastal regeneration and environment at Rosebud. It has made such a difference to the area. No, I not aware of Banksia men until recently when someone else mentioned them. I was never a Mae Gibbs fan.

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    1. yes, lots more bees- my foot is still itchy from a sting and the grand kids always forget their shoes too. Those fallen flowers are great bee attractors at ground level.

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  4. It looks very beautiful. I like the Banksia plants. I have something very similar growing in my front garden. We call it a bottle brush plant and in summer it is red. I love to see beaches with lots of plant life. Thank you for sharing.

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  5. I planted a few small variety banksias when we had a coastal garden, they are wonderful for attracting birds, honeyeaters to the flowers and parrots to the seeds in the woody pods. It’s nice to know the coastal flora is flourishing around the bay

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  6. Wonderful to see just how our flora is so resilient given the opportunity – I have fond memories of camping near Rosebud on our annual sojourn from the bush as a child. I remember it being so colourful and lush with shrubby natives. And to see it again through your eyes is a testament to how we should all be planting our stunning Australian endemics.

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