Week 2 March 2015:
Early in the week we packed the car and headed for Lithgow, a town on the western end of the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. A relative has an art exhibition in the local library. Early in the visit we drove to Hassanís Walls, a reserve in the Lithgow area. The reserve has a boardwalk and one of the highest lookouts in the Blue Mountains at 1100 metres. There is a wide range of native plants protected in the reserve. Banksia ericifolia and B. spinulosa plants were carrying plenty of developing flower spikes. We spent an interesting time wandering around one of the tracks in the reserve. The dwarf she oak Allocasuarina nana was another prominent species. This very attractive small shrub has horticultural potential. The species could be grown as a hedge to rival the ubiquitous exotic box hedges.
The next day we visited our relativeís art exhibition in the Lithgow library. There were some interesting paintings. Later we walked around Lake Pillans. This is an interesting wetland. The lake originally supplied water to cool the blast furnace when Lithgow had an iron industry many years ago. We saw a pair of Little Grebes with two babies and a close up view of a White-faced Heron. One of our son-in-laws, an ecologist, was involved in the rehabilitation of the lake.
After a short but very pleasant visit we headed east, across the Blue Mountains to stay with one of our daughters and her family in western Sydney. The drive through the Mountains brought back many memories as we lived there many years ago.
At our daughter's place we spent some time planting about two dozen Brachyscome multifida plants that we had propagated. We also weeded one of her garden beds.
We visited the local Bunnings store to purchase some mulch for the new plants. We also bought a Grevillea Soopa Doopa. This is a hybrid that is about one metre tall by the same width with large pink and orange flower heads.
During our visit we saw a flock of Apostlebirds. These birds are usually found in more inland areas.
We also visited another hardware store. This time it was the local Masters store. More plants were purchased including a Blueberry Burst, Silvanberry, Youngberry and an Adenanthos forestii. Masters always stock interesting plants at reasonable prices.
We travelled back up to the lower Blue Mountains where we used to live. Our house has gone and replaced by a monstrosity that would look more at home on the coast than in the mountains.
At the end of the week we packed the car and travelled to our son and his family in northwest Sydney. After our arrival we spent some time playing cricket with our son and grandchildren.